Savannah Thompson Thrives In Trampoline At U.S. Champs, Winning National Title After 5 Years Away

By Alex Abrams | July 08, 2018, 12:46 a.m. (ET)
Savannah Vinsant competes in trampoline at the Olympic Games London 2012 on Aug. 4, 2012 in London.

 

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Savannah Thompson is only four months into her comeback, so it takes a little bit more work for her body to respond after a competition.

She also just turned 25 on June 25, so her legs don’t feel like they did when she was competing in trampoline at the Olympic Games London 2012.

“I was a little sore,” Thompson said after two days of competition in Greensboro. “I’m still learning that’s part of the process because we did compete yesterday. So going back tonight I was a little sore, and I had to do a little extra stretching and warming up than I had to yesterday for sure.”

She didn’t show any signs of pain, though.

Thompson (nee Vinsant) capped her comeback by earning a second-routine score of 54.230 in the trampoline final to win the event with a combined score of 154.465. 2016 Olympian Nicole Ahsinger and up-and-comer Alyssa Oh pushed Thompson, who’s considered the elder of the group.

“I felt great. I was really excited to just be out there and make the finals since I’ve been out for quite some time,” Thompson said. “It’s really good to just be out there and compete.”

Thompson’s performance solidified her return to the top of the sport after stepping away from it at 19 to attend college, get married and open her own gymnastics facility in Louisiana.

She won back-to-back U.S. trampoline championships from 2011-12, and she became the first American to advance to an Olympic trampoline final in 2012. Thompson placed sixth at the London Olympics, which still stands as the best result for an American woman in the event.

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“My last nationals in 2013 didn’t quite go the way I wanted them to, and so coming back and having this kind of outcome it was more than expected,” said Thompson, who was fourth in 2013 before walking away from the sport. “It’s really wonderful to be part of that and be able to be back.”

The 20-year-old Ahsinger scored a 53.000 on her final routine and finished second at 153.250. Oh placed third at 153.175, and she had more to celebrate less than two months before her 17th birthday. Ahsinger had won the preliminary round, where the three were within 0.15 points of each other.

Earlier in the day, Oh earned the women’s trampoline spot on Team USA for the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, which take place Oct. 6-18.

She’ll follow in the footsteps of Thompson and Ahsinger. Thompson competed at the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010, two years before making her Olympic debut in London. Ahsinger achieved the same in competing at the 2014 Youth Olympics, followed by the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Gluckstein won the men’s trampoline competition on Saturday with a score of 58.850 on his final routine to finish with 168.280. It marked his fifth individual national title. He and brother Steven Gluckstein, a 2012 Olympian who retired in 2016, have won every U.S. title since 2009. Steven also won in 2007.

Aliaksei Shostak took second at 165.860, and Isaac Rowley placed third with 160.940.

Alex Abrams is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.