HOLMDEL, N.J. - Two talented and hard working young ladies in Holmdel have jumped to new heights, literally, in the athletic world. Specifically, the world of the United States Trampoline and Tumbling National Championship.
Ava Hernando, 12, won gold at the USA Gymnastics Trampoline and Tumbling National Championship for individual trampoline at the Youth Elite age 11-12 division, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 30th. Hernando also won silver in synchronized trampoline at the Youth Elite, age 13-14 year old division, with her partner from Rising Stars Gymnastics in Manalapan, Ella Manfre.
Also, Holmdel's Ava DeHanes, age 9, won in Level age 9, age 10 year old and under division. These hard working girls are clearly dedicated to their passion, and it shows.
First, these athletes have to qualify for the National competition which moves to different US cities each year, by hitting a certain score at a state or regional meet. Ava Hernando also won gold at 3 previous events held this past May; individual trampoline, synchronized trampoline and double mini trampoline (similar to a vault) at the Regional Competition in Virginia.
Success such as this takes hard work, extreme focus and significant dedication of one of our most precious resources; time. "Ava trains usually 6 days per week, 6-9 pm during the week, every night after school, eats dinner around 9:30 pm, and then finishes homework sometimes until midnight," said Lori Hernando, Ava's mom. Hernando continued, "It’s a grueling schedule but she truly loves it! She works so hard and misses out on so much with friends and family, but it’s her passion, and I’m so happy she was able to perform at her best at Nationals this year."
Ava Hernando has been training with Tatiana Kovaleva, owner of Elite Trampoline Academy (ETA) in Middletown, for almost 9 years (since she was 3!), and competing since she was on the pre-team at age 5. She has qualified for several youth developmental national training teams since she was 8, traveling to the USA National Team Training Center several times in Texas, which according to her mom Lori, was rough for Hernando at such a young age. Ava (Hernando) recently moved to the Youth Elite level in 2017, the highest level for her age. Her next step is to hopefully qualify to represent the US at her level at the World Age-Group Games for individual trampoline in November, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Ava DeHanes, at a young age of 3 years old, trained in gymnastics at Devlins Gymnastics in Wall Township NJ. According to her mother Donna; "We took her to ETA for Christmas break and Ava began doing trampoline training in addition to gymnastics, but we then decided to leave gymnastics to be 'trained harder' (as Ava stated she chose to do at a young age of 5 years old), and here she stands - 1st Place 2017 Nationals Level 9 Trampoline at age 9, determined and focused and looking to go to the Olympics one day, that's Ava's dream."
Much of the story revolves around very special coaches and support networks. Lori Hernando expressed her gratitude that here in Monmouth County, there is so much coaching talent for local children. "How thankful and lucky we are to have world class coaches, the best in the country, right here in our backyard!" Based on the extensive awards listed below from a communication from Elite Trampoline Academy, not only do we have world class coaches in our own backyard, we have world class children training right next to them! Loving families, incredible support systems and a nurturing environment are keys to success for these talented and dedicated athletes. They have much to be proud of today and moving forward. Congratulations to all!
According to the ETA website; coach and owner of Elite Trampoline Academy, Tatiana Kovaleva is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. She first made the Russian National Trampoline Team in 1992 and went on to make the 1994, 1996, 1998, and 1999 World Championship Teams, taking home team gold medals in 1996, 1998, and 1999, and an individual World Championship title in 1996. After retiring from competition, Kovaleva moved to the United States, and began coaching. Just a few short years later, she was leading one of the best teams in the United States. In 2011, she became co-owner of the Elite Trampoline Academy. Tatiana is a former World Champion before trampoline was an Olympic Sport. Their other coach is Steven Gluckstein, who went to the Olympics in 2012 (competed) and 2016 (alternate). A third Coach, Slava Marozau, has also trained World and Olympic –level competitors. Kovaleva also sits as the NJ State Trampoline and Tumbling Chair and is the Coaching Rep to the Region 6 Board. She is a member of the National Technical Committee and is a member of the United States National Coaching Staff. She became the American Coach for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
Jeffrey/Alexi GOLD Medalists- National Champions (Senior Elite)
Ashley/ Ava D SILVER Medalists (Level 9 ages 12 & Under)
Juliana/Logan GOLD Medalists- National Champions (Level 10 ages 14 & Under)
Alana/Michelle BRONZE Medalists (Level 10 ages 14 & Under)
Alex/Paige GOLD Medalists – National Champions (Level 10 ages 15 & Over)
Ava/Ella SILVER Medalists (Youth Elite 13-14)
Mike/Nico GOLD Medalists- National Champions (Open Elite)
Jackie/Casey 5th Place (Junior Elite)
Jenna/Lauryn BRONZE Medalists (Junior Elite)
Alana 22nd Place (Level 10 ages 13-14)
Ashley SILVER Medalist (Level 9 ages 11-12)
Logan 15th Place (Level 10 ages 11-12)
Mike BRONZE Medalist (Open Elite)
Michelle 10th Place (Level 10 ages 13-14)
Juliana 4th Place (Level 10 ages 13-14)
Ava D GOLD Medalist- National Champion (Level 9 ages 10 & Under)
Paige 30th Place (Level 10 ages 13-14)
Alex GOLD Medalist- National Champion (Level 10 ages 15 & Over)
Ava H GOLD Medalist- National Champion (Youth Elite 11-12)
Mary 5th Place (Youth Elite 13-14)
Casey 14th Place (Junior Elite)
Lauryn SILVER Medalist (Junior Elite)
Joey BRONZE Medalist (Junior Elite)
Jenna 7th Place (Junior Elite)
Jackie 17th Place (Junior Elite)
Nico 4th Place (Junior Elite)
Jeffrey GOLD Medalist- National Champion (Senior Elite)
Sasha GOLD Medalist- National Champion (Level 8 ages 10 & Under)
Annabella 10th Place (Level 8 ages 10 & Under)
Ava F 44th Place (Level 8 ages 11-12)
Double Mini Trampoline
Alana 33rd Place (Level 9 ages 13-14)
Ashley 30th Place (Level 8 ages 11-12)
Logan 14th Place (Level 10 ages 11-12)
Michelle 11th Place (Level 9 ages 13-14)
Juliana 32nd Place (Level 9 ages 13-14)
Ava D SILVER Medalist (Level 9 ages 10 & Under)
Ava H 13th Place (Level 10 ages 11-12)
Sasha 9th Place (Level 8 ages 10 & Under)
Annabella 18th Place (Level 8 ages 10 & Under)
Ava F 47th Place (Level 8 ages 11-12)
Michael 9th Place (Level 10 ages 15 & Over)
TOTAL MEDALS: 18
National Team Members:
Jeffrey Gluckstein- 2017 USA Gymnastics Athlete of the Year and Qualified to 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland (July
Steven Gluckstein- 2017 USA Gymnastics Trampoline Coach of the Year