Gymnast says aloha to a bronze medal
Gymnastics: Mountain Shadows competes in Hawaii
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 06:00 am
A gymnast from the MD of Foothills came home with more than a bronze tan from the Aloha State.
Shannon McIntosh, 17, also came home with a bronze medal from the Aloha Gymfest meet in Honolulu in late January. She competed at the Level 9 category, the second highest at the Hawaii meet.
McIntosh, a member of Okotoks’ Mountain Shadows Gymnastics Club, admitted she was nervous as she entered the gym.
“There was a lot of pressure because Mountain Shadows was the only Canadian team there,” she said. “There were clubs from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States.”
McIntosh finished third in the all-around showing her consistency in all four disciplines, the floor, the balance beam, the bars and the vault.
She lost the balance beam title in a tiebreaker. McIntosh had the same score (8.850) as American Alex Biden, who was declared the winner because she finished higher in the all-around.
“My balance beam routine was probably the best I have ever done,” McIntosh said. “I didn’t wobble or fall. The flips were hard, but it was all hard.”
Doing flips and handstands are tough enough, it is even harder when you are doing it three-feet off the ground on a four-inch wide wooden bar.
McIntosh’s performance on the beam was even more impressive considering she shook off a fall in the bars in the previous discipline.
“I told myself you can’t do anything about it, so just focus on the beam,” McIntosh said.
She fell on the bars just prior to the dismount of her approximately 45-second routine.
“I do find bars the hardest,” said the Highwood High School Grade 12 student. “I fell near the end. I just hoped I could get up and do it (the maneuver) again. I had to do it because it led to my dismount.”
She finished fifth in the bars among the eight competitors.
McIntosh opened the competition by nailing her vault, her favourite event.
“I did a tsuk and I stuck it,” McIntosh said.
A tsuk is a round-off onto the vault horse and then a back flip off. She finished fourth with the routine, which has a high degree of difficulty.
McIntosh completed her competition by finishing second in the floor with a score of 8.825.
“It went really well,” she said. “I stuck my first tumbling line.”
McIntosh said her bronze medal performance will give her confidence for the remainder of the season. Her goal is to make Team Alberta and compete at the Western Canadian championships.
Madison Chaisson, 12, competed in the Level 7 category in Hawaii finishing 13th overall.
“I did okay, I placed fifth on the floor,” said the Grade 7 student at John Paul II Collegiate. “My bars was a bit rough, and usually that is my favourite event.”
Chaisson said she had trouble in the bars because the floor was a different surface than what she is used to in Canada, causing them to vibrate.
Although she did not crack the top 10 Chaisson still had a whale of a time.
“We went out in a catamaran and we saw a whale,” she said with a smile.
Kylee Rude, from Calgary who trains at Mountain Shadows, was eighth overall at Level 7 in the 13-year-old division. Calgarian Victoria Paish finished 14th in the 14-and-over Level 7 category.
Mountain Shadows coach Jim McLuskey said the Aloha Gymfest is a great chance for the athletes to get international experience in a non-pressure situation.
Mountain Shadows’ next competition is this weekend when they travel to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.