If Jessica Krushen had any rust after a six-year layoff from competitive rhythmic gymnastics, she certainly didn’t show it at the Canadian Individual Championships, which ended Tuesday in Ottawa.
Krushen, one of eight Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics members competing, became the story of the event as she dazzled her way back onto the national team after just six months of training.
The 23-year-old gradually increased her difficulty levels over the season, culminating in eight consistent routines and the overall senior gold medal in Ottawa.
“It feels so good to be a member of the Canadian national team again,” beamed Krushen, a Kal secondary grad and now three-time national champion. “I’m looking forward to next year and just feel so happy.”
In other senior (Over 15) action, Kelsey Anderson, 20, performed clean routines for a ninth-place finish. Her goal is to earn one of the two spots available to the World University Games in Kazan, Russia this summer.
“She did everything in her power to make it happen, now we just have to wait and see if it was enough,” said Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics head coach Camille Martens.
Sisters Hannah and Loren Stanley finished 10th and 13th overall, respectively.
“Loren and Hannah Stanley have become household names in the senior Canadian RG scene,” said Martens.
“Both known for their incredible control, unbelievable risks and powerful dynamics, they treated their fans to great routines in their final competition.”
In the junior class (ages 12-14), Megan Hamilton, 13, continued her string of podium performances at westerns with a bronze medal at nationals.
“Her attention to detail, incredible attitude turns and clean risks once again earned her many accolades,” said Martens.
Tessa Rohatensky, also 13, followed up her sixth-place showing at westerns with 23rd in her first-ever nationals appearance. She beat her personal best overall score by nearly two points.
In the Novice (ages 10-11) competition, Jaedyn Andreotti, 10, surpassed expectation and established herself as a rising star with an impressive fourth.
“Going up against the stronger teams from Quebec and Ontario, Jaedyn was aiming for top-12 at her first nationals,” said Martens.
“She was like a rock – so steady. It was delightful to see her energized, instead of intimidated, by the environment.”
Emma Jotie, 11, delivered four consistent routines to claim 11th place in just her second year of rhythmic gymnastics.
Jotie surprised everyone at westerns where she came out of nowhere to win a silver medal in hoops and earn a seventh-place ranking heading into nationals.
Said Martens: “I’m overjoyed with our team’s results. Seeing them shine up against so many outstanding athletes and teams was exciting.
“To be the only club in all of Canada with medalists in each age category leaves me speechless. I am just so thankful to our amazing coaches, dedicated parents and outstanding athletes for making it all possible.”