Almanac

Sports - July 2, 2008

Three women with Woodside Vaulters head to world vaulting championships

by Carrie Wick

Three vaulters from the Woodside Vaulters equestrian vaulting club will represent the United States at the World Vaulting Championships in Brno, Czech Republic, this summer.

They are Elizabeth Osborn of Menlo Park, Ali Divita of Emerald Hills and Megan Lanfri of San Jose. Their cumulative scores in vaulting competitions in the United States and Europe earned these three young women places on the U.S. team. All three vaulters also were members of Woodside Vaulters' 2007 National Champion A Team.

Equestrian vaulting is the sport of gymnastics and dance on the back of a moving horse.

Osborn, 18, is the top-ranked woman in the United States. In 2007, she was the American Vaulting Association (AVA) Gold Level Reserve National Champion, the AVA National High Point Champion, and United States Equestrian Federation Gold Level Zone Champion.

In 2006 Osborn represented the U.S. and competed at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. She is a 2008 graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School and plans to attend the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, this fall.

Ali Divita was the AVA Silver Level National Champion in 2004 and Bronze Level National Champion in 2003. She attended the World Equestrian Games in 2006 as the U.S. women's individuals alternate. Divita, 19, is a graduate of St. Francis High School, a college preparatory Catholic school in Mountain View, and is a student at the University of California, Berkeley.

Megan Lanfri, 19, will join Osborn and Divita as the U.S. women's individuals alternate at the World Vaulting Championships. Lanfri graduated from Valley Christian High School in San Jose and is a student at West Valley College in Saratoga.

The three Woodside vaulters will train together and compete in Europe this summer, in preparation for the World Championships, which begin July 29.

"This is the first time that three of the four U.S. individual woman competitors for a world championship have come from one club," said head coach Isabelle Bibbler Parker. "We are very excited that Woodside will be well represented at this prestigious competition. The girls have worked very hard and performed consistently all year, and I am very pleased for them."

Mary McCormick, representing Mt. Eden Vaulting Club in Saratoga, also will represent the U.S. in the women's individuals competition. McCormick was the AVA Gold Level National Champion in 2007. She also competed at the 2006 World Equestrian Games.

In the women's individual competition, vaulters perform routines in two rounds of competition that include a set of compulsory moves, a freestyle routine, and a routine that must include five technical exercises that may be performed in a sequence and composition of their choosing.

The routines are choreographed to music. The athletes are judged on form, performance, level of difficulty, harmony with the horse, and other criteria.

INFORMATION

Woodside Vaulters, founded in 1990, provides year-round instruction in recreational and competitive vaulting, emphasizing horsemanship, safety, team-building, communication skills, and confidence between horse and vaulter. For more information, visit www.woodsidevaulters.org.

Comments

Posted by A new fan, a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I saw this sport at an event at Springdown in early June. It is simply amazing -- athleticism and artistry on a beautiful cantering horse. I wish there were pictures with this article. Words don't begin to do it justice. Good luck to these 3 Woodside girls at the world championships. I hope the Almanac will cover the event and let us know how the girls did there.


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