August 4, 2008 -- In the final day of competition at the World Vaulting Championships in Brno, Czech Republic, August 2, Team USA took home a bronze medal, while two U.S. women placed in the top 10 in the individual competition.
Dark Side of the Moon, a composite team made up of vaulters from FACE, Mt. Eden, Woodside and Shooting Stars vaulting clubs, finished in third place, with the Germans once again taking the gold and the Austrian team taking the silver. Dark Side of the Moon team members included Megan Benjamin, Emily Hogye, Mari Inouye, Devon Maitozo, Elizabeth Osborn, Rosey Ross and Annalise VanVranken, as well as equine partner Leonardo and longeur Lasse Kristensen of Hvejsel, Denmark.
Four of the seven members, Benjamin, Maitozo, Ross and VanVranken, were members of the silver medal team at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, in 2006. Ross is a three-time team medal winner, having won a bronze with Team USA/CoastLine at the 2004 World Championships in Stadl Paura, Austria, in 2004. Maitozo and Benjamin are both former World Equestrian Games World Vaulting Champions (Maitozo in 1998, and Benjamin in 2006).
In the women's competition, both Woodside's Liz Osborn and Mt. Eden's Mary McCormick had strong finishes, with Osborn finishing eighth overall and McCormick finishing a very close ninth. Both vaulted on Pikkolo 19, longed by Marion Shultz of Germany. Woodside's Ali Divita was 16th. In the women's individuals, Nicola Stroh of Germany, the 2004 World Vaulting Champion and the 2006 bronze medalist, won the 2008 title, with Sissi Jarz of Austria taking the silver, and Anja Barwig of Germany taking the bronze.
In the men's competition, Petr Eim of the Czech Republic won gold and his country's first world vaulting medal. The 2006 Men's World Champion, Kai Vorberg, Germany, won silver and Germany's Daniel Kaiser won bronze. No U.S. men competed in the World Championships.