Nani Vercruyssen
© Ron Wyatt

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., June 25, 2010 – More than 150 gymnasts are in Virginia Beach, Va., to compete in trampoline and tumbling’s U.S. Elite Challenge, June 26-27, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Included in the field are several gold medalists from the 2010 Pan Am Championships: synchronized trampoline – Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., and Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif., who also went one-two, respectively, in individual trampoline; trampoline – Nani Vercruyssen of Honolulu; and double mini-trampoline – Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif.

The U.S. Elite Challenge is the second of two qualifying events for the 2010 Visa Championships, Aug. 10-14 in Hartford, Conn., for junior and senior elite gymnasts. Gymnasts may also earn points toward selection for the 2010 Junior and Senior National Teams. And, it is the first of two qualifying events for determining the athletes who will represent the United States at the 2010 World Championships and World Age Group Competition in November.

The U.S. Elite Challenge features senior and junior competition in four events: trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double mini-trampoline, and tumbling.

Competition begins on Saturday, June 26, at 10 a.m. with prelims and finals in synchronized trampoline, along with prelims in double mini-trampoline, followed by trampoline and tumbling prelims at 2:45 p.m. Sunday, June 27, features the finals for trampoline, tumbling and double-mini at 7 p.m. Each session has men’s and women’s competition for both the junior and senior levels.

The full competition schedule is available by clicking here.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform single, double and twisted somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated spring runways that enable athletes to jump at heights over 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. Double-mini competition involves the athlete making a short run and leaping onto a small two-level trampoline. The athlete will then perform an aerial maneuver and dismount onto a landing mat.