Vernon gymnasts shine in Kelowna – Vernon Morning Star
The North Valley Gymnastics Society of Vernon sent 20 members to the Grizzly Invitational competition in Kelowna on May 13-15, and the athletes put in excellent performances.
The event was attended by more than 300 gymnasts from across the province.
Sasha Hackman (2011) had a gold competition and finished first overall in the Xcel Bronze category. She also won gold for her uneven bars and beam exercises, placed third for bronze on vault, and eighth on floor exercise.
Also in the Xcel category, but at Gold level, was Chloe Ward (2008). She placed second in the all-around for the silver medal, won a gold medal for giant vault, two more silver medals for beam and floor, and a bronze medal on parallel bars.
Emma Locke (2009), Nicole Sjoberg (2009) and Anna Skelly (2009) competed in CCP Level 6. Locke continued to shine in her category, finishing second in the all-around. She also won silver medals on vault and floor, a bronze medal on beam, and a fifth place on uneven bars. Sjoberg won the bronze medal for her bars exercise, placed fourth in the all-around and on floor, fifth in vault and seventh on beam. Skelly also won a bronze medal for her vault, finishing fifth on floor, seventh on uneven bars, and eighth on beam.
Competing in CCP was Willow Kane (2009). She had one of her best competitions, winning the bronze medal in the all-around. Kane won gold on the very difficult balance beam, a silver medal for her vault, another bronze medal for the floor exercise, and placed fifth on the uneven bars.
Elianna Johnson (2012) competed at CCP 4 with a magical bronze medal in the all-around, gold on vault, fourth on beam, fifth on uneven bars, and sixth on floor.
Shalya Flanagan (2010) all competed in the CCP Level 4 along with Penny Bieber (2009), Alexis Friesen (2010) and Austin Skelly (2009). Flanagan continued to shine with a bronze medal in the all-around, gold on uneven bars and top-10 consistent finishes on vault, beam and floor. Bieber and Friesen took fifth and sixth place in the all-around. Friesen won a silver medal for her routine on the uneven bars while Bieber won the bronze medal. Skelly received the bronze medal for her powerful jump.
Neala Hackman (2009) competed in CCP Level 7. Despite having a shaky competition, she still came away with a bronze medal for her vault, top-10 finishes in uneven bars, beam and floor, and seventh in the all-around.
Brooklyn Stowards (2008) also competed in the Xcel Bronze category. This was her first personal competition since the pandemic, and she won a silver medal for her floor exercise, finished fourth in the all-around and beam, and finished in the top 10 on vault and beam.
The only competitor in CCP Level 3 was Gabby Friesen (2012), who placed fourth on floor where she completed her staggering run of the roundoff backhand jump alone. Friesen also finished fourth on vault and was in the top 10 in the other disciplines.
Other highlights from the Xcel levels included Brooklyn Lippert (2008 bronze) who placed fourth on the uneven bars and Ava Miler (2006 gold) was fifth on vault. Both athletes placed in the top 10 at the other events.
The competition was rounded off by the development athletes from CCP Level 1 and 2: Maddison Docksteader (CCP 1 2013), Annika Kurbis (CCP 2 2014), Marissa Hluchy (CCP 2 2014). These athletes receive bronze, silver, or gold placements for their performance. All three athletes received silver medals for their achievements.
“All of our gymnasts had a great competition. For many of them, this is their first year of competing in person – we’ve done a lot of virtual competitions during COVID – so it’s a different feeling for the athletes with a lot more nerve and excitement,” said North Valley Head Coach Naomi Rocus. “It’s been a long year since the fire in the fall and the athletes are giving their all. It is wonderful to see their passion and commitment.”