Gymtastiks of Moose Jaw sent eight athletes to the 2017 GymSask provincial championships in Saskatoon last weekend and they walked away with a pair of provincial titles and a number of medals.
12-year-old Shaine Closs and 13-year-old Avery Swanson captured the provincial title in their respective Junior Olympic divisions, finishing in first place in almost all the disciplines on their way to gold.
“That was a really exciting time for Gymtastiks,” said Coach Jamie Olmstead.
Closs took top spot in the Junior Olympic 5A classification, scoring a first place finish in the vault with a score of 9.350 and bars with a score of 9.075. She tied for first in the beam with a score of 9.300 and came in third in the floor event with a score of 9.075.
All that allowed Closs to edge out Yorkton’s Danica Signarowski by 0.450 points for first place. Gymtastiks’ Jaicee Maruska finished sixth in the division.
Swanson won the Junior Olympic 5B classification with a final score of 33.400, which just beat Regina’s Zoe Stewart by 0.350 points.
Swanson claimed first place in the bars with a score of 8.275 and the beam with a score of 8.150. She came in second in the vault with a score of 8.700 and was tied for second in the floor routine with a score of 8.275.
Olmstead said both athletes worked very hard throughout the season to put themselves in position to win the provincial titles.
“We picked the meets to make sure that the kids got the experience throughout the year,” she said. “We started out in February and then we had competitions in March and April and then we made sure that the athletes were peaking for the championship.
“They’ve won their medals and won their all arounds throughout the year and you just make sure that they’ve trained the hours that they need to make sure they can repeat it again at the end of the year after a long season.”
In the Junior Olympic 3a classification, Moose Jaw’s Blake Maltais finished in 12th place overall, claiming a bronze medal in the floor routine with a score of 8.875. Casey Storozuk came in tied for 13th with her best finish coming in the floor routine, tying for fourth thanks to a score of 8.850.
Jovie Mohle finished in 15th place in the Junior Olympic 3B classification with a final score of 34.275. She was eighth in the vault, 11th in the floor, 18th in the bars and 21st in the beam.
Finally, in the Junior Olympic 3C classification, Abigail Watson placed 11th overall thanks to a pair of top-ten finishes, she came in ninth in the bars and tenth in the vault.
Aiden Leys ended up in 20th overall in the 3C classification with her best finish coming in the vault where she played tied for 14th.
“They did really well,” said Olmstead. “The JO 3s were JO 1s last year, so they learned all the JO 2 skills and routines and then moved up another level to JO 3, so that was a really big busy year for them.”
This was the last competitive meet of the season for the gymnasts, but they will perform again for family and friends at the year-end show on June 19.