Gluckstein and Vinsant win 2012 T&T Elite Challenge, first Olympic trial
posted on 03/31/2012

TULSA, Okla., April 1, 2012 – Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./ETA, and Savannah Vinsant of Lafayette, La./T&T Express, won the senior trampoline competitions at the 2012 T&T Elite Challenge Saturday evening at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena in Tulsa, Okla. The event served as the first of three Olympic qualifying events for trampoline.

Gluckstein took to the trampoline fifth up, having qualified in fourth place. The New Jersey-native began his routine with a front triple pike half twist, but it was his final element, a Miller or triple twisting double layout, that left him with an ear-to-ear grin and fist pump. He earned 56.255 points and 23 Olympic selection points.

“I’m ecstatic that I already have one Olympic trial under my belt that I won,” Gluckstein said, “Representing the U.S. at the Olympics has been my dream ever since I was a little boy.”

Gluckstein’s younger brother, Jeffrey, also of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./ETA, finished second, scoring 55.650, followed by Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, who finished third with 55.255.

In the senior women’s final, Vinsant, who earned Team USA’s spot for the 2012 Olympic Games in London with her performance at last year’s World Championships, performed last. She posted the highest score with a 52.710, beginning her routine in impressive fashion with a tucked, triple front flip with a half twist to half-in, Rudi out to full Rudi opening sequence. With her first place finish, Vinsant earned 23 Olympic selection points.

“I feel awesome. There aren’t really words for it all,” Vinsant said, “It’s just an amazing feeling to potentially be able to represent my country at the Olympics.”

Dakota Earnest of Plains, Texas/Acrospirits, scored 51.440 for second, while Alaina Williams of Norman, Okla./Acrospirits, posted a 50.845 to finish third.

Athletes earned points based on their finishes at the event. Points earned at two of the three Olympic trial competitions count toward the final ranking.

One man and one woman will represent the United States in trampoline at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The U.S. Elite Challenge was the first of three qualifying events for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for trampoline. The other two events are the Stars and Stripes Cup, May 11-13, in Cleveland, Ohio, and a final selection event held in conjunction with the U.S. Elite Trampoline Championships, June 27-28, in San Jose, Calif.

In the junior competition, Alexi Shostak of T&T Express won the junior men’s trampoline title with a 53.300, followed by Robert Vargas of Gymnast Factor with 51.615 and Cody Gesuelli of ETA with 51.345. For the junior women, Meghan O’Connell of ETA claimed the trampoline title, scoring 48.590. Charlotte Drury of World Elite Gymnastics finished second, 47.990, and Mackenzee Martin of Air Extreme took third, 47.230.

Tumbling final

In the senior men’s tumbling competition, Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho/Team Revolution, earned the title with a combined score of 153.400. Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars T&T, took the silver medal, scoring 136.900, with Alex Renkert of Indianapolis, Ind./Interactive Academy, winning the bronze with 133.400. Natalya Beneschott of Reno, Nev./Team Revolution, took the senior women’s tumbling title with a score of 125.400. Brittney Bernard of Bixby, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme, and Karly Judkins of Glenpool, Okla./Elite Gymnastics and Cheer, finished second, 124.200, and third, 117.900, respectively.

Garrett Waterstradt of Irish’s Gymnastics took the junior men’s tumbling title, earning 61.700. Matthew Cress of Dynamite T&T posted 61.400 for silver and Joshua Browne of Aspire Kids Sports Center scored 61.200 for bronze. For the women’s junior tumbling final, Mackenze Kulka won the gold medal with 121.700 points. Kainoa Park of Team Revolution, 119.600, and Cheyenne Kelley of Oklahoma Extreme, 117.600, rounded out the top three.

Double mini-trampoline final

In the senior men’s double mini-trampoline final, Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, who is the reigning World silver medalist in the event, took first with a 75.300. Ludvigson finished second, 74.400, with Renkert taking the bronze, scoring 73.100. For the women, Kristle Lowell of Orland Park, Ill./5 Star Tumbling and Trampoline, won the title, earning 132.800 points. Kristin Day of Reynoldsville, Pa./Uzelac Gymnastics, placed second, 132.700, followed by Erica Owen of Mission Viejo, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, with 130.700.

Nacey took the junior men’s double mini title, earning a two-pass total of 71.900. Waterstradt earned the silver medal, 68.000, with Jerrett Jensen (66.400). For the junior women, Madi Webster of Tumbling Express took the title, posting a 130.900, Drury finished second (128.900) and Miranda Maldonado third, 125.400.