© Champion Images

SPOKANE, Wash., June 14, 2014 – The 2014 U.S. Elite Challenge at the Spokane (Wash.) Convention Center, wrapped up today with the finals for men’s and women’s trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline. In addition, Nicole Ahsinger of San Diego, Calif./So Cal TTC, and Cody Gesuelli of Middletown, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, qualified to represent the United States in trampoline at the Youth Olympic Games, scheduled for Aug. 16-28 in Nanjing, China, pending approval of the United States Olympic Committee.

Ahsinger earned the women’s trampoline spot on the U.S. Youth Olympic Team when she won the junior women’s title with a 143.020 total. Gesuelli clinched the men’s berth after winning the junior men’s trampoline title with a 147.940.

The senior elite champions are: trampoline – Neil Gulati of Irvine, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Hayley Butcher of Saint John, Ind./Midwest Training and Ice Center; tumbling — Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars Tumbling and Trampoline LTD, and Yuliya Stankevich-Brown of Idaho Falls, Idaho/Idaho Elite Gymnastics; and double mini-trampoline — Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Erin Jauch of Crystal Lake, Ill./Fox Valley Tumbling and Trampoline.

White and Kristle Lowell of Three Rivers, Mich./Branch Gymnastics, set U.S. degree of difficulty records for double-mini. White’s 12.0 broke the previous record of 11.6, which he set in 2011. Lowell, who held the existing mark, posted an 8.0 difficulty to best her 7.6 from 2013.

For the junior elite division, the champions are: trampoline – Ahsinger and Gesuelli; tumbling — Natalie Ory of Midland, Texas/FlippenBounce, and Garrett Day of Bedford, Va./Dynamic Gymnastics; and double mini-trampoline –Day and Kylee Roby of Ladera Ranch, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics.

To be considered for selection to U.S. Youth Olympic Team for trampoline, eligible gymnasts must have competed in both the Junior Pan American Championships and/or Stars & Stripes Cup or have been eligible to submit a petition to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games Pool. From the Youth Olympic Games Pool, the man and woman with the highest total score – preliminaries (compulsory and optional routines) and finals (optional routine) – at the U.S. Elite Challenge were nominated to compete in the Youth Olympic Games.

The Spokane Sports Commission worked with USA Gymnastics to bring the event to Spokane and assisted with organizing and staging the competition. Spokane Gymnastics will also be involved as part of the local organizing committee.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat. Synchronized trampoline demands the same athletic skill as individual trampoline, while adding the element of precision timing. Using two trampolines, two athletes perform identical 10-skill routines at the same time. Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.