North Valley Gymnastics Society gymnasts wrapped up the competitive season on the May long weekend at the Grizzly Classic hosted by Kelowna Gymnastix.
NVGS sent 21 athletes who competed in 7 different categories. A total of 80 male and female athletes from five clubs attended the competition.
The event started out with the Junior Olympic (JO) 1-3 athletes. NVGS added eight new faces to JO 1 plus two more girls competing for the second time this year. Competing against themselves in the unranked JO 1 level were Penny Bieber, Bronwyn Frost and Eliana Johnson, who all earned gold for their performances; Gabrielle Friesen, Alexis Friesen, Bella Aucamp, and Aislynn Jewel earned silver; and mini Macey Steinkrug and Mia Roycroft, ages five and six, respectively, earned bronze.
Ellie Cucheron competed in JO 3 for her second competition ever and earned two bronze medals for her vault and floor routines, and placed sixth on beam and seventh on bars.
“This was the first competition for most of the girls and this was a positive experience for all of them,” said NVGS competitive coach Naomi Rokus. “The cool part of JO 1 and 2 is it allows gymnasts to start the competitive process without the added pressure of having a score. The program is a great motivator and eases kids in competition.”
Competing later in the day were the JO 4-6 athletes. Sam Munroe and Nicole Sjoberg competed in JO 4. Munroe swung to uneven bars gold, silver on beam, bronze on floor and fourth on vault. Munroe earned a silver medal in the all around as well. This was the first JO 4 competition for Sjoberg, and after a very scary fall on bars she went onto beam and won gold. She also earned fourth-place finishes on bars and floor and sixth place on vault.
Avery Goode, nine, competed for the first time in the very difficult JO 5. Competing against girls two-plus years older than her, Goode showed that she was ready for the competition, earning silver for her balance beam routine, and two bronze medals: one for bars and vault- and fourth on floor and in the all around.
Brooklyn Mackenzie finished up her first full year of JO 6 at the Grizzly earning gold for her vault, silver on bars, and a bronze in the all around. Jamie Robinson competed for the first time in JO 6 and was consistently in the top-10 in all four events.
Finishing up the Grizzly was the recreational competition for the Interclub athletes. A golden competition for NVGS athletes. Stacey Mugridge, Marysa Van Den Berg, and Alyssa Cooper received gold in all four events and in the all around. Also earning all around gold and silvers were Ava Miller and Justine Chillihitzia, and earning all coloured medals and a silver in the all around was Aleya Hanson.
“The amount of work and dedication these athletes have put in this year is very admirable,” said Rokus. “Gymnastics is not always easy, but the rewards are pretty cool – medals aside, these athletes have a ton of friendships and fun. Another great year for our team.”