To prepare to face Canada’s elite, seven members of the Vernon-based Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics travelled south.
Elite Canada is the first of two annual national team trials and ranking events for rhythmic gymnastics. The prestigious competition, which is only for Canada’s top qualified gymnasts from last season, was held at the Pan Am Centre in Toronto.
In preparation, the Vernon team attended the Las Vegas International in January, where they debuted their new routines for the first time this season.
“Competing alongside national team members from the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Russia and even Australia’s star Olympian, gave our athletes a chance to rise up, to try everything we’ve been working on and to see where we needed to focus. It was a great way to prepare,” said head coach Camille Martens.
Novice athlete Madeline Sellars had many moments of firsts. Her first big event, her first time nailing lots of her moves and to top it off a first top-10 National rank (10th in free) .
First-time Junior Level athletes Ashlyn Andreotti and Elle Dockendorff were there to gain experience and both girls seized the opportunity perfectly. Ashlyn’s best placing was 39th in her hoop, scoring 7.0 and Elle’s personal best was in hoop (8.75 for 29th).
Halle Moger, one of our junior veterans, also shone brightest in the hoop event where she scored 9.55 and placed 18th (cracking that elusive top-20).
Isabella Haldane has been a member of Canada’s High Performance Team for two years. She finished sixth in hoop,11th in clubs and placed 15th in the All Around which qualified her to the prestigious high performance finals. In finals, she earned automatic entry to this year’s Nationals and another year of being a member of the High Performance National Team Pool.
In Senior, Emmalee Holland was both charming and strong. Three of four routines had her on track to make the High Performance finals, but an unfortunate knot, and other mistakes in her ribbon, made that possibility unreachable this time around.
Jaedyn Andreotti, a first-year senior, made the transition to senior with apparent ease.
Despite a minor foot injury that cost her a final week of training, she was able to qualify to the finals as the highest ranked athlete from Western Canada. In finals she showed courage and spirit to compete bravely. She surprised by finishing seventh overall, fourth in the clubs final and for winning a bronze medal in hoop finals.
These High Performance stars, Jaedyn and Isabella, will be joined by teammates Emmalee and Ashlyn to represent Canada at a tournament in Kalamata, Greece. From there, the high performance duo will travel to Riga, Latvia for a major International event before Jaedyn continues on to Kiev, Ukraine for a training camp and Grand Prix competition.