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Fort Zumwalt East’s Mainieri reprises role as national trampoline champion

Sam Mainieri has done it again, and this time it was twice as nice.
After winning a national championship for his Junior Olympic Division level in 2011, Mainieri recently competed in a series of tumbling and trampoline events at the U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, held July 3-10 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, where he won two national championships.
“It’s normally just a surprise to me,” Mainieri said of the realization that he’d won national championships. “Most people I go against are the same skill level as me. That’s when (you start) looking at the scores overall to see where you are.”
This year, Mainieri, who will be a junior at Fort Zumwalt East, won the gold medal in two of his three events at the championships and won the bronze in the third competing for St. Louis Elite.
In the Level 9 trampoline competition for males 15 and over, Mainieri accumulated 83.30 points on his two turns on the apparatus. His score edged Clifford Martin of the Twistars by 1/10 of a point. “It was disbelief,” Mainieri said. “The great thing about (going twice) is that it gives you a chance to correct things if you need to do that.”
In the double mini trampoline competition, Mainieri once again won the gold medal by 1/10 of a point.
This time, his 59.90 points bested Matthew Wileyto of KMC.
For Mainieri, the hardest part was just being able to maintain focus in the cavernous 10,000-seat, 26,000-square-foot auditorium.
“That place was pretty big,” Mainieri said. “The fact that it was in a huge stadium and there were a whole bunch of people watching made it tough.”
Mainieri also took home the bronze medal in Level 6 tumbling in the male 15 and over category.
“This has just been so much fun,” Mainieri said of the experience. “It isn’t as strict as regular gymnastics, and you get the chance to mix it up. I really enjoy it and look forward to continuing.”
Mainieri wasn’t the only member of the St. Louis Elite team to earn a medal at the competition.
Eleven other Team Elite athletes competed, and the team brought home an additional three silver and two bronze medals.
Clayton Janvrin took second in the Level 10 trampoline for 15-16-year-old males.
Andrew Shelton took second in the Level 10 double mini trampoline event for males 17 and over.
Abbigail Young took second for the Level 5 tumbling for girls six and under. James Tarman took third in the Level 6 tumbling competition for 11-12-year-old males. Connor Ray took third in the Level 6 trampoline for 11-12-year-old males.
“I knew our athletes had a good shot at placing,” Team Elite coach Gene Kohler said. “They train incredibly hard with strong drive and determination. At an event this big with the best talent across the US coming to claim a medal, pressure is high. I am incredibly pleased to see all of this hard work pay off.”
Team Elite gymnastics trains at Kids World Gymnastics in Hazelwood.