BONNYVILLE – Taking to the beams, bars and floor, athletes from Bonnyville’s Ashlin Gymnastics Club found themselves on podiums at the Xcel Provincial Championships held in Lethbridge from April 21-23.
“Our Competitive Team had an extremely successful weekend,” said head coach Danielle Clark.
The club had 13 athletes competing at events throughout the year, including Xcel Provincials which brings together gymnasts from northern and southern Alberta.
Next year, that number is expected to rise to about 30 Ashlin athletes entering competitions, said Clark, who is beginning her second year with the club.
“Ashlin gymnasts compete individually, but at championships judges also take the top three scores from each level and then they present team awards to the clubs,” explained Clark. There are five levels that gymnasts can compete in: bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond.
The Bonnyville club had two athletes compete in the gold category and eight athletes compete in the silver level.
The club’s athletes competing in the silver level won the “All Around” first place team for the second year in a row.
Ashlin athletes competing in the silver level and winners of the first place Silver Team Award include Priya Richard, Taya Whaley, Harper Baillargeon, Kaydence Ladd, Devyn Friesen, Skyler Coates, Kona Ryan and Jenna Rondeau.
Competing in the Gold Level was Hailey L'Heureux and Ryann Friesen.
During provincials, Ashlin athletes took home a total of 16 gold medals, seven silver medals, and nine bronze medals. Another four special awards were also received by Bonnyville gymnasts.
“They each compete in a level and then in an age category. It takes about two to three hours for them to compete on vaults, bars, the beam and floor, then for the rest of the weekend they don't have to compete again, but they stay and cheer on the rest of our team,” explained Clark.
Ashlin’s Competitive Team is made up of athletes between the ages of seven to 15 years old.
Each year, based on an athlete’s previous skill level and their current skill level, their coach decides at the start of the year what level the athlete will be assigned to.
“I am really proud of this group,” said the head coach.
Xcel provincial results
First Place: Taya Whaley, Harper Baillargeon, Devyn Friesen, Kona Ryan
Second Place: Hailey L'Heureux
Third Place: Skyler Coates
First Place: Harper Baillargeon
Second Place: Kona Ryan
Third Place: Devyn Friesen, Hailey L'Heureux
Second Place: Taya Whaley, Kona Ryan, Hailey L'Heureux
Third Place: Harper Baillargeon , Devyn Friesen
First Place: Taya Whaley , Devyn Friesen, Harper Baillargeon , Kona Ryan, Hailey L'Heureux, Ryann Friesen
Third Place: Kaydence Ladd, Skyler Coates
First Place: Harper Baillargeon , Devyn Friesen
Second Place: Skyler Coates, Kona Ryan
Third Place: Taya Whaley, Kaydence Ladd
Most Dynamic Vault: Priya Richard (youngest competitor in the Silver Level) and Harper Baillargeon
Most Dynamic Uneven Bars: Harper Baillargeon
Best Beam Artistry: Harper Baillargeon
Best Floor Artistry: Harper Baillargeon