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11 U.S. athletes, three teams advance on first day of 2022 T&T World Championships
posted on 11/16/2022

© Filippo Tomasi

SOFIA, Bulgaria (November 16, 2022) - The U.S. men's and women's double mini trampoline and women's tumbling teams are through to the finals after the first day of T&T World Championships competition at Sofia's Arena Armeec. Reigning team double mini champions Shelby Nobuhara and Tristan Van Natta have also advanced to the individual women's double mini final, while nine additional Americans spanning men's double mini, men's and women's individual trampoline and women's tumbling are on to second-round qualifications Friday.

Three-time World individual medalist Ruben Padilla (Bluffdale, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling) led all qualifiers Wednesday in the men's double mini category. His 58.300 paced teammates Changa Anderson (Washington, D.C./Silver Stars Gymnastics, 56.400) and Tomas Minc (Chevy Chase, Md./Dynamite Gymnastics, 56.000) who landed second and third. Merrill Hunter was 28th (47.900).

Collectively, the U.S. men's double mini squad qualified in the top spot with a 170.700, finishing more than nine points ahead of second-place Portugal (161.400), after the lowest team score in each of the round's two passes was thrown out. They'll compete for the team title Thursday against Portugal, Spain, Canada and Great Britain. Padilla, Anderson and Minc will take on second-round individual qualifications Friday.

In the women's double mini division, three-time World team champion Van Natta (Maryville, Ohio/Integrity Athletics) and 2021 World individual silver medalist Nobuhara (Mapleton, Utah/High Altitude) posted the day's sixth- and seventh-highest qualification scores of 50.700 and 50.600, respectively. They just edged teammate Maia Amano (Huntsville, Ala./Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy), who was eighth with a 50.500 but did not advance to the women's individual final due to the two-athlete-per-country limit. Aliah Raga (Denton, Md./Dulles Gymnastics Academy) finished 23rd (44.800).

The U.S. women's double mini team earned a collective 151.800, qualifying in the second spot behind Great Britain (153.100). Australia, Canada and Portugal will round out Thursday's team final, where the Americans will look to secure their third-straight World team title.

The U.S. women's tumbling team is also through to the medal round. Led by The World Games silver medalist Miah Bruns (Crete, Ill./World Champions Centre), who earned the team-high marks of 50.000, U.S. gymnasts qualified third (145.700) behind Great Britain (149.600) and France (147.800). Belgium and Australia will join them in Thursday's team final. Bruns, Tia Taylor (Knoxville, Tenn./Premier Athletics Knoxville, 47.500) and Isabel Steinmetz (Batavia, Ohio/Gymnastics Central, 47.300) each finished in the top-14 and will represent the U.S. in second-round women's individual tumbling qualifications Friday. First-year senior Nastia Katchalova (Lakeland, Fla./Elite World Gymnastics, 46.800) landed 18th.

World team all-around silver medalist Jessica Stevens (Ellicott City, Md./Fairland Gymnastics) led the way among American trampolinists on Day 1. Stevens' 55.390 slotted in seventh in women's individual trampoline qualifications. She'll be joined during Friday's second-round qualifications by 2022 AERE World Cup champion Sarah Webster (Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express), who was 24th with a 52.870. Two-time Olympian Nicole Ahsinger (Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, 52.280) is the third reserve. Amano - one of two U.S. athletes, along with Padilla, who is competing in multiple disciplines this week in Sofia - was 62nd (46.690). The women's trampoline team finished ninth with a combined 277.760.

On the men's side, Olympian Aliaksei Shostak advanced to Friday's individual second-round qualifications in 20th with a 57.730. Padilla notched the second reserve spot with a 57.580. Isaac Rowley (Frisco, Texas/Eagle Gymnastics Academy, 57.040) and Cody Gesuelli (Huntsville, Ala./Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, 56.020) were 30th and 40th. The team was 12th, amassing a cumulative 295.870.

Men's tumbling and men's and women's synchronized trampoline qualifications kick off Thursday's competition slate. Team double mini and tumbling champions will be decided later in the day, followed by second-round synchro qualifications.