Local jump ropers wrangled themselves several top placements in the national championships in Calgary.
The Nelson Rhythm Ropers along with other qualifiers from provincials formed the BC/Yukon team that went to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to compete.
“I was really pleased with the outcome. We seemed to peak just at the right time. Our routines got clean in the gym just before we went, and we were prime for the days. Most of the kids were having really good skips,” said Rhythm Ropers head coach Brenda Reid.
There were five other teams from across Canada who competed in the championship, which began on July 18.
“We’ve been going to nationals since 1999. We’re usually in the top, and we were again,” said Reid.
The large group precision portion of the competition is one of the areas of expertise for the Rhythm Ropers and they took gold in that category.
“Our juniors took bronze in the precision category. For many of them it was their first time doing a precision number, but I figure you’ve got to start somewhere so I threw them in. I think we did well on that day,” said Reid.
On the team day portion of nationals, all of the teams placed in the top five except for the 10 and 11 age groups who came sixth and seventh.
“The one team was pretty much all first year jumpers and the other team was half rookies and half veterans. My aim for them was to have them in the top 10, so I was happy with their performance and it was only one point difference between them,” said Reid.
One team faced a challenge before nationals when one of the members of the 15/17 mix team was injured two weeks before the competition.
“We had to replace a skipper, and when we did our 15/17 mix team had to move up to 18+ because my only replacement was a skipper who has competed with us in the past and is in his 20s,” she said.
The change to the team roster didn’t affect them at all, and they finished first overall.
The 18+ girls team finished fourth overall.
“Our aim this year was to build teams that could jump together for at least two years, because world’s is next year. By next year the 18+ girls team, which has 15 and 17-year-old girls on it, will all be 18 except for one, so it was kind of like ‘this year, you’re going to compete against the 18-year-olds, but next year you’ll be in good shape’,” said Reid.
Many of the competitors that the 18+ girls faced were 25 years old and Reid was very pleased with how they placed.
“They even had some first place finishes in some of their events,” she said.
The rookie eight and nine-year-old jumpers placed third overall, and the younger team placed fifth overall.
In the masters category, they took second, third and fourth overall.
“In the boys, Kyle Poulin place first overall, and in the 12-to-14 boys Bradley Spurch placed third overall,” said Reid.
In the eight and nine-year-olds, Ella Poloso had a great performance, placing first overall out of approximately 30 kids in the category.
Abby Jackson had a really strong day and finished third overall.
In the freestyle category, Reid described one of the performances as “poetry in motion.”
“Larissa Napora, it was one of those jumps where the jumper is in the zone. It was just magical to watch. It was her first time in the category and she beat out veteran competitors for first place,” said Reid.
The Rhythm Ropers are taking a couple weeks off of training before they perform in the opening ceremony of the BC Seniors Games.