Polarettes give their best at gymnastic provincials

Three athletes with Whitehorse gymnastics club Polarettes were among 900 competitors at the B.C. Gymnastics Championships over the weekend in Langley.

Three athletes with Whitehorse gymnastics club Polarettes were among 900 competitors at the B.C. Gymnastics Championships over the weekend in Langley.

Though they might have been dazzled by the scale of the competition, that didn’t stand in the way of notching personal best scores, said Polarettes head coach Kimberly Jones.

“It was a really hard competition. All of B.C. sent their top athletes,” she said.

“They competed fairly well. They were a little overwhelmed by the size of the competition. It was by far the largest meet they’d ever been to…

“It was a good experience for the girls, for sure. It was their first B.C. champs and it’s pretty overwhelming to walk into that environment – bigger audiences, really big crowds, really intense competition.”

The Polarettes club was represented by Bianca Berko-Malvasio in Junior Olympic 8 (2002-2003) and Hailey Sherman and Sasha Kozmen in Junior Olympic 7 (2004-2007).

Berko-Malvasio, who won the Level 7 title at last year’s Yukon championship, placed 24th all-around out of 29. She took 12th on bars (8.683) and 13th on floor (9.050), “which I believe is her highest score to date,” said Jones. “She performed some higher skills on beam and a new bar routine, which was pretty exciting for her.”

Performing new routines on the bars and beam, Sherman landed 31st all-around out of 36. She placed 26th on the vault (8.925) and 29th on the beam (7.875).

Kozmen was a spot behind her teammate in 32nd all-around with 29th on the vault (8.800) and 32nd on the bars and beam. She also took 33rd on the floor posting her first-ever score of nine.

“Scoring a nine is a really good achievement in gymnastics,” said Jones. “The first score of a nine means you’re on the right track.”

“Sasha and Hailey’s category was super-high competition, so they didn’t end up coming home with any ribbons or medals … but they both had some personal bests,” she added.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen B.C. athletes doing such fantastic gymnastics. It was really tough.”

Polarettes will next send a team to the Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships next month in Richmond.

“We’re probably taking three girls to that competition. They find out Friday if they’re going to go,” said Jones.

“These three girls, they don’t have a lot of competition experience; they’re all new to higher level gymnastics,” she added of last week’s championship. “So just to be at the B.C. championship is a really big accomplishment for them.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com