Manning Elite gymnast brings home national trampoline title

Rey Castillo By Rey Castillo

Aug. 4, 2017 at 10:15 p.m.

Jaden McCarter, 10, goes airborne on a trampoline at the Manning Gymnastics Centerplex. McCarter brought home a golf medal during the USA Stars and Stripes National Championships in Tulsa, Okla.

Jaden McCarter, 10, goes airborne on a trampoline at the Manning Gymnastics Centerplex. McCarter brought home a golf medal during the USA Stars and Stripes National Championships in Tulsa, Okla.   Ana Ramirez for The Victoria Advocate

Not many 10-year-olds can call themselves a national champion.

In just her second year with the Manning Elite tumbling and trampoline team, Jaden McCarter can surely add her name to that elite group.

McCarter edged out 64 athletes in Level 6 trampoline to take home the gold medal at the USA Gymnastics Stars and Stripes National Championships in Tulsa, Okla., on July 20-23.

"I was nervous at first, but it feels great because my goal was to win on trampoline," said McCarter, who also finished third in double mini trampoline. "I prayed every night just to win, and it actually happened. My goal was to become a national champion."

The win clinched 18 straight years that coach Chad Ganaway has coached a national champion.

"As a whole team, our goal is get one of the girls to compete at the national stage," Ganaway said. "The sky is the limit for these kids."

The team also won two silver medals, three bronze medals and had 14 top 10 finishes.

Kennedy Koenig won silver in trampoline and bronze in double mini trampoline.

Madyx Blain won silver in double mini trampoline, while Addison Temple won bronze in trampoline.

McCarter, who attends Hunt Elementary in Cuero, recalls looking up on the big screen and seeing her score. She was nervous as she waited for the results.

"I was pretty nervous to go out and compete but in the end, I was proud of myself," McCarter said. "I thought I was going to get third place, but I got first place in my flight."

McCarter admitted having fun is the key to her early success.

"I feel like a bird on the trampolines," she said. "I love doing flips and being with my friends."

Jaden's father, James McCarter, first noticed his daughter's interest when she was 7.

"She played a few other sports, but nothing caught her eye," James McCarter said. "We went by Manning Gymnastics to take beginner classes, and immediately she liked it. Ever since then, she's been head over heels, and it's something that she feels passionate about."

Jaden McCarter is hoping to continue her success by winning another national championship next year.

"I want to visualize myself as another national champion," Jaden McCarter said. "It may not happen, but you never know. Watching my friends motivates me to keep trying to be better."


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