INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 10, 2007—Four U.S. champions are among the country’s top trampoline and tumbling athletes who will compete in the U.S. Elite Challenge, May 12-13, at the Colorado Springs (Colo.) World Arena. The International Age-Group (IAGC) Team Trial, held May 11-12 in conjunction with the U.S. Elite Challenge, is the first of two team trials for the International Age-Group Team.
The four 2006 U.S. champions expected to compete in the U.S. Elite Challenge are: Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., men’s trampoline and synchronized trampoline; Erin Blanchard of Lafayette, La., women’s trampoline and synchronized trampoline; Kalon Ludvigson of Cedar Lake, Ind., men’s tumbling and double mini-trampoline; and Leanne Seitzinger of Stafford, Va., women’s tumbling.
Both events feature competition in all four events: trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double mini-trampoline and tumbling. The U.S. Elite Challenge is divided into junior and senior divisions, while the IAGC Team Trial is separated into four age groups: 11-12 year olds, 13-14 year olds, 15-16 year olds and 17-18 year olds. The U.S. Elite Challenge is one of three national events, in addition to the U.S. National Championships, where junior and senior elite athletes earn points toward qualifying for the national team.
The U.S. Elite Challenge opens on May 12 at 1 p.m. with the preliminary round for tumbling and junior trampoline. The preliminary round for senior trampoline and double mini-trampoline is at 5 p.m. on May 12, followed by synchronized trampoline finals at 7:15 p.m. The finals for trampoline, double mini-trampoline and tumbling begin at 10 a.m. on May 13. All listed times are Mountain Daylight Time. The IAGC Team Trial has two sessions of competition on May 11, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and concludes on May 12 at 9 a.m.
Estrada is a two-time U.S. trampoline champion (2005-06) and three-time U.S. synchronized trampoline titlist (2004-06). He defended his 2006 Winter Classic senior elite trampoline title by winning this year’s event. 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.
Blanchard was the 2006 U.S. champion in trampoline and synchronized trampoline and won the women’s senior elite trampoline and synchronized trampoline at the 2007 Winter Classic. She won the women’s junior trampoline title at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships and the senior trampoline title at the 2006 U.S. Elite Challenge.
In addition to his 2006 U.S. title in tumbling, Ludvigson was the 2006 national champion in double mini-trampoline. He won the senior elite tumbling and double mini-trampoline events at the 2007 Winter Classic and recently won a bronze medal in tumbling at a World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y. Seitzinger placed second in tumbling at the 2007 Winter Classic.
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. For more information, log on to www.usa-gymnastics.org.