August 22, 2016--The U.S. vaulters put forth their best efforts at the 2016 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Seniors August 18-21, in Le Mans, France. Displaying fascinating creativity and talent, 13 U.S. vaulters competed for titles in the Individual Female, Individual Male, Pas de Deux, and Squad Championships. In a competition stacked with top-notch vaulters, the U.S. squad placed 6th with an overall score of 7.297, the highest-ranking of the U.S. contingency.
The U.S. squad of Kalyn Geisler (Redwood City, Calif.), Michelle Guo (Palo Alto, Calif.), Carlee Heger (Fort Collins, Colo.), Devon Maitozo (Calabasas, Calif.), Mattea Petry (Portola Valley, Calif.), and Geoffrey Woolson (Tujunga, Calif.) began the competition on Thursday with the Senior Squad First Round Compulsory Test. Vaulting on RVC Gilching e.V.’s Amontillado 9, and assisted by Lunger Carolyn Bland, they performed to music from The Hours movie soundtrack. The squad had a nice, fluid performance to earn a score of 6.725 for seventh place.
The squad continued on Friday with the Senior Squad First Round Free Test. They assembled a charismatic routine to an instrumental mix of Phillip Glass music for a score of 7.800. This moved them up to 6th place overall with an average score of 7.263. On Sunday, they performed the Senior Squad Second Round Free Test. The U.S. squad delivered a powerful routine, but it was not enough to break into the top three for a medal.
The U.S. was also well represented in the individual championships. Elizabeth Osborn (Menlo Park, Calif.) and Colton Palmer (Half Moon Bay, Cailf.) led the U.S. in the Individual Female and Individual Male divisions, respectively. Both began competition on Thursday with their respective Compulsory Tests. Osborn, vaulting on Voltigeklubben Thommysminde’s Ghost Alfarvad Z, a 2000 Zangersheide gelding, and assisted by Lunger Lasse Kristensen, performed an upbeat routine to “Start Shootin” by Little People. This put her in 12th place with a score of 7.674. Palmer, vaulting on KCM Vaultinghorses’ Lord, a 2007 gelding of unknown breeding, and assisted by Lunger Andrea Bicova, performed a smooth test to David Nail’s “The Sound of a Million Dreams” to earn a score of 6.768 for 21st place, overall.
On Friday, they continued with the Senior Individual Female and Male First Round Free Tests, which determined the top 15 individuals per division that advanced to the Individual Finals. Osborn shifted to a Native American theme that earned high marks from the judges. She finished with a score of 7.982. This propelled her to ninth place with an overall score of 7.828. Palmer improved upon his overall score with a fun baseball theme set to Kenny Rogers’ “The Greatest.” Decked out in a Jackie Robinson Los Angeles Dodgers uniform, Palmer had an exciting performance for a score of 7.962. This advanced him to 15th place with an overall score of 7.365.
With both advancing to the Individual Finals on Saturday, they continued with their respective Second Round Technical Tests. Osborn earned a score of 7.231 that moved her to eighth place with an overall score of 7.629. Palmer earned a score of 5.552, which advanced him to 13th place with an overall score of 7.670. They finished competition on Sunday with their respective Second Round Free Tests. Osborn returned to her Native American theme and earned a score of 7.955 to finish in ninth place overall with a score of 7.710. Palmer concluded the competition with his baseball theme for a score of 7.687. He placed 13th overall with a score of 6.992.
Cassidy Palmer (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) and Kimberly Palmer (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) performed two freestyle tests in the pas de deux competition set to music from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They finished eighth overall with a score of 7.665. They vaulted on Wolfgang Renz’s Leon 364, a 1998 Wurttemberger gelding, and were assisted by Lunger Wolfgang Renz.
Also competing for the U.S. were Kaleb Patterson (Stanwood, Wash.), Emily Rose (Santa Cruz, Calif.), and Haley Smith (Parker, Colo.).
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.