Blanchard, Estrada nominated to U.S. Olympic Trampoline Team
posted on 07/01/2008

Erin Blanchard (L), Coach Dmitri Poliaroush, Chris Estrada (R)

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 1, 2008 – Erin Blanchard of Lafayette, La., and Chris Estrada of Colorado Springs, Colo., were nominated to the U.S. Olympic Trampoline Team, pending U.S. Olympic Committee approval, at the conclusion of the final selection event in Kansas City, Mo. Blanchard and Estrada finished first for the women and men, respectively, in the Olympic Selection Points Rankings to earn the nominations to the U.S. Olympic Team.

Alaina Hebert of Broussard, La., and Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif., are the alternates for the U.S. Olympic Team. National team coordinator Dmitri Poliaroush is the head coach.

“I’m more than excited,” Blanchard said. “Words can’t explain how I feel. Coming back (from a brief retirement last year), I didn’t think I’d do this well. I didn’t expect to get this far at all. I’m just so excited.”

“I’m thrilled to death,” Estrada said. “I worked so hard for this and now I’m going to the Olympics. My coaches Dmitri and Tara (Guidry) were here and my parents were here, so it’s very exciting.”

Blanchard finished with 77 points in the Olympic Selection Points Rankings, followed by Hebert in second with 71 points and Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas, in third with 56. For the men, Estrada earned 77 points, and Dooley and Michael Devine of Winnebago, Ill., finished second and third, respectively, with 62 points and 56 points.

In the Olympic Selection Points Ranking, athletes earned points based on their finishes at four selection events. Only three of the four competitions counted toward the final ranking, with the lowest points being dropped. The four selection events were: the Grenzland Cup, March 14-15 in Aachen, Germany; the U.S. Elite Challenge, April 18-19; the Visa Championships, May 22-24; and the final selection event, July 1.

In the final selection event, Blanchard won the women’s competition with a total score of 101.00. Hebert finished second with 100.70, and Brittany Dircks of Orland Park, Ill., was third at 97.20. For the men, Estrada posted 102.50 points to finish first, followed by Dooley in second with 102.50 points and Neil Gulati of Irvine, Calif., in third with 96.60.

Going into the final round, Hebert and Estrada led the women and men, respectively, with two-routine scores of 65.30 and 69.10. Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., led the men after the compulsory routine, but terminated his pass on his optional routine, which dropped him to sixth after the preliminary round. In the preliminary round, each athlete competed two routines, a compulsory and an optional routine. Each athlete then performed one routine in the finals, and the preliminary and final scores are added together for the final score.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics.

2008 Olympic Games trampoline selection final rankings

Totals represent three best scores from four selection events; Erin Blanchard and Chris Estrada qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trampoline Team with the highest totals

Women
1. Erin Blanchard, Lafayette, La./U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 77
2. Alaina Hebert, Broussard, La./ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 71
3. Alaina Williams, Amarillo, Texas/ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 56
4. Brittany Dircks, Orland Park, Ill./Ultra Twisters, 53
5. Amanda Bailey, Lubbock, Texas/Air Extreme, 11

Men
1. Chris Estrada, Colorado Springs, Colo./ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 77
2. Logan Dooley, Lake Forest, Calif./ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 62
3. Michael Devine, Winnebago, Ill./J & J Tumbling & Trampoline, 56
4. Steven Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Ultra Twisters, 45
5. Neil Gulati, Irvine, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, 33
6. Ryan Walsh, Asheville, N.C./ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 33
7. Kyle Bowen, Middletown, N.J./Ultra Twisters, 15
8. Brandon English, Stafford, Va./Novaks’ Gymnastics Center, 11

Final selection event for trampoline
Kansas City Convention Center
Kansas City, Mo.
July 1, 2007
Total results

Women
1. Erin Blanchard, Lafayette, La./ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 101.00
2. Alaina Hebert, Broussard, La./ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 100.70
3. Brittany Dircks, Orland Park, Ill./Ultra Twisters, 97.20
4. Alaina Williams, Amarillo, Texas/ U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 95.90
5. Amanda Bailey, Lubbock, Texas/Air Extreme, 52.90

Men
1. Chris Estrada, Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 102.50
2. Logan Dooley, Lake Forest, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 102.50
3. Neil Gulati, Irvine, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, 96.60
4. Steven Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Ultra Twisters, 93.30
5. Ryan Walsh, Asheville, N.C./U.S. Olympic Training Center Trampoline Team, 89.60
6. Michael Devine, Winnebago, Ill./J & J Tumbling & Trampoline, 70.50
7. Brandon English, Stafford, Va./Novaks’ Gymnastics Center, 66.90
8. Kyle Bowen, Middletown, N.J./Ultra Twisters, 63.50