SAN JOSE, Calif., March 29, 2008 – In trampoline, the USA won the men’s team silver medal and the women’s team bronze medal at the 2008 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships presented by Gillette Venus. Seven U.S. trampolinists also qualified for the individual event finals, which take place tomorrow, March 30, at 3 p.m. at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.
The top eight trampolinists in each division in the preliminary round advanced to the finals. In the team competition, each team consisted of two senior and two junior athletes, and the top three scores counted toward the overall score.
The U.S. women’s team of Brittany Dircks of Orland Park, Ill., Dakota Earnest of Plains, Texas, Nani Vercruyssen of Honolulu, and Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas, posted a score of 186.30 to place third behind Russia and Canada, respectively.
In the preliminary competition for the senior women, Dircks posted a 63.300 and Williams scored a 62.90 to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, and qualify for the finals. For the junior women, Vercruyssen advanced to finals in first place after scoring a 60.10 and Earnest’s 56.90 earned her the eighth and final spot.
“I thought I did well, and I hope to stay in my spot or do better,” Dircks said. “For tomorrow, I need to stay in the middle of the trampoline and be more consistent.”
The U.S. men’s team earned a combined score of 195.600 to finish second behind Japan and ahead of Mexico in third. The team included Michael Devine of Winnebago, Ill., Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., Jeffrey Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., and K.J. Heger of Rockford, Ill.
In the men’s prelims, Estrada finished fourth and Gluckstein finished first in the senior and junior divisions, respectively, with their scores of 69.50 and 61.70. Heger also qualified for finals by finished fifth with a score of 59.30. Devine posted a score of 55.10 to finish 10th.
“In compulsory, I started off well then it got a little rough in the middle, but I finished strong,” Estrada said. “I’m doing a harder routine tomorrow with two new skills and it’s only the second or third time I’ve ever performed it so I’m excited.”
The Pacific Rim Championships wraps up on March 30 with event finals for men’s and women’s gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics, and individual finals for trampoline. The remaining schedule for artistic gymnastics at the Pacific Rim Championships is: Sunday, March 30 — men’s and women’s individual event finals, juniors at 12 p.m. and seniors at 6 p.m. The competition is at the Events Center at San Jose State University. The remaining schedule for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline is: Sunday, March 30 — rhythmic and trampoline individual event finals, 3 p.m. Competition is at San Jose McEnery Conventions Center.
About the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships presented by Gillette Venus
The 2008 Pacific Rim Championships features competition in men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics; rhythmic gymnastics; and trampoline.
NBC Sports is broadcasting action from the Pacific Rim Championships on April 13 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The Pacific Rim Championships, previously known as the Pacific Alliance Championships, were held in Honolulu in 2004 and 2006. World champions Nastia Liukin and Chellsie Memmel tied for the women’s all-around title in 2006. In 2004, Paul Hamm won the all-around gold medal before becoming the 2004 Olympic all-around champion. In 2007, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center hosted rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics competition during the Visa Championships. The Pacific Rim Championships is the official championships of the Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Federations.
About San Jose State University
San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 4,000 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city. For more information, please visit www.sjsu.edu.
About the San Jose McEnery Convention Center
Considered the hub for meetings and conventions in San Jose, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center opened its doors in April 1989. The facility has 432,000 square feet of function space, including a 22,000 square-foot ballroom and 30 meeting rooms.
About the San Jose Sports Authority
The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization that serves as the sports marketing agency for the City of San Jose. Since their inception in 1991, they have worked with community partners to bring more than 150 premier events and programs to the San Jose area. For more information, visit www.sjsa.org.
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2008 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships presented by Gillette Venus
San Jose State University Events Center
March 29, 2008
Trampoline team finals and individual event prelims
1. Russia, 194.80
2. Canada, 193.40
3. USA, 186.30
4. Mexico, 152.10
1. Russia, 200.50
2. USA, 195.60