Vernon North Valley Gymnastics members Lily Penner (from left), Penny Bieber, Willow Kane, and Shayla Flanagan helped the club bring home a pile of medals from the Delta Invitational meet at the Richmond Olympic Oval April 29-May 1. (Contributed)

Vernon North Valley Gymnastics members Lily Penner (from left), Penny Bieber, Willow Kane, and Shayla Flanagan helped the club bring home a pile of medals from the Delta Invitational meet at the Richmond Olympic Oval April 29-May 1. (Contributed)

Vernon gymnasts dynamic in Delta

North Valley Gymnastics club members bring home many medals from invitational meet at Olympic Oval

Vernon North Valley Gymnastics athletes sparkled at the Delta Invitational.

The meet, help April 29-May 1, featured hundreds of gymnasts from across B.C. and the Territories with North Valley sending 18 to compete in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) in Xcel, and the Canadian Competitive Program (CCP) level categories.

“This was the first competition for many North Valley athletes outside of the Okanagan ever and they rose to the occasion,” said North Valley coach Naomi Rokus. “I couldn’t be more proud of them and all their hard work. The past six months have been tough with all travel and unknowns as a result of the fire, but these girls have such a love for the sport and are so supportive of each other that it makes these moments so much better.”

Local athletes competing in CCP Level 4 category had a golden competition.

Shalya Flanagan (2010) and Lily Penner (2007-2009) led their team with best-ever performances and gold medals in the all around in their age categories. Also competing were Penny Bieber, placing second; Austin Skelly placing fifth behind Penner in the all around competition.

The tight knit group of four athletes started their competition on the ever tricky beam. Flanagan and Bieber started out with strong routines with both earning gold medals for their performances. Penner and Skelly followed with clean routines placing fifth and sixth respectively. The athletes moved to the floor with Bieber shining with a score of 9.625 and first place. Penner had a strong routine to earn the bronze medal and Skelly and Flanagan were solid placing sixth and eighth.

Vault was the next event and the gymnasts powered onto the podium with Penner scoring 9.700 placing first, Flanagan second, Penner third and Skelly was fourth. Moving to the fourth event, uneven bars, the gymnasts continued their dominance with Penner and Flanagan earning gold medals, Bieber placing fourth and Skelly finishing seventh.

Competing in CCP Level 6 was Nicole Sjoberg, Emma Locke and Anna Skelly. Sjoberg had a strong performance earning the bronze medal in the all around, bronze on bars and placed fourth on floor, fifth on beam, and sixth on vault. Locke tumbled to a bronze medal on floor and placed fourth on vault and bars, and ninth on beam. Skelly also won a bronze medal for her beam routine and placed in the top-10 of the other events.

Willow Kane was the lone North Valley athlete competing in the very challenging CCP Level 5. Kane had a great competition earning bronze medals on vault and floor, fourth on bars, sixth on beam and fourth in the all around.

Neala Hackman was the only athlete for NVGS competing in CCP Level 7 where she won the gold medal with a score of 9.475. Hackman also placed in the top-10 on the other events.

Competing in Xcel Bronze was Sasha Hackman, who had a great competition earning a gold on beam, fourth in the all around and bars, fifth on vault and seventh on floor. Also competing in Xcel Bronze was Leona Dunbar, who had a solid competition placing in the top-10 on all events with a highlight floor routine placing of fifth.

Chloe Ward (Xcel Gold) had great competition, earning silver for her powerful vault and bronze medal for her bar routine. Ward had some tough moments on floor and beam, but placed in the top-10 for those routines.

Aislynn Jewel competed in CCP Llevel 3 and exploded onto the podium earning a bronze medal for her vault. Jewel was solid for the other event placing fifth on beam and sixth on bars and floor.

Lucy Edwards and Brooklyn Lippert competed in Xcel Silver. Edwards’ elegant beam routine earned her a bronze medal, she placed fourth on floor and in the top-10 for vault and bars. Lippert had a consistent competition placing in the top-10 on all events with a highlight fifth-place finish on floor.

Rounding out the competition were athletes competing in CCP Levels 1 & 2. Aria Senguta and Annika Kurbis competed in Level 2 and Maddison Docksteader competed in Level 1. These are developmental levels with athletes earning either bronze, silver or gold placements for their routines. Sengupta earned two gold finishes on vault and bars, and silvers for beam, floor and the all around. Kurbis earned a gold for vault, silvers for bars, beam and the all around, and bronze on floor. Docksteader earned three silvers for vault, floor and the all around, and bronze for bars and beam.

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