Five U.S. athletes advance to finals of
posted on 04/01/2007

LAKE PLACID, N.Y., April 1, 2007—2006 U.S. tumbling champion Kalon Ludvigson of Cedar Lake, Ind., and 2006 U.S. trampoline and synchronized trampoline champion Erin Blanchard of Lafayette, La., were the highest U.S. finishers in their respective divisions at today’s qualification round of the Trampoline and Tumbling World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y. Ludvigson was fourth in men’s tumbling, while Blanchard finished fifth in women’s trampoline. Monday’s competition features eight men and eight women in the final round in the individual events with a limit of two athletes per country, and eight teams in synchronized trampoline with a limit of one team per country. Competition begins at 5 p.m.

Three other U.S. athletes also are advancing to Monday’s finals: Chris Adair of Lubbock, Texas, men’s tumbling; Susannah Johnson of Roanoke, Va., women’s tumbling; and Brittany Dircks of Orland Park, Ill., women’s synchronized trampoline with Blanchard.

2000 Olympic trampoline champion Irina Karavaeva of Russia was the highest finisher in women’s trampoline, while 2003 trampoline world champion Henrik Stehlik of Germany topped the men’s trampoline field. Tagir Murtazaev and reigning world tumbling champion Anna Korobenikova, both of Russia, led the men’s and women’s tumbling fields, respectively. The Canadian team of Karen Cockburn and Rosannagh MacLennan were the top finishers in women’s synchronized trampoline, while Tetsuya Sotomura and Yasuhiro Ueyama of Japan placed first in men’s synchronized trampoline.

The U.S. Men’s Tumbling Team qualified two athletes for the finals, led by Ludvigson’s fourth-place finish at 69.60. Adair advanced by placing seventh with a score of 68.80. Jeffrey Brown of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was 10th at 65.70.

“I was really nervous, but overall I think everything went well,” Ludvigson said. “I hope to be really consistent tomorrow and finish higher than I did in the qualifier.”

In the Olympic discipline of trampoline, Blanchard’s total score of 65.20 put her in sixth place after the qualification round. Three Chinese trampolinists placed in the top eight for the women, but because International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) rules state that no more than two athletes per country can advance to the final round of each individual event, Blanchard heads into the finals in fifth place. Dircks scored a 63.70, which placed her 13th in the qualification round.

“I think in individual, I did really well,” Blanchard said. “It was probably one of the best competitions I’ve had all year. I wasn’t really expecting to make it to finals, so I’m really excited.”

Competing in her first-career World Cup competition, Johnson placed sixth in women’s tumbling with a score of 62.50. Also competing for the United States were Leanne Seitzinger of Stafford, Va., and Kaitlin Tortorich of Mandeville, La., who finished ninth and 11th, respectively. Seitzinger scored a 59.40, while Tortorich had a 59.30. 

“On my first pass, I was really nervous watching all of the other competitors go, but I got up on the floor and I knew what I needed to do,” Johnson said. “I was very excited on my second pass because I’m one of only two people in the world throwing that big of a skill in the middle of my pass—a full in tuck—and so my adrenalin was pumping like crazy. I’m a lot more settled after today and not as nervous for finals.”

In women’s synchronized trampoline, Blanchard and Dircks qualified for the final round with their score of 79.80. The pair finished ninth, but advanced to the finals because two teams from the Ukraine placed in the top eight. FIG rules state that only one team per country advances to the final round in synchronized trampoline. 

In men’s trampoline, Ryan Weston of Chubbuck, Idaho, was the highest finisher for the USA, placing 10th with a score of 68.10 that was two-tenths of a point off the eighth and final qualifying spot. Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., was 18th at 66.80.

Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., and Weston led the USA in men’s synchronized trampoline in 11th place with a score of 86.00. Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif., and Gluckstein were 14th at 84.20.

Other U.S. athletes who competed in the World Cup but did not advance to the finals are: Amanda Bailey of Sundown, Texas, women’s trampoline; and Yuliya Hall of Idaho Falls, Idaho, women’s tumbling.

Tomorrow’s final round begins at 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

About the Olympic Regional Development Authority

ORDA, headquartered in Lake Placid, N.Y., was created by the New York State legislature in 1981. It manages, promotes, maintains and updates the venues that were used in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. ORDA and Lake Placid offer venues that are used by the best winter athletes for training and competition, as well as for the enjoyment of recreational users. The sites offer the activities of skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snow shoeing, bobsled, luge, skeleton, hockey, figure skating, speed skating, ski jumping, Nordic combined, biathlon, aerials skiing, mogul skiing and mountain biking.
Trampoline and Tumbling World Cup
U.S. Olympic Training Center
Lake Placid, N.Y.
April 1, 2007
Qualification round<