Area Girl on National Gymnastics Team

Nicole McDonald, a 9-year-old Manassas resident, was one of 68 gymnasts nationwide who recently qualified for USA Gymnastics' TOP national team for girls ages 7 to 12.

TOP, or Talent Opportunity Program, is an "Olympic-bound program," said Chris Brown, the women's team coach at McDonald's home gym, Karon Gymnastics in Manassas. "It's a chance for the national staff to keep tabs on up-and-coming kids."

Brown cited former Olympian Dominique Dawes as an example of a gymnast who had been a member of the TOP national team.

To qualify for the national team, McDonald first had to pass strength and flexibility tests at a regional event in Maryland and then skill tests in vault, bars, beam and floor at a national event earlier this month in Rochester, N.Y. The judges in Rochester were members of USA Gymnastics' national staff.

McDonald will join other qualifiers at a national team camp Dec. 8-12 in Tulsa.

Football

Monarchs Advance

The Virginia Monarchs semipro football team advanced to the United Football League championship game with a 27-7 victory over the Maryland Cougars on Saturday at Largo High School.

The Monarchs (18-1, 12-0 in the UFL) will return to Largo for the 1 p.m. championship game Dec. 11 against an opponent to be determined.

After falling behind 7-0, Virginia scored four touchdowns in a variety of ways: a 35-yard pass from quarterback Jamie Davis to Steve Greene; a run by Charles "Moose" Carter; a 63-yard punt return by Russell Williams; and a 65-yard interception return by defensive back Junior Scott.

Scott has 18 interceptions this season, returning six for touchdowns.

The Monarchs had 11 sacks, bringing their season total to 189. Defensive end Kenny Conrad led the way with four, bringing his team-leading total to 35. Middle linebacker Garvin Hadden was named the game's most valuable player.

Pentathlon

Gregory on TV

Army Capt. Jim Gregory, the Potomac High graduate and world-class pentathlete who was profiled in Prince William Extra in September, is scheduled to be featured in a segment tonight during the 5 o'clock news broadcast on NBC-4.

In October, Gregory, who is based in Fort Carson, Colo., came to Washington for a day-long shoot with Channel 4's Jill Slye King, producer of the nationally syndicated "George Michael Sports Machine."

Tonight's segment is scheduled to air at 5:45.

Gregory, 29, headed the four-man U.S. Modern Pentathlon team that won the gold medal at the Conseil International du Sport Militaire competition in Warsaw in August. Gregory also won the individual silver medal there.

The modern pentathlon is a five-sport event that includes fencing, running, swimming, shooting and horseback riding.

BASKETBALL PREVIEW

The Prince William Extra public school basketball preview will appear Sunday.

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