Burlington’s Vachon bounces into trampoline final

QUERETARO, Mexico — Canadian competitors got off to a flying start at the 2012 Pan American trampoline and tumbling championships in qualifications on Friday and Saturday (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) with five men and four women advancing to the medal round in their respective events.

In Saturday’s double mini trampoline competition Denis Vachon of Burlington, led the way, placing first of 16 competitors and setting himself up as the gold medal favourite in Sunday’s final. Ryan Sheehan of Edmonton finished in sixth spot and also earned a spot in the final.

In the women’s double mini prelims, 2010 world champion Corissa Boychuk of Airdrie, Alta., topped the field with teammates Gillian Bruce of Calgary in third place and Mariah Madigan of Toronto in fifth spot.

Boychuk and Bruce both qualified for finals but Madigan will watch from the sidelines due to a limit of two competitors per country in the eight-woman final.

In Friday’s trampoline prelims Kyle Soehn of Red Deer, Alta., placed first in the men’s event while Vincent Lavoie and Junior Charpentier Leclerc, both of Drummonville, Que., placed second and fourth respectively in men’s tumbling.

Soehn, second at the 2012 Canadian championships behind two-time Olympian Jason Burnett, posted the highest scores for both the compulsory and optional routines for a total score of 102.510 points.

Jose Alberto Vargas of Mexico was well back in second place with 99.655 points and teammate Cesar Prieto ranked third at 96.145.

Keegan Soehn, the younger brother of Kyle and the 2011 Pan Am Games gold medallist, had an off day and did not qualify for the final after placing 15th in a field of 19 competitors.

In women’s trampoline, Samantha Sendel and Samantha Smith, both of Toronto, placed second and third behind Camila Lopez of Brazil.

Anita Cirillo of Vancouver placed 16th.