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Local student makes her mark in trampoline and tumbling during World Championships

Jan 04, 2020 03:02PM ● By Anderson Brown

Shelby Nobuhara (15), of Mapleton took sixth place in the floor event at the World Age Group Competitions for trampoline and tumbling in Tokyo, Japan on Dec. 15. According to Shelby, competing at the World Championships was something she wanted and worked hard toward for many years.

“I started taking tumbling classes when I was 8-years-old, but I flipped around my house for a while before my mom decided to put me in a class,” she said.

For the past several years, Shelby has been training at High Altitude Tumbling in Provo, and competing in trampoline, double mini and power tumbling. In order for her to qualify for the World Championships, Shelby said there were many local and three national competitions throughout the season leading up to it.

“To qualify for worlds there are three national competitions throughout the season,” she said. “The selection procedures change from year to year, but it usually is based off of your two highest scores out of those three meets. When the scores are added, the top three highest are selected and there is usually a discretionary position for the fourth spot.”

Shelby said that just qualifying to compete at World’s was an honor, so making it to the final and placing was icing on the cake.

The sixth-place tumbling pass consisted of five whips, a back handspring and a dismount with two fulls and a straight.

“Getting sixth place was honestly unexpected, especially for floor as it’s my weaker event, but that made it even more rewarding,” she said. “I was so nervous going into finals, but then again I wasn’t expecting to make it that far, so I just decided that if I left everything on the floor, I’d be happy, regardless of the numerical results. Overall I was thrilled that I placed sixth and I was very proud of all of my competitors that are more like friends that I got to compete with.”

While Shelby is a fierce competitor, she said getting to know the other tumblers made it feel like family.

“World’s was an unforgettable experience,” she said. “I love being out on the competition floor at an international level, it’s such a different atmosphere. It’s not like you’re competing against the other athletes or countries, it’s like you’re competing with them. We all want everyone to do their very best. All of us understand the amount of hard work that got us to this point, so we are all genuinely supportive of one another.”

Shelby said that it was through the help and support of her family, teammates and coaches that have gotten her this far.

“This may be considered an individual sport, but my teammates and coaches have truly made me into the athlete I am today,” she said. “They push me to not only become a better athlete, but also a better person. They help me through the worst days and celebrate with me on the best. I will never be able to thank my family, teammates, and coaches enough for all the support and love they’ve shown me since day one.”

As for future goals, Shelby says she will be setting her sights on being selected to represent the USA in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2021. (Anderson Brown is a sophomore at Payson High School. He enjoys learning about other accomplished athletes through his Student-Athlete of the Month column.)