Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics coach Camille Martens admits it’s been a strange year for her and her troupe.
Yet amidst all of the challenges brought about by the pandemic, her charges kept working and rising.
As Pacific Sport carded athletes￼ and leading members of the provincial team, ORG’s top juniors and seniors recorded their routines in front of officials at the Olympic Oval in Richmond Sept. 18 and 19. The event was judged virtually by judges all over the country.
“I could not be more proud of and impressed￼ by our top juniors and seniors￼,” said Martens, a former Canadian Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion. “These rhythmic gymnasts not only qualified for the Canadian Individual National Championships ￼￼(in new and unfamiliar circumstances￼), but also prepared with professionalism and showed up with courage, ready to compete.
“Working with this team throughout the pandemic, seeing their commitment, adaptability, tenacity and strength has been inspiring. They are incredible gymnasts and outstanding people.￼￼”
Junior Madeline Sellars had a stellar weekend. She entered the competition with the ambitious goal of qualifying for the Junior Canadian High-Performance Team. In the open all-around event she placed sixth in hoop and 11th overall, meeting her goal, advancing to the finals and qualifying for the team.
Sellars joins an incredible legacy as the 20th Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics athlete to qualify for the top 15 (the Canadian High Performance Team) since the club’s first in 2000. In the finals her highlight was 10th place in ball (13.65).
“I was so delighted to watch Madeline Sellars earn her spot on the Junior High-Performance Canadian Team,” said Martens. “She is a diligent worker. She never takes shortcuts and aims for new levels of excellence on a daily basis. It’s hard to believe that we have had 20 Canadian High Performance Team athletes, all from our small town club.”
Rising Junior star Noelle Brierley completed her first national Junior event finishing 18th overall.
Halle Moger competed as an established member￼ of the Senior Canadian High-Performance Team￼. In the all-around competition, she placed sixth overall advancing to the finals where she won fifth in hoop, seventh in ball and sixth in clubs￼ when she scored a personal best and career-high 17.55.
“Halle’s explosive jumps, passionate expression and outstanding apparatus technique set her apart,” said Martens.
Having recently been awarded the Diana Zoe Coop Award for artistic excellence, Elle Dockendorff also entered the competition as a member of the Senior Canadian High-Performance Team where she placed 10th in the all-around￼.
Ashlyn Andreotti went into the event as B.C.’s Senior Open Provincial Champion. She won sixth place in both hoop and clubs and finished in eighth place overall.
Senior Gracie Cox was B.C.’s Provincial Senior Open all-around Silver medallist and was thrilled to compete in her first Nationals placing 14th overall.