Balancing Act

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Taylor Sockwell is a whiz on the balance beam.

The Oak Mountain Intermediate fifth-grader also pulls off a pretty impressive act balancing her schoolwork with the countless hours of gymnastics training.

At just 10 years old, Sockwell is one of the most promising young gymnasts in Alabama.

In October, she was invited to national testing by USA Gymanstics’ Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs), a talent search and educational program for female gymnasts ages 7-11.

Taylor was one of 20 10-year-olds in the country to make the national team.

Working out after school every day at the Head Over Heels gym, formerly American Gymnastics in North Shelby County, has paid off for Sockwell.

Gymnastics coach Gina Logan noted that some of this summer’s most successful Olympians came through the TOPs program.

&uot;Carly Patterson and Courtney Kupets were in this program when they were younger. It could mean that (Sockwell) has as much potential, by their standards, as those two athletes, its a big deal.&uot;

Taylor said her dream is to one day reach the olympics, like Patterson, who she calls her favorite gymnast