Middletown, NJ – The high-flying Middletown-based UltraTwisters Trampoline Team is home to seven United States National Trampoline Team members. Six of those UltraTwisters athletes traveled to the newly named US Olympic Training Site just outside Houston, Texas this past weekend on their first 2011 assignment representing the United States. Cody Gesuelli of Middletown, Audrey Ghanian of Holmdel, and Meghan O'Connell of Middletown were selected for the Junior National Trampoline Team. Two brothers from Atlantic Highlands, Jeffrey and Steven Gluckstein, and team mate Sean Kennedy of Middletown will compete this year as members of the Senior Trampoline Team.
(Back row left to right) Jeffrey Gluckstein (18), Sean Kennedy (23), Steven Gluckstein (20)
(Front Row) Cody Gesuelli (12), Audrey Ghanaian (15), Meghan O'Connell (13)
The three-day camp, the first this season for the US national team, included three daily workouts along with the other national team members from all over the country.
Ultra Twisters Head Coach Tatiana Kovaleva, four-time World Trampoline Champion, and Assistant Coach Kyle Bowen, former US Team Member and Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete, were among the coaches invited to the training camp.
“The site has a beautiful new gym with brand new equipment dedicated only to the trampoline and tumbling aspects of gymnastics. This is a first for Team USA. It’s a great place to focus on our training and goals,” Kovaleva said.
The weekend training camp was held at the famed Karolyi Ranch, located just outside of Houston in Huntsville, Texas. The ranch owned by the legendary gymnastic coaches, Bella and Martha Karolyi was named as the USA Gymnastics Olympic Training Center in January and houses 300 athletes, coaches and administrators. The training gym for trampoline was added to the ranch in 2010.
“We have a home now, and I think the athletes understand that they not only represent Ultra Twisters, but they also represent the United States of America as part of the national team,” Bowen added.
The camp marks the start of a critical season for senior team members, the Gluckstein brothers and Kennedy. The three will not only compete for a spot on the 2011 World Championships team which will be held in Great Britain this fall, but most importantly, for the coveted honor of representing the USA at the 2012 Olympic Games. World championships this year will act as the qualifications for the Summer Olympics in London.
The team will next travel to the Flower Cup, a world class competition in the Netherlands, next month. To support the Ultra Twisters team or these Olympic hopefuls, please contact Tatiana Kovaleva at 732-241-9377 or Kyle Bowen at 860-983-1723.