Brittany Dircks
© Morse

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec, Canada, Nov. 1, 2007 — The USA qualified for women’s trampoline at the 2008 Olympic Games based on performances at the 2007 World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships in Quebec City, Que.  Brittany Dircks of Orland Park, Ill., finished 15th to secure one of two wild card Olympic spots for the United States, the country’s third straight appearance in women’s trampoline.  In addition, Yuliya Hall of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Kaitlin Tortorich of Haymarket, Va., advanced to finals in women’s tumbling, and Stephen Raymond of Byron Center, Mich., and Kalon Ludvigson of Idaho Falls, Idaho, qualified for finals in men’s double mini-trampoline.  The USA will also compete in the team finals for women’s tumbling and men’s double-mini trampoline.  Qualification rounds for men’s tumbling, women’s double-mini and men’s and women’s synchronized trampoline and team finals are scheduled for Nov. 2.


“We are very excited to qualify for the Olympic Games in women’s trampoline,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.  “We are very proud of all of our athletes’ performances today and very pleased to already have four athletes in the finals, as well as two teams.”


“It is so exciting,” said Dircks. “It is really awesome to qualify the USA for the Olympics.  I have worked so hard to get here and now to have the chance to qualify to go the Olympic Games is incredible. My compulsory routine felt really good. My optional routine was a little shaky, but much better than it has been in training this week.  Now we need to get ready for synchronized trampoline tomorrow.”


The USA just missed qualifying for the Olympic Games in men’s trampoline.  Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., placed 16th after adjusting for the maximum athlete per country restriction. The top 13 in the rankings automatically qualify for the Olympic Games, with two wild card spots.  The 16th and final spot for both the men and women is designated as an IOC tripartite position. The USA is the first reserve spot for the men.


Also competing in men’s trampoline for the United States were Michael Devine of Winnebago, Ill., Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., and Ryan Weston of Chubbuck, Idaho. Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas, and Amanda Bailey of Sundown, Texas, competed in women’s trampoline.


In women’s tumbling, Hall and Tortorich both posted scores of 65.10 and advanced to finals by finishing third and fourth, respectively, in the preliminary round. Also competing for the USA were Leanne Seitzinger of Stafford, Va., who finished 12th, and Susannah Johnson of Roanoke, Va., who placed 20th. The women’s tumbling team is second after the preliminary round.


“I couldn’t be more excited about how I did today,” said Tortorich. “In finals, I definitely have to tighten up and I just need to hit two-for-two. Coming into the World Championships, my goal was to make individual finals.”