INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 22, 2007—USA Gymnastics today named the four trampoline athletes it will nominate to the U.S. Olympic Committee to represent the United States at the 2007 Pan American Games, July 13-29, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The trampoline competition is July 27-28 at the Riocentro Sports Complex.
Pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the four athletes are: men—Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., and Ryan Weston of Chubbuck, Idaho; and women—Brittany Dircks of Orland Park, Ill., and Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas. All four trampolinists train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Competing at the Pan American Games provides these trampolinists with valuable experience as they look down the road to represent our country at the World Championships and Olympic Games,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “We expect them to do well against the finest from North, Central and South America.”
The four athletes were selected following the 2007 U.S. Elite Challenge. Weston and Dircks automatically qualified for the team because they are ranked first in the national team points system, and Estrada and Williams were chosen by a selection committee.
Weston is an eight-time U.S. trampoline champion (1996-99, 2001-04) and a four-time synchronized trampoline champion (1999, 2003-05). He finished sixth in trampoline at the 2006 World Cup in Savognin, Switzerland. At the 2006 Pan American Championships, he claimed a team gold medal and a bronze in trampoline. At the second World Cup of the 2007 season, he and Estrada placed fourth in synchronized trampoline.
Dircks, the 2006 U.S. trampoline silver-medalist, won a team gold medal at the 2006 Pan American Championships and finished second in trampoline. In World Cup competition in 2007, she placed fifth in Lake Placid, N.Y., and sixth in Quebec City, Quebec, in synchronized trampoline. Most recently, Dircks placed second in trampoline at the 2007 U.S. Elite Challenge.
Estrada is a two-time U.S. trampoline champion (2005-06) and three-time U.S. synchronized trampoline titlist (2004-06). In the first trampoline competition of the 2007 season, he successfully defended his 2006 Winter Classic senior elite trampoline title. Estrada recently paired with Weston to finish fourth in synchronized trampoline at a World Cup in Quebec City, Quebec. 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.
Williams won the women’s trampoline title at the 2007 U.S. Elite Challenge and placed second in synchronized trampoline, third in double mini-trampoline and fourth in trampoline at the 2007 Winter Classic. At the 2006 U.S. Championships, she was second in double mini and third in trampoline in the junior division.