INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., March 17, 2006 – Honolulu’s Nani Vercruyssen joins fellow 2005 U.S. trampoline champions Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., Alaina Hebert of Broussard, La., and Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., as members of the eight-person trampoline squad that will represent the United States in the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships, one of the world’s premier international events. Trampoline, an Olympic discipline, is making its debut as part of the Pacific Alliance Championships, which is scheduled for April 13-15 in Honolulu. Trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center, with artistic gymnastics at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
Representing the USA in trampoline at this year’s Pacific Alliance Championships are: senior men — Michael Devine of Winnebago, Ill., and Estrada; senior women — Shanelle Landry of Lafayette, La., and Hebert; junior men — Philip Devine of Winnebago, Ill., and Gluckstein; and junior women — Erin Blanchard of Youngsville, La., and Vercruyssen.
Hometown favorite Vercruyssen won the junior trampoline title at the Winter Classic earlier this year. In 2005, she was the U.S. junior trampoline champion and also won at the Scandinavian Open, as well as finishing second at the Frivolten Cup, Aalsmeer Flower Cup and Canadian National Championships. At the International Age Group Competitions, she won the gold medal in the double mini-tramp (which is not included in the Pacific Alliance).
Hebert was fifth at the 2005 World Championships, where she was a member of the women’s team that earned a bronze medal. She and Estrada both won individual trampoline titles at both the 2005 U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Championships and the 2006 Winter Classic. Landry and Blanchard finished in second and third place at the 2006 Winter Classic. Philip and Michael Devine are brothers. Gluckstein and P. Devine went one-two in the junior elite division at both the 2005 U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Championships and the 2006 Winter Classic.
Trampoline will also have individual competition for both juniors and seniors. Artistic and rhythmic gymnastics will have team, all-around and individual event competitions for both juniors and seniors.
In addition to the United States, the countries sending gymnasts are Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia and Singapore. Participating athletes will be announced closer to the event. The 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships is one of the first international events in the world to use the new scoring system for artistic gymnastics that allows gymnasts to earn scores above the traditional 10.0.
Tickets are $15 and $30 for artistic gymnastics, with all-session packages for $45 or $75. For rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline, tickets are $15. Tickets may be purchased at the Neal Blaisdell Center Box Office, or by calling 877-750-4400 (charge-by-phone). Applicable service fees may apply. NBC Sports is broadcasting action from the Pacific Alliance Championships on April 16 at 4 p.m. ET.
The 2004 Pacific Alliance Championships was held in Honolulu. The USA’s Mary Sanders won the all-around title for rhythmic gymnastics. Paul Hamm and Allyse Ishino won the all-around titles, with the U.S. Senior Men winning seven medals and the U.S. Senior Women sweeping the gold medals in the four event finals. China’s Lu Bo won the title in the parallel bars and still rings, while Taipei’s Lin Hsiang Wei won the pommel horse. In the team competition, Japan and China finished behind the USA for the men, while Australia and China finished second and third, respectively, behind the USA’s women. The USA led the total medal count, followed by China and Canada. In 2001, Honolulu’s Blaisdell Center hosted the Pontiac American Team Cup.
This year’s Pacific Alliance Championships is locally presented by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and OHANA Hotels & Resorts and sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Chevron and KHNL/Channel 8 News. A Tom Moffatt Production, Inc., is a promotional partner for the event.