Addison Pitzel, Hannah Van Horne, Madelyn Vilness, Skyla Buick, Jamie Loucks, Gabrielle Michaluk and Maina Audy-Bilodeau. (Photos supplied)

Gymnasts don’t hold back for their first competition of the year

“The Kitimat kids blew me away!” - coach

By Heather Van Horne

The Kitimat Dynamics Gymnastics Competitive Team kicked the season off right with fantastic performances at the Smithers Saltos Invitational held on January 26.

Coaches Angela Pitzel and Ryan Cochrane led eighteen young gymnasts over three sessions. The girls were sporting brand new competition suits, in teal and black with a little rhinestone bling, designed by head coach Angela Pitzel.

The first session, Junior Olympic (JO) 1 and 2, was a first time ever competing for Payton McCrae and Ella Ramos. Their smiles told the story that they had a great time! Payton in JO 1, and Ella, Teija Barker and Abby DeSousa in Jo 2, all earned a silver overall.

In the second session, level JO 3, Kitimat had seven girls competing. For gymnasts born in 2010, Kitimat swept the top four spots. Hannah Van Horne earned the gold medal, Jamie Loucks earned the silver medal, Addison Pitzel earned the bronze medal and Skyla Buick took the rosette ribbon for fourth.

For gymnasts born 2009, Gabrielle Michaluk took the gold spot, while Madelyn Vilness earned bronze place on vault with a 9.6. Maina Audy-Bildodeau earned the bronze spot in the division for gymnasts born 2008.

In the third and final session, in the JO 6 level, Lily Sherman earned the bronze medal overall with the silver spot on bars, a notoriously difficult event. In the same level Maggie Baker took the fourth spot overall with silvers in three events – vault, beam and floor. The floor event in the higher levels is always a show stopper and Mya Anthony earned a well-deserved gold on floor and overall in the JO 7 category.

In the men’s Provincial level 1, Phillipe Martel won a silver standing with gold on vault. William Kaines earned gold for his floor routine and a bronze overall.

Michael Michaluk earned a bronze overall with his best event being vault, earning him a silver standing. Raphael Audy- Bilodeau earned silver on vault and parallel bars with a bronze standing overall.

“The Kitimat kids blew me away! They were all nervous as they hadn’t really competed since April and May of last year, but they really put their heart and soul into every routine,” said head coach Angela Pitzel.

“Even the newer athletes surprised me with what they were able to bring to the table. All our athletes were able to secure their spot at Provincials which will be held in April in Langely. I am very proud of all the girls and boys who represented the Kitimat Dynamics Gymnastics Club.”

Some of the gymnasts participated in a zone-wide training camp on Sunday. This was a great event to sharpen up skills, make new friends and enjoy the sport of gymnastics!

KDGC will next compete in Terrace the first weekend of March.


Payton McCrae, Teija Barker, Abby DeSousa and Ella Ramos.

Lily Sherman, Maggie Baker and Mya Anthony.

Michael Michaluk, Phillipe Martel, William Kaines and Raphael Audy-Bilodeau.

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