Polarettes travel to Kelowna for Ogopogo Invitational

“It made me realize that we are very competitive relative to the rest of Canada”

Thirteen gymnasts from the Polarettes Gymnastics Club were in Kelowna, B.C., for the Ogopogo Invitational from June 7 to 9.

Competing in Junior Olympics levels 2, 3, 5, and 6, the athletes all competed well and brought home a number of medals for their efforts.

Coach Ewan Campbell said the meet, his first Outside with the club, showed just how well Yukon gymnasts stack up against the competition.

“It made me realize that we are very competitive relative to the rest of Canada,” said Campbell. “We’re so isolated up here — there are moments you kind of just don’t know how good the rest of the world is — and being able to go out for the first time and see how our athlete competed and did very well, it made me realize we’re doing a good job up here … and I think we can keep pushing for higher medals at higher-level competitions.”

Speaking of medals, Layla Hombert led the way for the Polarettes after earning gold on vault, bars, floor and all-around, and silver on beam in the JO 3 junior 2 category.

“That was super impressive to see,” said Campbell. “A lot of people placed all-around.”

Also competing at JO 3, Wylloh Dinn finished seventh on vault, second on bars, ninth on beam, ninth on floor and ninth all-around in the novice 1 category.

In the novice 3 group, Alayna Mortimer was first on vault, first on bars, 10th on beam, third on floor and third all-around, while teammate Aubree Hombert was sixth on vault, third on bars, eighth on beam, eighth on floor and sixth all-around.

Gracie Sands also competed at JO 3, finishing fifth on vault, fourth on bars, eighth on beam, seventh on floor and seventh all-around in the senior 2 group.

At the JO 2 level, gymnasts are awarded gold, silver or bronze based on their individual performance rather than their relative performance against each other.

From the Yukon, Annie McNeil won gold on vault and silver on bars, beam, floor and all-around.

In novice JO 4, Sabrina Hartland was sixth on vault, second on bars, sixth on beam, first on floor and fourth all-around.

In senior JO 4, Amelie Guilbeault was second on vault, second on bars, fourth on beam, fourth on floor and second all-around. Cydney Williams was third on vault, fifth on bars, fifth on beam, second on floor, and third all-around, while Sascha Nelson finished fourth on vault, fourth on bars, 10th on beam, fifth on floor and sixth all-around.

Moving up to JO 6, Camille Bélanger and Mackenzie Tonner competed in the senior 1 group and Kate Koepke competed in the senior 2 group.

Bélanger finished third on vault, second on bars, second on beam, fifth on floor and third all-around, with Tonner finishing sixth on vault, third on bars, third on beam, fourth on floor and fourth all-around.

Koepke was sixth on vault, eighth on bars, sixth on beam, eighth on floor and eighth all-around.

The meet was the last major event of the season for the club, and Campbell said the potential of the athletes means he has mixed feelings about leaving the territory for school next fall.

“This meet almost made me a little sad about leaving because it was just so promising how good everyone is going to get in the next year,” said Campbell. “It was a great meet. Super positive attitude from everyone and it was just super fun.”

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

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