Polarettes gymnasts persevere at 2019 Artistic Western Canadian Championships

“For me as a coach, that means so much more – to have that resiliency through competition”

Hailey Sherman, left, and Maude Molgat, right, competed at the 2019 Artistic Western Canadian Championships in Saskatoon under the watchful eye of Polarettes head coach Kimberly Jones, centre. (Submitted/Polarettes Gymnastics Club)

It was a busy weekend in Saskatoon for two Yukon gymnasts at the 2019 Artistic Western Canadian Championships from April 25 to 27.

Hailey Sherman and Maude Molgat from the Polarettes Gymnastics Club competed at the Junior Olympic 9 and Junior Olympic 8 level respectively, with each gymnast cracking the top 20 in at least one discipline.

Sherman finished 18th on vault, 22nd on uneven bars, 23rd on beam, 27th on floor and 23rd all-around in JO 9.

Head coach Kimberly Jones said Sherman was the first Polarette to compete at JO 9.

“It’s the first time our club has ever competed in that level,” said Jones. “We’ve never had athletes that are doing gymnastics of that difficulty, so that was huge on its own right now.”

Jones said Sherman improved upon her performance at the Canada Winter Games.

“She’s been working a lot on some mental training and what not to try to improve (her nerves),” said Jones. “It had definitely gotten better from Canada Games.”

Molgat is relatively new to JO 8 — this was just her third competition — and she was up against gymnasts who’ve competed at that level for a year or two, so Jones said the idea was to simply take the opportunity to compete.

“We just went in and kind of said, ‘Well, you have this amazing opportunity to go to Westerns, so why don’t you take it?” said Jones.

Molgat finished 14th on vault, 22nd on uneven bars, 15th on beam, 11th on floor and 21st all-around.

“She had quite a costly error on bars right at the beginning but she was able to come back from that and really hold her head up high and show really good routines for the rest of the day,” said Jones about Molgat. “For me as a coach, that means so much more – to have that resiliency through competition and to go out and kind of know there are still areas to improve.”

Jones said Molgat fell early in her routine but rebounded to finish her routine.

“When she got back on the bar, she actually did really great gymnastics for the rest of her routine,” said Jones. “But when she landed, we realized that she had forgot one of her major elements in just being frazzled. … She was really disappointed after that, but to bring that back, that was really awesome.”

This was the first Westerns for both Molgat and Sherman, but it wasn’t the only first at the competition — Sherman landed her first side aerial in competition.

“Hailey landed a side aerial — a cartwheel with no hands — on the beam for the first time in competition,” said Jones. “So that was a major moment for Yukon.”

The gymnastics competition season continues with 11 Polarettes travelling to the Delta Gymnastics Invitational from May 3 to 5, the upcoming Yukon Championships on May 26 in Whitehorse and the Ogopogo Invitational from June 6 to 10.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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