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Polarettes bring Juneau titles home to Whitehorse

Whitehorse gymnasts had plenty to declare at the border on the way home this week.

Whitehorse gymnasts had plenty to declare at the border on the way home this week.

Members of the Polarlettes Gymnastics Club won a bucketload of medals and some all-around titles at the Gold Rush Invitational hosted by Juneau Gymnastics over the weekend in Alaska.

They could also declare that they had a good time at the Juneau gymnastics championships.

“There were a lot of happy faces and very excited kids,” said Polarettes head coach Catherine O’Donovan.

“They’re a young group of kids and they were really excited to do so well. They were all so shocked. It was really nice.”

Whitehorse gymnasts won three out of the five divisions they competed in and accumulated seven podium finishes.

Every Polarette medalled in at least one event.

While it was the first time competing Outside for seven of the 12 Whitehorse gymnasts, Level 1 winners Aryanna Lavanderos and Ella Paldy were competing for their very first time, period. Same goes for Level 1 silver medalist Maude Molgat.

“For all of our Level 1s, it was their first time competing outside of the Yukon and all of them except Sasha (Kosman, who won silver all-around) it was their first time competing too,” said O’Donovan.

Lavaderos took first on bars, second on beam and third on floor to win all-around in Level 1, ages 9-10.

Paldy grabbed gold on bars and beam and a silver on vault for gold all-around in the younger Level 1 division.

Emily King was the other all-around champ from Whitehorse. King, who helped Yukon win bronze in the team event at the Arctic Winter Games in March, claimed first on vault and floor for first in Level 3.

“She’s one of our younger kids - she’s only 10 years old - but she’s a seasoned competitor now,” said O’Donovan. “She’s been competing for two or three years now. So she’s getting pretty good at it and getting to learn how to control her nerves. She’s one that the kids look up to even though she’s younger than a lot of them.”

Even an injured Polarette was winning gold in Juneau. Bianca Berko-Malvasion had two first-place finishes in Level 2 on her way to a fourth place all-around finish.

“She has a fractured foot, so she didn’t compete vault or floor,” said O’Donovan. “She wasn’t supposed to compete beam, but she begged me at the last minute. It hasn’t been hurting her, it’s just the doctors being cautious.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

Top finishers

Level 1 (9-10)

1st Aryanna Lavanderos (Whitehorse)

2nd Maude Molgat(Whitehorse)

3rd Megan Miller(Juneau)


Level 1 (8-9)

1st Ella Paldy (Whitehorse)

2nd Sasha Kozmen (Whitehorse)

3rd Ruchi Haight (Juneau)


Level 2 (11-12)

1st Sage Walker (Juneau)

2nd Alexis Benson (Whitehorse)

3rd Matisse Robertson (Whitehorse)


Level 3 (9-11)

1st Emily King (Whitehorse)

2nd Sydney Strong (Juneau)

3rd Megan Lujan (Juneau)