<bt>Allison Jacobs, 12, of Centreville is taking her gymnastics skills to another level.
The Manorgate resident will compete on the U.S. team for tumbling and trampoline at the World Championship and International Age Group Competition in Eindhoven, Netherlands, which takes place Sept. 16-25.
"I'm really excited to be representing the U.S. and this is my first international competition. It's an honor to represent the U.S. competing against 30 countries (China, Russia, England, France, Belgium),” she said.
Allison, a seventh-grader at St. Timothy's Catholic School, has been the Virginia State champion for three years. In 2004 she was the national champion for Power Tumbling and is currently ranked No. 4. Unfortunately she was injured for most of this year when she broke three of her fingers.
A level 10 power tumbler, Allison specializes in long tumbling passes on a spring floor.
“In gymnastics, there's the bars, the beam, the floor, the vault. In power tumbling, it's just the floor with springs underneath and it's really long and narrow, and you do a pass. Each level has two passes. And you have to do certain flips in it for whatever level you're in,” she said.
Allison trains at the Capital Gymnastics National Training Center in Burke. Her coach is Sergio Galvez, a native of Guatemala who was named the national coach this year for the World Championship team.
"She's a very hard worker. I know I'm prejudiced. But she's in the gym six days a week (20-plus hours a week between cheerleading and tumbling)," said Allison’s mother Robin Jacobs.
Allison has a 4.0 GPA and also participates in All-Star Cheerleading for the Maryland Twisters in Baltimore. She has been featured in American Cheerleading Magazine as a Megastar.
Allison loves the sport and the competition and plans to stick around.
Three other of Allison’s teammates at Capital Gymnastics also made the U.S. team: Jayce Parker (boys 13-14); Steven Walker (boys 15-16) and Elizabeth Flint (girls 13-14).