The U.S. trampoline team will jump right into the Pan Am competition tomorrow with qualifications for the individual finals on Tuesday. The Pan American Games are a valuable international test as the athletes prepare for November’s World Championships in Birmingham, England, where countries qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The team of four, consisting of two men and two women, will perform two routines each in the qualifying round beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET. The first routine, the compulsory exercise, includes special requirements and the second, the optional routine, is a voluntary, according to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and Pan American Gymnastics Union (PAGU) Rules and Regulations. All gymnasts from the qualifying round will go forward to the finals. This is only the second year 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—Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Head Over Heels, and Steven Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Head Over Heels; and women—Dakota Earnest, Plains, Texas/Acrospirits, and Alaina Williams, Amarillo, Texas/Acrospirits.
Steven has been at the top of U.S. trampoline on the senior level since he won the men’s title in 2009 and successfully defended it in 2010. His younger brother Jeffrey moved up to the senior level in 2011 and earned the U.S. title. The brothers will go head-to-head in competition at the Pan Am Games.
Earnest, who placed fourth at the 2010 Pan American Cup – where the trampoline team qualified for these Pan Am Games – also claimed the synchronized trampoline title, along with Williams, and earned second in trampoline at this year’s U.S. Elite Championships in San Antonio, Texas.
Williams, making her second appearance at the Pan Am Games, claimed the trampoline title at the U.S. Elite Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, and the trampoline and synchronized trampoline title at the 2011 Winter Classic in Houston.
Gymnastics competition will continue today with the rhythmic group all-around and group individual final qualifications.