© John Cheng

By John Powers

The U.S. women’s trampoline team collected the first gold medal of the championships, outpointing Japan and Canada for its first Pacific Rim title. “It’s definitely very important that we went out and showed that we’re strong and that we’re ready to compete in the Olympic test event because it’s next week,” said Charlotte Drury, who topped the qualifying standings for Saturday’s individual finals. “So I think we did a good job in showing that we have worked really hard and that we’ve prepared well and that we’re ready to compete.”

The American women, who’ve qualified for every Games since the event was added to the program in 2000, can earn a spot by placing in the top five at the Rio test event where Drury will be the entrant and Shaylee Dunavin the alternate. “If we perform the routines that we did here, which were good but not our best, we can easily earn that spot,” said Dunavin, whose third-place effort also earned her a place in the individual final. “This competition made us even more confident.”

The U.S. men placed third behind Russia and Japan with brothers Jeffrey and Steven Gluckstein placing second and fourth in the standings to qualify for Saturday’s individual final. “This is an experience to get the vibe of the crowd,” said Jeffrey. “The U.S. has my back. I felt that today…I’m ready to give whatever it takes.”