May 18, 2009

Piper gymnast qualifies for 2009 World Games

The World Games are held every four years and take place in the calendar year after an Olympic Games. The Games are an Olympic-type competition that encompasses over 35 sports, including beach handball, softball, karate, sumo, and dance. This year’s host city, Kaohsiung, is a port city in Taiwan.

Prosen, who specializes in the floor exercise for the Pipers and was a 2008 All-American in the event, has been a member of the senior national trampoline and tumbling team since 2007. She was ranked first in the country in the double mini trampoline last year.

Her success on the international scene in double mini trampoline includes being a medalist at the 2008 World Cup in Belgium and earning a bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships in Quebec.

Prosen qualified for the World Games by placing second at the Elite Challenge in Arkansas over the weekend of May 8-10. The first place finisher, and other World qualifier, was Prosen’s U.S.A. teammate and best friend, Aubree Balkan from San Diego. 

“We are proud of and happy for Sarah's recent accomplishment,” said Hamline director of athletics Bob Beeman. “Her performance is a testament to her overall competitiveness and tenacious work ethic. We certainly wish her nothing but success in Taiwan this summer.”

Prosen describes the event as a mixture of vault and trampoline. The apparatus is rectangular in shape, unlike a traditional round backyard trampoline, and athletes approach the double mini trampoline on a runway much like they do a vault.

There is a small landing area in which the gymnast needs to land. A routine on the apparatus consists of two skills and gymnasts need to have four different passes with different skills in each.

Prosen began to trampoline at the age of 12 and trains out of Gleason’s Gymnastic School in Eagan, Minnesota. She is working on a new routine that will give her the highest difficulty of any woman in the U.S.

When asked what allows her to achieve success on the world stage in the double mini trampoline, Prosen responds, “The adrenaline rush of learning new skills and flipping though the air is what keeps me going. I am extremely competitive and I never give up on my goals. If I set my mind to doing something, I strive accomplish that goal and do not give up until I reach it.”

The Games take place July 17-22 and Prosen’s competition will take place from the 20th-22nd. Prosen is looking forward to taking in the other sports while in Taiwan as well as bonding with her teammates from the U.S.

Details regarding live television coverage of the event, as well as Prosen’s results, will be on the Hamline University gymnastics website at www.hamline.edu/gymnastics when available. More information about the 2009 World Games is available at www.worldgames2009.tw.