North Valley Gymnastics Society members Neala Hackman (from left), Emma Locke and Nicole Sjoberg each had top-10 finishes in their divisions at the Artistic Gymnastics B.C. Championships in Surrey. (Contributed)

North Valley Gymnastics Society members Neala Hackman (from left), Emma Locke and Nicole Sjoberg each had top-10 finishes in their divisions at the Artistic Gymnastics B.C. Championships in Surrey. (Contributed)

Vernon gymnastics trio stellar at provincials

Emma Locke, Nicole Sjoberg, Neala Hackman all crack top 10 with Hackman bringing home bronze medal

They were a strong trio.

North Valley Gymnastics Society of Vernon sent three of its athletes – Emma Locke, Nicole Sjoberg, and Neala Hackman – to Surrey for the Artistic Gymnastics B.C. Championships for Women and Men April 1-3. The event featured more than 575 competitors from across the province gathering at the North Surrey Ice and Sports Complex.

Locke and Sjoberg competed in Level 6 and Hackman took part in Level 7. It was the first B.C. championships for all three in a large arena in more than two years.

Hackman, 12, started her competition with a very strong and difficult bar routine scoring a 9.200 and winning the bronze medal, and she finished her competition with a strong Yurchenko vault for a 10th-place finish. She placed eighth in the all around out of 22 athletes.

Locke and Sjoberg, both 12, began their competition on the floor exercise with two very powerful routines, earning sixth and ninth places respectively. The next rotation was vault and both athletes once again showed off their power with Sjoberg scoring 9.275 for fourth place and Locke scoring 9.125 and placing ninth.

The uneven bars was the next event and both athletes were solid and consistent with Locke finishing ninth, one spot ahead of Sjoberg. The final event, the balance beam, was also solid with both athletes “sticking” their routines and placing seventh (Locke) and 10th (Sjoberg).

With their solid performances both athletes placed in the all around competition with Locke in fifth and Sjoberg sixth. They competed with 22 other athletes.

“I am so proud to coach these amazing athletes,” said North Valley coach Naomi Rokus. “They have been through so much the past two years with COVID, then losing our gym to the fire and here they are placing in the top-10 of their categories at the BC Champs. That is a huge feat and shows how motivated and committed they are.”

The trio is slated to return to the Lower Mainland May 1 for a competition at the Olympic Oval in Richmond.

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North Valley Gymnastics Society head coach Naomi Rokus (right) congratulates club members Emma Locke (left) and Nicole Sjoberg following a successful performance at the Artistic Gymnastics B.C. Championships in Surrey. Missing from the photo is fellow team member Neala Hackman. (Contributed)

North Valley Gymnastics Society head coach Naomi Rokus (right) congratulates club members Emma Locke (left) and Nicole Sjoberg following a successful performance at the Artistic Gymnastics B.C. Championships in Surrey. Missing from the photo is fellow team member Neala Hackman. (Contributed)