Polarettes wrap up weeks of competition

It was a long road to the Jurassic Classic for the Whitehorse Polarettes Gymnastics Club -- literally.

It was a long road to the Jurassic Classic for the Whitehorse Polarettes Gymnastics Club—literally.

After competing at Edmonton’s Mardis Gras Salto International in the second week of March, 10 girls and two coaches from the Polarettes drove south to the bigger event, the Jurassic Classic in Calgary.

“We got to train at two different clubs and compete at two different meets so it was a really good experience for all the girls,” said Polarettes coach Jenn Ryan. “The level-twos, the younger kids, it was the first time competing out of the territory for some of them.

“They got to see and play on other gymnastics equipment. One thing that both clubs had that we don’t have is a long trampoline called a tumble-track … about 40 feet long.

“They really enjoyed that.”

The Polarettes’ youngest competitor, Fayne O’Donovan, 10, competed in both the Mardis Gras and Jurassic and finished with fourth and seventh respectively.

O’Donovan’s strongest event was the bars, taking gold in both meets. At the Mardis Gras, she also had a fourth-place finish on the beam.

“Fayne did really well at both meets,” said Ryan. “She handled the pressure and she placed well at both meets … She had quite a good experience down there.

“She’s really picked up skills this year. It really started clicking in her head.”

For the level two tyro division, Lilyanne Gale had the best results, finishing 12th at the Mardis Gras and 30th at the Jurassic.

“Lilyanne (Gale) came home with a fourth on beam, so we’re really pleased with that,” said Ryan. “The other kids were in the top half, so that was good.”

At the same events in the same division, the Polarettes’ Caitlyn Venasse finished 12th and 30th, Alana LaCoste finished 24th and 31st and Mackenzie Davy, competing only at the Mardis Gras, finished 21st.

Moving up to the level-three novice, Kelcie Henney took a fifth on the bars en route to a 12 place finish and then grabbed fifths on the vault and bars at the Jurassic for 10th overall. Foreste Martin went 13th and 21st at the events.

The Polarettes’ lone level-three open competitor, Emily Oettli, won a silver on the bars in Edmonton, eventually finishing eighth.

In level-four novice, Corey Baxter went silver in all events for a second at Mardis Gras before finishing 17th at the Jurassic.

Anna Rivard, the Polarattes’ only level-five athlete, took second overall at Mardis Gras in the level-five open. She then finished ninth at the Jurassic.

“Anna was in the open five category, so she’s our top athlete here in the Yukon,” said Ryan.

Rivard will be the lone gymnast out of the club going to the 2009 Western Canada Cup at the end of the month in Winnipeg.

The boys weren’t without a trip of their own, going to Surrey, BC at the end of February for the Surrey Classic.

Competing in the level three men’s 13-and-up, the Polarettes’ Benoit Latour finished fifth overall, taking a bronze on the high bar and a pair of fourth place finishes on the floor and parallel bars and a pair of fifths on the rings and the pommels.

Teammate Andrew Crist, in the level three men’s 13-and-under, ended up in 12th place, with his best results being a silver on the floor and a fourth place finish on the high bars.

“I was surprised he got so high because when we were practising he had a sore heel,” said Polarettes coach Shaun Porter. “But he pushed past that and had a really clean routine.

“I wasn’t sure how they’d do when we went down there, but they had very competitive routines and they knew what to do.”

“They’re both level three for the first time, so they’re really excited about that,” said Ryan.

“They competed in level two last year, so they did do a level jump this year. That means they went from doing compulsory routines to optional routines, which means they have a little more choice in what they want to do.”

Before the competition, the boys got to watch the 2009 Elite Canada competition, a qualifying meet for the national team, which perhaps inspired Latour and Crist.

“It’s the top male gymnasts in the country,” said Ryan. “They were very excited to see that.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Most Read