Rivard vaults her way to gold

Off the vault, she's the best in the West. Competing at the Western Canadian Championships in Winnipeg, level-five gymnast Anna Rivard, 15, of Whitehorse's Polarettes and Polar Tumblers Gymnastics Club struck gold.

Off the vault, she’s the best in the West.

Competing at the Western Canadian Championships in Winnipeg, level-five gymnast Anna Rivard, 15, of Whitehorse’s Polarettes and Polar Tumblers Gymnastics Club struck gold.

“There were a lot of coaches there that were impressed by her,” said Polarettes head coach Jenn Ryan. “It was really encouraging to hear all those words from the different provinces about her vault.”

Rivard topped the list on the vault, sticking the landing on a front tuck for a score of 14.3 out of a possible 15. She qualified for the finals with the same feat, scoring a 13.55.

“To qualify for the vault they took the top eight, but the score difference between them all was a 0.6,” said Ryan. “So she had to be really sharp to qualify.”

On the first day of competition, Rivard took 15th on the floor, 13th on the bars and second on the vault for an overall finish of 13th.

Before the Westerns, a pair of Polarettes competed in the BC Championships held April 17-19 in Langley, BC.

Level-three gymnast Kelcie Henney, 13, finished 14th out of 27 competitors. Her best result was a 10th-place finish on the vault, successfully performing a handspring.

“She’s been working quite hard on it,” said Ryan. “At the upcoming Yukon Championships she’ll hopefully perform a handspring front tuck.”

Teammate Corey Baxter also made the trip south for the BC Championships to compete in level four.

In a field of 16 athletes, she finished 14th overall, grabbing a silver on the floor in the process.

“Corey has a really difficult (floor) routine for level four,” said Ryan. “She has a one-and-half twist, so she turns one-and-a-half times in the air to open up her routine. Then she does a front tuck all the way through with a back tuck in the same line. Then she finishes her routine with a full twist.”

The Polarettes will be closing out the season by hosting the Yukon Championships at their club in Whitehorse on May 23. The event will include 16 athletes from Juneau, Alaska.

“I think we had a really good year (so far),” said Ryan. “I was quite pleased with how we did in all the competitions.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


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