For the second time in a row, the Yukon’s gymnasts are wearing bronze ulus following the Arctic Winter Games team event, held at Polarettes Gymnastics Club in Riverdale on Tuesday.
“We’re happy with that. We know what we have to do to break up into that silver and gold, we just need to do higher-value routines,” said Yukon head coach Catherine O’Donovan. “The routines we were doing we were getting good scores, we just need more difficulty.”
The Yukon’s two veterans, Fayne O’Donovan and Caitlyn Venasse, who were on the bronze-winning team in 2010, had the best results.
Had it been an individual competition, both would be wearing additional ulus right now.
Fayne’s handspring-full put her in first place, which would have given her a gold and Venasse came in second, which would have produced a silver on the beam.
This bodes well for the Yukon come Thursday’s individual competition.
“It gave us a good confidence boost. We know that we have the possibility to medal - at least a couple medals - on Thursday (in the individual events),” said Catherine. “It’s stiff competition. Alberta and Alaska, who have really strong teams this year, were definitely going to get the silver and the gold, but we gave we gave them a strong run with our bronze.
“We had very clean routines. Our athletes were feeling confident - we had a really good competition. So we’re really happy with our bronze.”
The team’s other two gymnasts weren’t shabby either. Reena Coyne placed eighth on the bars for her best result. Kendra Peters, a Level 2 who is competing up in Level 3 for the first time, had her best placement landing eighth on the vault.
Northern Alberta took gold and Alaska took silver, reversing both teams’ results from 2010. Finishing fourth and fifth were N.W.T. and Nunavut, respectively.
“We look at it as we know where we can try to place on Thursday,” said Catherine. “We have a practice tomorrow and we’ll go in, taking the results from today, and say, ‘OK, we were able to do this, what can we clean up in the other events? What can we make sure we repeat on Thursday to get that same result?’”
Thursday’s competition starts at 10:30 and is scheduled to run to 3 p.m. at the Polarettes club.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org