Sports - August 12, 2009

Woodside Vaulters club takes top honors at national championships in Lexington

This story was submitted by Carrie Wick, a spokesperson for the Woodside Vaulters.

The Woodside Vaulters equestrian vaulting club won individual and team national titles at the U.S. Equestrian Federation/American Vaulting Association national championships, held July 9-12 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Vaulting is gymnastics and dance on a moving horse.

Ali Divita, 20, of Redwood City, was the women's national champion at the gold level, the highest level of individual competition, for the second straight year.

Also finishing in the top 10 in gold-level competition were Katharine Wick, 16, of Hillsborough, who placed fourth; Samantha Smith, 22, of Saratoga, eighth; Megan Lanfri, 19, of San Jose, ninth; and Shannyn Poer, 23, of Venice, 10th.

Patrick Stevens, 17, of Martinez was the men's gold-level reserve national champion. Gabe Aniello, 18, of Vancouver, Washington, placed fifth.

In the silver women's individual level, Yvonne Greenen, 14, of Los Altos, finished third; Kathryn Jaggers, 15, of Portola Valley, eighth; and Grace Koz, 15, of Saratoga, fourteenth.

Tessa Divita, 11, of Redwood City won the bronze level women's national championship. She was followed closely by teammate Katrina Nibbi, 15, of Woodside, who was the women's bronze reserve national champion. Julia Plungy. 15, of San Jose finished in 11th place.

Competing at the one-star (beginning) canter level, Janie Salisbury, 10, of Atherton placed first. Christine Herrmann, 15 of Hillsborough was fourth; Siddartha Kreaden, 11, of Sunnyvale was sixth; and Sarah Dunn, 12, of Palo Alto rounded out the top 10.

In trot individual competition, Katherine Salisbury, 8, of Atherton placed fifth; and Hadley DeBrine, 11, of San Carlos was tenth.

In team competition, Woodside Vaulters won the national B team championship, placing first in both the compulsories and freestyle rounds. Team members are: Alyssa Bonora, 15, of Portola Valley; Molly Gould, 16, of Menlo Park; Yvonne Greenen, Kathryn Jaggers, Janie Salisbury, Patrick Stevens and Katharine Wick.

At the one-star team level, Woodside Vaulters also won the national title, with team members Tessa Divita, Sarah Dunn, Christine Herrmann, Grace Koz, Siddartha Kreaden, Katrina Nibbi and Julia Plungy.

In the preliminary pas-de-deux (pairs) freestyle event, Christine Herrmann and Tessa Divita placed first, while Kathryn Jaggers and Molly Gould placed fourth.

A combined team of Woodside Vaulters and Mount Eden Vaulting Club (Saratoga) placed first overall in the trot 2-phase team event. Team members are Giula Corno, 10, of Saratoga, Caroline Morse, 7, of Los Gatos, Hadley deBrine and Katherine Salisbury.

Equestrian vaulters perform compulsory moves and freestyle routines choreographed to music. The athletes are judged on form, performance, level of difficulty and harmony with the horse.

Woodside Vaulters, founded in 1990, provides year-round instruction in recreational and competitive vaulting.

Isabelle Parker Bibbler of Redwood City is the head coach. The other coaches and trainers are Krista Poppenberg Mack, Julie Divita, Jennifer Lauzze, Jennifer Arntsen, Samantha Smith, and Michele Stevens.

For more information, go to


Posted by Woodsider, a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 12, 2009 at 6:43 am

These are wonderful achievements -- great to read about our local young people's success in this interesting sport.

Posted by Reader, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Aug 12, 2009 at 7:04 am

Whoa! Gymnastics and dance on a horse?! Photos please!

Posted by WoodsideV, a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm

This video on youtube gives a great introduction to the sport of vaulting.
Web Link

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