Getting ready for nationals

Jensen Riley, 13, will be an eighth-grader next fall at Parsons Middle School.

A Parsons teenager is preparing for a national competition in tumbling and trampoline in Spokane, Wash., later this month.

Jensen Riley, 13, of Parsons, a member of the Parsons Recreation Commission Tumbling and Trampoline team coached by Mary Friess, is one of five team members who qualified for the national event.

Riley qualified at the state tumbling and trampoline competition in Independence in April. Other team members who qualified are Elizabeth Smith, Gracen Friess, David Conner and Amanda Rogers. Jensen is the only team member going to nationals.

At the national event, Jensen will compete in trampoline, double mini trampoline and tumbling and Riley will compete in the trampoline (level 5), floor (level 6) and double mini trampoline (level 6).

“We’re pretty excited,” Jensen’s father, Rob Riley, said. He said Jensen raised money locally to defray the costs of attending the national event in Washington state.

“She raised a pretty good chunk of money. I was surprised at how generous people were,” Rob Riley said.

Jensen started tumbling at a young age and has worked hard in the last couple of years.

Last year, Jensen competed at the national tournament in Kansas City, Mo., and earned fifth place in the double mini.

“So we’re hoping to improve on that,” Rob Riley said.

Last year at nationals, Parsons Tumbling and Trampoline fared well. Gracen Friess won fourth place overall in girls 10 year old trampoline and Jensen won fifth place overall in the girls 13 year old double mini trampoline.

At the state event in April, Jensen earned state championships in tumbling and trampoline and placed second in the double mini, but her scores in all three events qualified her for nationals.

“I’m excited about nationals. I just want to get there.” Jensen said, referring to the long trip to Spokane.

Recommended for you