Eleven gymnasts from Nelson’s Glacier Gymnastics Club came home victorious from the provincial championships in early April, with a first-place team trophy and 23 medals, including five all-around titles and 21 top-10 placement ribbons.
The Junior Olympic Level 6 team competed against 35 other gymnastics clubs across B.C. to capture the team award Friday and Saturday in Port Coquitlam.
“It was a pleasant surprise for all of us,” said head coach Sandra Long. “This is the first time this season that our Level 6 team has competed against the big clubs in the Lower Mainland, so we had no idea where the gymnasts would rank.”
Leading the team to victory was veteran gymnast Teagan McTague, who claimed the 16-18 age group all-around gold title. She also won gold on floor, silver on vault and beam and bronze on bars. In the same age group Elisa Clark took the silver medal on floor.
In the 12-year-old age group, Aurora Panko-Dool captured all-around silver and three more silver medals for her vault, bar and floor routines. Ella Taylor took the bronze on vault.
Shelbi van Hellemond won the all-around bronze in the 11-year-old age group and also the silver on beam and bronze on bars and floor.
First time provincials competitor nine-year-old Livia Richardson won the gold on beam and bronze on floor.
Junior Olympic Level 7 gymnast Dafni van Hellemond claimed the all-around silver in the 13-year-old age group. She also won silver on vault and floor. In her first year competing as a Level 7, Eden Bellman claimed silver on beam in the 11-year-old category.
Brianne Stefani was just as successful in Junior Olympic Level 8, as she earned the all-around silver and a bronze medal on beam.
Long said the coaches and members of Glacier are very proud and overwhelmed by the success of its gymnasts this season.
“There is a lot of unseen hard-work and dedication behind these results. With continued commitment by these up-and-coming gymnasts, we predict more success for the club next season.”
The Glacier Team will now focus on preparing for the Kootenay Zone Championships, which the club is hosting May 5-6.