Pair hoping to bounce into nationals
Trampoline: Airborne to host annual meet this weekend
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 06:00 am
Two Airborne trampolinists are such close friends it appears they know exactly what the other is up to — especially when they are bouncing about 12 feet in the air.
Venture Karasek-MacPhail and Mackenzie Kyfiuk have proven to be “Me and My Shadow” in their two years together competing in synchronized trampoline.
The friends will compete in the Airborne Trampoline and Tumbling meet Feb. 2-3 just north of Okotoks.
“It’s great to be up there with my best friend and know that she is by my side,” said the 12-year-old Kyfiuk, who attends John Paul II Collegiate.
That kinship helps when you are twisting and turning and being eyeballed by three judges.
“We have known each other for so long and we trust each other,” Karasek-MacPhail said. “You have to believe in yourself and your partner and take chances — you can’t be scared.”
The sport has a pair of trampolinists on side-by-side trampolines performing 10 skills in an approximately 30 second routine with the athletes trying to shadow each other as much as possible.
“At the beginning I look over at her and she looks at me when we are just straight bouncing,” Kyfiuk said. “When we get into our routines, we can kind of see each other out of the corner of our eyes, but we are mostly just concentrating on our own routines.”
Their routine includes several flips and bounces that will have spectators’ eyes going up and down like a pogo stick.
Karasek-MacPhail’s favourite skill sounds like she is getting yelled out by Okotoks Junior High School principal Bryan Brandford.
“My favourite is a Branny Ballout,” the 11-year-old Heritage Heights School student said. “It’s when you do a double-front tuck and you land on your back. Then a front flip with a half-turn.”
It’s hard enough to describe, let alone perform it in unison with your best friend.
“We have been doing this for so long, it kind of just comes naturally,” Kyfiuk said.
Often in sports, those things that come naturally are a result of spending lots of time training. Karasek-MacPhail and Kyfiuk are no exceptions.
They practice three times a week for three hours each session.
The duo has teamed up to win three gold medals in competitions in 2012 with an eye on qualifying for nationals within the next year or two.
“We still have to learn a few more skills to get to nationals,” Kyfiuk said.
Airborne coach Matt Wheele said the pair is capable of making it on the national stage.
“The big hang up is they don’t have certain skill (a one and three-quarter flip),” Wheele said. “They can do it, but it is just not stable enough to put in a trampoline routine. We are trying to get enough practice in to put it in their routine.”
Wheele said their strengths of being able to jump high and willing to push themselves is what make them an ideal pair.
“My goal for the girls is not to go to nationals this winter, but I would like to have them by maybe June or July in the national novice category,” he said.
The Airborne Trampoline and Tumbling Meet is Feb. 2-3. Airborne is located just north of Okotoks behind Edison School west of Highway 2A.
For information about the club go to www.airbornetandt.com