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Five T&T World medalists top podium at 2022 Elite Challenge
posted on 04/25/2022

IRVING, Texas, April 24, 2022 - Nearly 200 elite-level youth, intermediate, junior and senior trampoline and tumbling athletes faced off over the weekend at the 2022 Elite Challenge in Irving, Texas. In the senior division, five World medalists, including an Olympian, earned top honors, as men's and women's individual trampoline, tumbling, double mini trampoline and synchronized trampoline champions were crowned. The second of three selection events in 2022, performances at the Elite Challenge will also help determine who will represent the U.S. on the international stage later in the year.

World medalists Kaden Brown (Herriman, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling), Shelby Nobuhara (Mapleton, Utah/High Altitude), Ruben Padilla (Bluffdale, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling) and Aliaksei Shostak (Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express) claimed individual titles Saturday at the Irving Convention Center, while Shostak - a 2020 Olympian - and partner Isaac Rowley (Allen, Texas/Eagle Gymnastics Academy) took gold in men's synchronized trampoline Friday.

Shostak's 57.897 edged Rowley (57.227) for the top spot in the men's individual trampoline final. Padilla (55.990), the third-highest-scoring U.S. athlete, shared the bronze medal with Mexico's Hugo Marin (56.247). In the senior women's final, Brazil's Camilla Lopes Gomes notched the day's high score with a 52.710. As the pair did in March at the 2022 Winter Classic, Lopes Gomes and American Sarah Webster (Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express) split the top spot on the podium after Webster outscored all competing U.S. athletes with a 51.873. Jessica Stevens (Ellicott City, Md./Fairland Gymnastics, 51.797) and Ava Hernando (Holmdel, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, 50.313) were second and third.

Brown, the reigning World bronze medalist in men's tumbling, topped the scoresheet with a 52.500. Dom Dumas (Athens, Ala./Air Extreme) captured the silver medal with a 50.266, while Alec Pelezo (Magnolia, Texas/World Champions Centre) clipped Kayne Johnson (Knoxville, Tenn./Tennessee Elite Gymnastics) for the bronze in the tie break after both athletes posted a 47.267. After earning gold at last month's Winter Classic, Miah Bruns (Crete, Ill./World Champions Centre) once again stood atop the podium in the senior women's tumbling division. Her 48.700 outpaced World team silver medalist Tia Taylor (Knoxville, Tenn./Premier Athletics Knoxville) and first-year senior Jill Papenhause (Tremont, Ill./Central Illinois Gymnastics Academy) who rounded out the top three with scores of 46.666 and 45.300, respectively.

World individual silver medalists Nobuhara (51.200) and Padilla (61.100) led the way in the women's and men's double mini finals. Nobuhara's 2021 World Championships teammates Tristan Van Natta (Marysville, Ohio/Integrity Athletics, 51.067) and Maia Amano (Honolulu, Hawaii/Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, 50.067), who both earned World team all-around silver in Baku, Azerbaijan in November, took second and third on the women's side. Tomas Minc (Chevy Chase, Md./Dynamite Gymnastics, 58.667) and Ryan Maccagnan (Colorado Springs, Colo./Stars Gymnastics, 55.767) were the men's silver and bronze medalists.

Shostak and Rowley nosed the pair of Paul Bretscher (Huntsville, Ala./Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy) and Cody Gesuelli (Huntsville, Ala./Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy) 49.440-49.230 to claim the men's synchro title. AJ Noble (Austin, Texas/North Valley Gymnastics) and Jace Williams (Cave Creek, Ariz./North Valley Gymnastics) were third with a 46.340. Alana Cushing (Holmdel, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) and Michelle Sherman (Holmdel, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) earned the top spot in women's synchronized trampoline with a 43.310, outpacing Amano and Stevens (42.050) who rounded out the field.

Performances across the 2022 Winter Classic and Elite Challenge will help to decide who will represent the U.S. in men's and women's tumbling and double mini at the World Games in July. The team roster will be announced in the coming days.

In the intermediate elite division, which features athletes between the ages of 17 and 21, Avery Kroeker (Colorado Springs, Colo./Let It Shine) picked up the women's individual trampoline title with a 49.383, and Dylan Kline (Syracuse, Utah/Flipside Tumbling Inc.) was the winner on the men's side with a 50.830. Kroeker's 47.734 also topped the scoresheet in women's double mini. Nate Swanepoel (Scotts Valley, Calif./Vargas Academy of Gymnastic Arts) led the way in the men's double mini final with a 49.866. Brooklyn Brumble (Tulsa, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme Tumbling & Trampoline, 42.900) and Dylan Bealey (Rogers, Ark./Aspire Gymnastics Academy, 46.034) were the women's and men's tumbling champions. The Palaestra's Konrad Chelstowski (Keller, Texas) and Brendon Newton (Midlothian, Texas) secured the men's synchro title with a 44.230. Katherine Baker (Cave Creek, Ariz.) and Kate-Emerson Loisel (Phoenix, Ariz.) of North Valley Gymnastics (39.070) were the women's synchro champions. Intermediate and senior athletes are grouped together for the purposes of international selection.

At the junior level, Xavier Harper (Oak Ridge, Tenn./Premier Athletics Knoxville, 51.297) and Leah Edelman (Holmdel, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, 51.307) captured gold in individual trampoline, while the pairs of Hudson Huggins (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) and Max Poveda (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) of World Elite Gymnastics (41.900) and Isabella Bowman (Dublin, Ohio/Integrity Athletics) and Clara McNew (Auburn, Ill./Jon Williams Fondulac Flyers, 42.150) took top honors in synchronized trampoline. Harper also claimed first place in men's tumbling with a 54.000. Amelia Gasper (Delavan, Ill./Central Illinois Gymnastics Academy, 45.433) led the way in women's tumbling. In the double mini finals, Van Larson (Phoenix, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center) and Rosalie Thongphay (San Tan Valley, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center) notched the day's high scores of 50.534 and 48.800, respectfully.

Youth elite champions were also crowned this weekend in Irving. Victoria Azorov (Midland, Texas/Legacy Elite Athletics) topped the women's 11-12-year-old trampoline field with a 45.330, while Grace Danley (Millstone, N.J./Garden State Trampoline Academy) earned gold in the 13-14 division with a 46.637. Alex Rozenshteyn posted a high score of 48.923 in the men's 13-14 trampoline final. Miya Hutchens (Apollo Beach, Fla./Elite World Gymnastics, 41.667) and Amari Jackson (Plant City, Fla./Elite World Gymnastics, 43.834) claimed the women's 11-12 and 13-14 tumbling titles, respectively, while Eli Nilson (Draper, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling) took the top spot in the men's 13-14 tumbling final with a 48.033. In the double mini competition, Michael Sofia (Wylie, Texas/Flip Factory, 43.167) and Mick Seyler (Flower Mound, Texas/Southlake Gymnastics Academy, 49.800) were gold medalists in the men's 11-12 and 13-14 divisions. Fellow Texan Kennedi Roberts (North Richland Hills, Texas/Southlake Gymnastics Academy) collected the women's 13-14 double mini title with a 45.600. Sydney Buchanan (Middletown, N.J.) and Tessa Christopher (Middletown, N.J.) of Elite Trampoline Academy garnered top marks in the the women's youth synchronized trampoline final with a 43.800. World Elite Gymnastics' Oliver Czekmany (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and Sebastian Ramberg (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) earned the men's 13-14 synchro title with a 43.040.

U.S. trampoline and tumbling national champions across the elite and top developmental levels will be decided June 21-25 at the 2022 USA Gymnastics Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. The competition will serve as the final selection event of the year.