Late last month, Temecula resident, Dr. Givona Sandiford Sapp, took first place in the group round of the national online Ms. Health and Fitness competition. Sapp, a 39-year-old new mom, speech pathologist, and Certified Barre Instructor, is currently in second-place in her quarter-final group. She needs to get votes for that No. 1 spot in order to get to the Semi-Finals, which runs through Thursday, September 10.

This year’s winner will take home the title Ms. Health and Fitness, $20,000 cash, and the cover of Muscle and Fitness Hers, read by more than 500,000 fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes each issue.

“I never actually thought I’d actually place,” exclaimed Sapp. “To my surprise, I made every cut. On the last day of the group rounds, I was in third place all day. Only first place would go on to the quarter-finals. In the last two hours, I moved into first place and went on to make the quarter-finals (top 1% of contestants).”

Temecula resident, Dr. Givona Sandiford Sapp, is a new mom, speech pathologist, and Certified Barre Instructor. Valley News/Courtesy photo.

The event will be hosted by Whitney Jones, the reigning champion of both the Ms. Fitness International and Ms. Fitness Olympia competitions. Jones is widely regarded as one of the absolute best IFBB Fitness Pros in the world. Since entering her first fitness competition in 2010, Whitney has received international acclaim and numerous awards for her physique and dedication to health & fitness. As this year’s official host and competition spokesperson, Whitney will be providing helpful tips and powerful advice throughout the competition as the search for the next Ms. Health & Fitness continues.

The major benefactor in all of this is not just the winner, but over the last three years the organization has also donated an incredible amount to Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. Founded by former Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen; their mission is to provide financial assistance and support to our injured United States military veterans by building and remodeling handicap accessible homes to suit their individual needs one wounded warrior at a time.

Temecula’s Givona Sapp, who took first place in the group round of the national online Ms. Health and Fitness competition, is looking to move further into the Semi-Final round this week. Valley News/Courtesy photo

“With everything that is going on in the world, it has been so heartwarming to have family, friends, and strangers support my goal to be Ms. Health and Fitness 2020,” says Sapp. “I didn’t start off believing it was possible, but their belief in me has encouraged me to aim high.”

Voting for semi-finalists ends Thursday, September 10, at 11 p.m. (EDT)

To vote for Givona, click here –

JP Raineri can be reached by email at