ASHTON, W.Va. — Sami Saunders, 14, of Ashton, recently earned a spot, along with 23 other girls and 12 boys from across the United States, on the 2016-18 United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association Elite national team.
Saunders attended elite team trials throughout December, January and February in Illinois and Indiana. She previously earned multiple state and national titles during her years on the Will Power competition team, including being placed on Ohio All-State team and the AAU national team. Her placement on the USTA elite team will first be showcased at the 2016 nationals in Knoxville, Tenn. followed by the 2017 nationals in Madison, Wis.
This September, Saunders will be traveling to Colorado Springs, Colo., along with the rest of the elite national team, for a national training trip.
According to Saunders, getting on the USTA Elite national team has always been a goal and is the highest achievement any athlete in the USTA can achieve. Helping support Saunders on this recent journey of team trials has been her family, as well as Hammers Industries, Trippetts Dandi Mart and Redman Bingo.
Saunders attends Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School, where she has a 4.0 GPA and participates in many school sports, including cheerleading, basketball and track and field. Saunders is a nine-year member at Will Power Tumbling and is on the WPT Trampoline and Tumbling team under head coach of 26 years Debbie Barber, and assistant coaches/owners Josh McCoy and Jeremy Kroll.