On June 14, three Yukon gymnasts, Maude Molgat, Lily Witten and Bianca Berko-Malvasio made some history.
The three were the first Yukon representatives at a Canadian Nationals gymnastic competition for the first time in 20 years.
It’s an enormous feat for the three gymnasts, even though when they spoke to the News on June 14 they had said the feeling hadn’t sunk in yet.
Now, two weeks later, the results are in.
Gymnasts in Nationals compete in four disciplines: beam, bars, vault and floor. Their scores from the four events are totalled to give them an all-around score.
Molgat had the best placing, finishing sixth in vault and she was 11th overall.
“They place to sixth,” said Polarettes Head Coach Kimberly Jones. “That’s huge, she will actually be getting an award now from Gymnastics Canada.”
After her Nationals routines, Witten said she felt floor was her best performance.
Her floor routine placed her 10th and she finished 17th overall.
“Lily had a rougher meet,” said Jones. “There were definitely highlights. She made huge improvements in her gymnastics routines and her scores from her last competition so she’s happy with her results.”
Both Molgat and Witten competed in the same category JO (Junior Olympic) 9, 14-plus. Berko-Malvasio competed in JO 10 open — a difficult category, Jones said.
“Any kid that’s over the age of 16 that’s reached that high-level of the sport can compete,” said Jones. “She had a great day and really made huge improvements in her routine. In most events she improved a point.”
Berko-Malvasio finished 12th overall.
This Nationals had a different feel than others because of the pandemic. Instead of travelling, jurisdictions competed virtually in their home gyms.
“It changes what a Nationals is, but it doesn’t at the same time, because this is the reality of what the national level is during a pandemic,” said Jones.
“The girls should still look at this as a great success and great feedback for their year.”
In a pandemic or not, Jones said the three still would have been at Nationals and placing around where they ended.
“To make it to that level, if you think about the population of Canada, is really impressive,” said Jones. “To walk away with some placement is fantastic for the girls.”
For their first Nationals, Jones said they got great feedback and placed well, especially when compared to their peers who have competed before.
The hope for Jones is that they will return to Nationals next year.
“I hope that they get to go,” said Jones. “It would be nice to make the trip and feel the experience but it was nice to do it here and have the younger gymnasts watch. It was inspiring.”
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org