Pan American Games preview for trampoline
posted on 07/25/2007

© Mark Rebilas

The U.S. trampolinists have enjoyed increased success on the international stage, including a team bronze medal for the U.S. Women’s Trampoline Team at the 2005 World Championships, the USA’s first-ever world trampoline medal. In addition, one of the women advanced to the trampoline finals, also a first for the USA. The Pan American Games are an important international test as the athletes prepare for November’s World Championships in Quebec City, Quebec, where countries qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games. This year marks the first time that trampoline has been included in the Pan American Games since 1959.

The four members of the U.S. Pan Am Games Team for trampoline are: men—Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., and Ryan Weston of Chubbuck, Idaho; and women—Brittany Dircks of Orland Park, Ill., and Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas. All four trampolinists train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Estrada is a two-time U.S. trampoline champion (2005-06) and three-time U.S. synchronized trampoline titlist (2004-06). In the first trampoline competition of the 2007 season, he successfully defended his 2006 Winter Classic senior elite trampoline title. Estrada recently paired with Weston to finish fourth in synchronized trampoline at a World Cup in Quebec City, Quebec. In international competition in 2006, he won a silver medal in trampoline at the Pan American Championships and tied for fourth place in trampoline at the Grenzland Cup in Aachen, Germany.

Weston is an eight-time U.S. trampoline champion (1996-99, 2001-04) and a four-time synchronized trampoline champion (1999, 2003-05). He finished sixth in trampoline at the 2006 World Cup in Savognin, Switzerland. At the 2006 Pan American Championships, he claimed a team gold medal and a bronze in trampoline. At the second World Cup of the 2007 season, he and Estrada placed fourth in synchronized trampoline.

Dircks, the 2006 U.S. trampoline silver-medalist, won a team gold medal at the 2006 Pan American Championships and finished second in trampoline. In World Cup competition in 2007, she placed fifth in Lake Placid, N.Y., and sixth in Quebec City, Quebec, in synchronized trampoline. Most recently, Dircks placed second in trampoline at the 2007 U.S. Elite Challenge.