By Jim Pickens Messenger-Inquirer | Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:00 am
Photo: John Dunham, Messenger-Inquirerfirstname.lastname@example.org, 926-0123 Hadley Fogle, 10, and Seth Lasher, 20, pose in the gym Tuesday at iTumble & Bounce! at 909 Mosely St.
Owensboro's Hadley Fogle and Seth Lasher didn't mess around at the 2014 United States Trampoline and Tumbling competition last week at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center's Broadbent Arena in Louisville.
They went out and won national championships.
Competing for Owensboro's iTumble & Bounce! Power Tumbling & Trampoline School, Fogle, 10, won the gold medal in the in the girls' division of Novice Double mini Trampoline, and Lasher, 20, earned the gold medal in the men's division of Intermediate Tumbling.
"They were both fantastic," said iTumble & Bounce! head coach Renee King. "We've been open here for three years, and these are the first national championships we've won — it's a very exciting time for all of us."
Despite her youth, the 4-foot-6, 75-pound Fogle is a veteran in terms of competition experience.
"I've been doing this for six years, and I've been in team competitions for four years," said Fogle, a rising sixth-grader at Owensboro Middle School South. "I think being in competitions for so long really helped me (last week).
"I could feel it was kind of a special day, felt things were going pretty well. But you never know how it's going to turn our until they announce your name — when they did, I was really, really happy."
Fogle, who practices up to 10 hours per week, said she kept her cool throughout the competition, which featured hundreds of competitors and thousands of fans.
"Sometimes it gets a little scary, but I'm pretty focused in competition," she said. "My coaches do a good job getting me ready and keeping me focused, so I just try to do what they say, try to do as well as I can and hope for the best."
King said perseverance and mindset paid off in Louisville, where she beat out over 60 athletes for the gold.
"Hadley is as dedicated as they come," King said. "Mistakes don't bother her. If she makes one, she just gets back up and keeps going — she never quits. So, it's a combination of her talent, her dedication and the fact that she's so level-headed. It's so important to be able to put bad moments behind you and keep going, and Hadley's great at that."
Lasher, though much older than Fogle, is much less experienced, having hooked up with iTumbling and Bounce only a year-and-a-half ago.
"I love it — this is one of my favorite things to do," said Lasher, a 2012 Ohio County High School graduate who is a rising sophomore at Kentucky Wesleyan College. "I tried not to put too much pressure on myself, and I was basically just committed to do the best I could do for the benefit of our team.
"I was surprised that I won, but the focus really wasn't on winning. I just wanted to know I'd done my best, and things worked out for me. I put the emphasis on having fun — I'm pretty fearless in that respect."
King said Lasher has come, well, leaps and bounds.
"Seth has jumped several levels in just one year," she said. "Obviously, he's very talented and he's been very dedicated to improve this much, this fast.
"Still, it was very surprising for him to win gold against athletes who have much more competition experience. He just did an outstanding job, all the way around."
Lasher also placed second in the Sub-Advanced Trampoline, and third in the Sub-Advanced Double mini Trampoline competitions.
But Fogle and Lasher weren't the only stars to shine for iTumble & Bounce in the competition, which featured 2,200 athletes from 148 teams representing 48 states.
Others earning top-10 finishes included Ann Katherine Warren (4th place, Tumbling), Isabelle Salisbury (4th place, Double mini Trampoline), Jaysen Oliver (5th place, Trampoline; 7th place, Tumbling; 7th Place, Double mini Trampoline), Ashlyn Benson (8th place, Tumbling; 9th place, Trampoline), Emma Stacy (8th place, Double mini Trampoline); and Kristin Smith (10th place, Tumbling).
Also competing for iTumble & Bounce at the national competition were Kaitlyn Durbin, Ella Claire Goetz, Chloe King, Giselle Naef, Isabelle Naef and Addie Stacy.
Assistant coaches for iTumble & Bounce are Cassandra Adams and Emma Goetz.
"The entire team did a great job at nationals, and I'm very proud of all of them," King said. "It was a great week for us, and it definitely was a job well done by everybody."
Jim Pickens, (270) 691-7314.