Gymnasts vie in 2021 Yukon Championships

Chloe Tatsumi dismounts the balance beam to cap her routine during the Yukon Championships at the Polarettes Gymnastics Club on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)Chloe Tatsumi dismounts the balance beam to cap her routine during the Yukon Championships at the Polarettes Gymnastics Club on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Maude Molgat flips toward her landing during Yukon Championship action on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)Maude Molgat flips toward her landing during Yukon Championship action on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Genevieve Lefebvre plays to the crowd as she performs her floor routine during the Yukon Championships on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)Genevieve Lefebvre plays to the crowd as she performs her floor routine during the Yukon Championships on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Lily Witten jumps off the bars to complete her routine during the Yukon Championships on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)Lily Witten jumps off the bars to complete her routine during the Yukon Championships on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)

The Polarettes Gymnastics Club had a busy weekend. On April 30, the club’s second Parkour Jam was held. A day later, the parkour athletes gave way to the gymnasts vying in the Yukon Championships.

The Yukon Championships held extra weight this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Polarettes have been unable to travel to other jurisdictions to compete.

To keep the athletes engaged and competition ready, the club hosted a Christmas Showcase and other small in-house events. However, Polarettes head coach Kimberly Jones said they did not have the same feel as Yukon Champs.

“I think that it was really nice to compete again,” said Jones. “That’s the first time they got the energy of a competition. A mock meet is not the same and the Christmas show wasn’t the same.”

“This was the first time it was really like ‘we are competing, and it matters’. We tried to play up everything, make it as big as we could and make it as close to what they would experience out of the territory.”

Jones said the environment, which had music, scores posted, judging panels, and parents using noise-makers, felt more authentic to what they’d experience elsewhere.

“A lot of them said they were nervous, which in a team competition they might not feel,” said Jones. “They were nervous and excited and said it felt like a real competition which is nice. It was more of an environment of what they would experience at a larger meet and we did that on purpose.”

Before some of the larger competitions the gymnasts would travel to in a non-COVID year, like Gymnix, Jones said they would work on peaking beforehand.

To get ready for the Yukon Champs, Jones said they picked up training to mimic the process they’d take before travelling.

“We stepped it up and they stepped it up as well,” said Jones. “It (training) had amped up the past few weeks. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of competitiveness come from the kids.”

“Before that, they’ve been training and progressing and working really hard but in a different way. It was maybe a little less detail-oriented or more can I land this big skill? In competition, it is very precise, so it’s been nice to see more of the artistic side of the sport come through.”

Jones said the Yukon was one of only a few jurisdictions to hold an in-person meet and was happy the club could put on the event for the athletes.

“Gymnastics is so hard as a sport in general,” said Jones. “Competitions are really rewarding especially for Yukoners. They get to travel, we haven’t had anything of that this season. That’s why we tried to make it as big as we could.”

During the meet, the gymnasts performed beam, bars, vault, and floor routines. The following results are the all-around winners – this score encompasses all four disciplines. For the Xcel Bronze and Silvers, it was their first competition ever.

Xcel Bronze: 8

1) Mara Predovic

2) Chloe Rayment

3) Asha Pearson

Xcel Silver: 10

1) Alice Crete-Bergeron

2) Zoe Vigneau

3) Leona Adams

Xcel Gold:

1) Emma Duncan

2) Harmony Bain

3) Kasey McKenna

Junior Olympic (JO) 3:

1) Julianna Kennedy

2) Leonie Crete-Bergeron

3) Immaculee Lefebvre

JO 4:

1) Alayna Mortimer

2) Zoe Belz

JO 5:

1) Aubree Hombert

JO 6:

1) Jenna Henderson

2) Taylor Kennedy

3) Layla Hombert

Xcel Platinum:

1) Sasha Nelson

2) Sabrina Hartland

Xcel Diamond

1) Maude Molgat

2) Camille Belanger

3) Lily Witten

JO 10:

1) Bianca Berko-Malvasio

Contact John Tonin at john.tonin@yukon-news.com

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