Gymnasts from Whitehorse’s Polarettes club vaulted through the nerves to open the season at the Twisters Invitational over the weekend in Abbotsford, B.C.
Five of the six Yukon gymnasts at the international event were competing in their first event of the season.
“I definitely saw a lot of nervousness from the girls at this meet who hadn’t competed yet this year,” said Polarettes coach Catherine O’Donovan. “The only one who had competed this year was Reena (Coyne); for everybody else it was their first meet of the year. So I saw a case of jitters, kids forgetting what they were supposed to do, just losing their head a little bit. That’s OK, that’s how it goes. It’s a learning experience.”
Coyne was the only Yukon gymnast to compete at the Canada Winter Games in February. She placed 12th out of 14 in Level 5 open in Abbotsford. She sprung to 10th on vault, 11th on bars and completed her first double twist while flipping on the floor.
“She managed to get it the day before we left and performed it at the competition,” said O’Donovan.
Teammate Anisa Albisser competed at Level 5 for her first time. She placed eighth out of eight in Level 5 novice, with sixth on vault and seventh on beam and floor. She was in line to compete at the Canada Games but broke a bone in her foot three weeks before the competition.
“We were going just to get a competition under her belt,” said O’Donovan. “She isn’t quite back up to where she was before she broke her foot.”
Polarette Matisse Robertson placed 11th all-around in Junior Olympic Level 7B out of 13 gymnasts. She tied for sixth on the floor and seventh on vault.
“The biggest success was Matisse,” said O’Donovan. “She’s a pretty shy athlete; I think she’d prefer to hide behind a coach than perform in front of a crowd. But she managed to step up to the plate and did really well, and she had some great success with some new skills that she just put into her routine.”
Other Polarettes results include Caitlyn Venasse placing 20th all-around in Junior Olympic 8C with 16th on the vault; Alexis Benson 15th all-around in Junior Olympic Level 6B, with eighth on floor and placing ninth on beam; and Anna Gishlet 18th all-around with 13th on the floor in Junior Olympic Level 6B.
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