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SAN ANTONIO, Texas, July 9, 2011 – 2010 U.S. champions Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J. (trampoline), and Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho (tumbling), are poised to defend their respective titles at the 2011 Trampoline and Tumbling Elite Championships at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. Both had their respective events top scores in the preliminary round to advance to the finals on July 10. The Junior Olympic National Championships are held July 9-15 in conjunction with the Elite Championships.

For trampoline, Dakota Earnest of Plains, Texas/Acrospirits, and Gluckstein, who trains at Head Over Heels/UltraTwisters, earned the top senior prelim scores. The highest junior scores were posted by Shaylee Dunavin of Amarillo, Texas/All American Gymnastics, and Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars Tumbling and Trampoline.

In tumbling, Karly Judkins of Tulsa, Okla./Elite Gymnastics, and Ludvigson, who trains at Team Revolution, placed first in the preliminary rounds. Juniors Cassandra Skinner of Livonia, Mich./AGT Flipcity, and Nacey have the top spots heading into the junior finals.

The top preliminary scores for synchronized trampoline went to: senior – Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas/Acrospirits, and Earnest (women), and Neil Gulati of Irvine, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Michael Devine of Winnebago, Ill./J&J Tumbling and Trampoline Team (men); and junior – Audrey Ghanian of Holmdel, N.J./Head Over Heels/UltraTwisters, and Dunavin (women), and Dante Herbert and Louis Prejean of Youngsville, La., both of T&T Express.

For double mini-trampoline, Erin Jauch of Crystal Lake, Ill./Fox Valley Tumbling and Trampoline, and Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, earned the top prelim scores in the senior category. Juniors Dunavin and Justin Celeski of Owens Cross Roads, Ala./Matrix, earned the top prelim junior scores.

The U.S. Elite Championships determine the junior and senior national champions, and the Junior Olympic National Championships, slated for July 10-15, features competition for Levels 5-10. Both events have competition in trampoline, double mini-trampoline, synchronized trampoline and tumbling for both men and women.

The USA’s top trampoline and tumbling gymnasts will earn points toward making the junior and senior national teams. It is also the second of two qualifying events for the U.S. Teams for the 2011 Pan American Games, World Championships and World Age-Group Competition. The United States will have its first of two opportunities to qualify for trampoline at the 2012 Olympic Games at the 2011World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships.

To qualify for the Junior Olympic National Championships, athletes had to meet the qualifying criteria and score requirements, which vary by category and event. Gymnasts in Levels 5-10 are ranked by their level of expertise, with 10 being the highest and just below elite.

The Regional All-Stars Competition features the Level 10 regional champions vying for the title of Grand Champion as the best overall Regional All-Star Team. The region accumulating the highest combined score is named the Grand Champion Team. This is part of the Grand March ceremony.

The competition schedule for the two events is listed below.

U.S. Elite Championships
July 10 – 6-9 p.m., Finals

Junior Olympic Championships
July 10 – 2-6 p.m., Levels 9 and 10 synchronized trampoline
July 11 – 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Levels 8-10 competition
July 12 – 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Levels 8-10 competition, Levels 9 & 10 finals
July 13 – 2-5 p.m., Levels 5-7 competition
July 14 – 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Levels 5-7 competition
July 15 – 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Levels 5-7 competition

The San Antonio Sports Commission is serving as the local host for the competition.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform single, double and twisted somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated spring runways that enable athletes to jump at heights over 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. Double-mini competition involves the athlete making a short run and leaping onto a small two-level trampoline. The athlete will then perform an aerial maneuver and dismount onto a landing mat.