One look at power tumbling and Ke’ale and Maile Young were hooked.
Restarting gymnastics after taking a break to play club soccer, the sisters (who are two of the Young triplets in the Class of 2020) noticed the power tumbling team practicing at their gym, Head Over Heels in Emeryville. That was three and a half years ago. Today they are state champs and both regionally- and nationally-ranked power tumblers.
During the 2017 competition season, Ke’ale and Maile each secured the title of NorCal Nevada State Champion in the various power tumbling events, had strong finishes in the regional competition held in Las Vegas and qualified for Nationals which took place Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The 2018 season kicked off in January, and Ke’ale and Maile are raring to go. In their most recent meet, Ke’ale placed second in tumbling, trampoline and double mini–a trampoline that has two jumping surfaces; and Maile took two first places (trampoline and double mini) and placed third in tumbling.
Ke’ale and Maile explained that tumbling is done on a long, narrow slightly elevated floor made from a series of fiberglass rods which provide bounce.
Ke’ale and Maile dressed as Ninja Turtles do backflip.
“We love flipping,” Maile said. “And it’s fun when our friends ask us if we can throw a backflip for them.”
Ke’ale and Maile practice three to four days a week, for three hours at a time. In addition to working on the elements of their routines, the girls participate in conditioning sessions so that they have the strength and stamina needed to execute whip backs, back handsprings and other skills. “You have to have good core strength and strong arms and legs,” Keale said.
In trampoline, for example, the routine is only 45 seconds, but tumblers are required to execute 10 skills in a row. Those skills–which carry a certain number of points–must align with your designated level.
Being the same age and level, the sisters regularly compete against each other. But that doesn’t ruffle them.
“Having a sister as your competitor challenges you more. Plus, she has her skills in double mini and I have my strengths in trampoline,” Ke’ale said. In addition to power tumbling, the Youngs also play soccer for O’Dowd’s JV team along with their sister, Makana, who plays for O’Dowd’s varsity squad, her club team, and was a state-ranked and regionally-ranked power tumbler in 2016.