By Heather Van Horne
Eight Kitimat gymnasts posted stellar performances over the first two weekends in April at the Compulsory Provincial Championships for the younger gymnasts and the BC Artistic Gymnastics Provincials for the older gymnasts.
Provincials brings together the best athletes from across the province, and once again, Kitimat Dynamics Gymnastics Club showed why they rank among the province’s best gymnasts, performing great routines, achieving great results and displaying great attitudes.
Skyla Buick, Addison Pitzel and Hannah Van Horne competed at the Junior Olympic Compulsory Provincial Championships in Langley on April 7, the first time the girls participated on the provincial stage. All of the gymnasts performed the same routine, with the judges looking to see how close the athletes’ performance was to the prescribed routine.
Skyla competed first and had her high score on vault with an 8.775 out of 10. Skyla said her favourite part of the competition was her floor routine, because she did her back handspring all by herself for the first time!
Addison and Hannah competed in the following session – Addison and Hannah tied on vault for the eighth spot. Hannah and Addison loved sharing the podium with each other.
Hannah took seventh place on both bars and beam and an eighth place overall. Head coach Angela Pitzel said the more a gymnast competes “the better they get at competing.”
This experience will be a great stepping stone to larger competitions and more provincial championships down the road.
The following weekend Mya Anthony, Maggie Baker, Lily Sherman, Philippe Martel and William Kaines competed in the BC Artistic Gymnastics Provincials in Coquitlam.
Competing in her first provincials Maggie Baker performed a clean bar routine earning her the ninth place ribbon and a tenth place overall in the JO 6 category for girls born from 2005-2006. When asked how things went on beam Maggie said “I was happy with my roundoff. My coach said it was my best of the season.”
With her beautiful floor routine, performed to Katy Perry’s Olympic theme song ‘Rise,’ Lily Sherman earned the silver medal. Lily also earned the eighth-place ribbon on beam, which put her in 12th spot overall for the JO 6 category for girls born from 2004-2005.
Mya Anthony had her best showing at provincials ever, bringing home four medals! She earned the silver on floor and beam, with scores over 9.4. She earned the bronze on vault, and overall earned the bronze medal and the third spot in the province in the JO 7 category for girls born in 2004-2005.
In men’s gymnastics, coach Ryan Cochrane described the weekend:
“Competing for the first time outside of the Northern region, William Kaines and Philipe Martel set aside their nerves and performed well on all events,” said coach Cochrane.
Philipe won gold on vault with a near perfect front handspring, while William earned gold on both the floor and vault exercises. William’s floor routine included high flying moves, demonstrating his strength and flexibility. Both boys earned silver all around.
William said being with his friends and doing his floor routine were his favourite parts of the weekend.
”I also liked travelling and I met new friends,” said William, who has made it his goal for next year to get gold overall.
Angela Pitzel said initially the team wasn’t sure how they would fare, not having competed at a large competition this year.
“Our gymnasts really showed that they were ready for the event and at the provincial level calibre. I am really pleased with their dedication and focus to get here and how well they performed when it really counted,” said Angela.
“This will help their confidence going into our final three competitions of the year in Prince George, Kitimat and Kelowna,” she added.
The KDGC team would like to thank the community for their continued support through fundraisers and the District of Kitimat for financial assistance through travel grants.