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Local Gymnasts Make JumpStart National Trampoline Team

Posted: January 29, 2009 1:24 p.m.
Updated: January 26, 2009 6:00 a.m.
 
Two local gymnasts Kaitlin Schultz, 9, and Zoe Zafman, 12, were selected in December 2008 out of approximately 500 athletes nationwide to participate in JumpStart National Testing in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma on Jan. 24-25. On Monday, Jan. 26 both athletes were named to the Jump Start National Trampoline team.

Kaitlin Schultz is in 4th grade at Stevenson Ranch Elementary and Zoe Zafman from Calabasas both train at Waller's GymJam Academy in Santa Clarita. They competed against 78 athletes representing 27 gyms from across the nation for a spot on the JumpStart National team.

USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States, conducts an annual talent opportunity program to identify young athletes who have the ability to excel in the sport of trampoline. Through a series of strength, flexibility, fitness, speed and skills testing, USA Gymnastics identifies 21 trampolinists/tumblers to make up the JumpStart National Team each year.

"It was a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun," says Kaitlin, "It was great experience meeting the National Coaching Staff and it was also fun to meet the other athletes from across the country that love trampoline and tumbling as much as I do."

Karl Ziehn, who coaches both Schultz and Zafman, said, "I'm very proud of these girls for making the National Team, it is a big deal."

The girls will now participate in a camp in Huntsville, Alabama which will feature some of the best elite coaches in the country. The objective of the JumpStart Program is to identify future elite athletes at a young age and educates their coaches on proper fitness and skill development.

Ann Sims, Senior Director of the USA Gymnastics Trampoline & Tumbling Program, commented on the JumpStart program by saying, "This program showcases the future stars of trampoline in America. The kids you see today at National Camp will be fighting for spots on the Olympic teams of tomorrow."

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