Work pays off for Airborne athletes

Trampoline: Local club holds national level event

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 06:00 am

Airborne trampolinist Kathleen Kilcommons is in near straight-line during her solid performance at the Okotoks club’s annual meet on Saturday.
Airborne trampolinist Kathleen Kilcommons is in near straight-line during her solid performance at the Okotoks club’s annual meet on Saturday.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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A trampolinist bounced to the top of the podium at the national level for the first time.

And she did it at her own club.

Okotoks’ Mackenzie Kyfiuk won the gold medal at the national level in trampoline at the Airborne Invitational and National trials on Saturday.

“I was pretty solid — I finished it, that is good,” the 13-year-old Kyfiuk said.

“At my previous national competition, I didn’t do my end skill. This is only my second national competition so I am pretty happy.”

She put in more hours on the trampoline after her first national attempt.

“I practiced a lot more and I was more consistent with my routine,” she said. “This will help my confidence because I know I can do it again.”

Kyfiuk was also pleased with her third-place finish in the double-mine trampoline.

“I was in seventh place going into finals and I moved up to third,” she said.

She was fifth in tumbling.

Pals together

A pair of friends was on the same wavelength at the Airborne meet.

Airborne’s Ellie Hawkins and Natasha Reid won the Provincial 1 Synchronized Trampoline competition Friday.

“We have been synchro partners for three years and so we know exactly what we are going to do what we are going to doing to do during a certain skill,” Reid said. “So our synchro level is higher than some others.”

Great minds that think alike can sometimes achieve great things.

“Just the fact that we are best friends and have a lot in common helps us do the same thing — we kind of know what we are going to do,” said Hawkins a Grade 8 student at John Paul II Collegiate.

While Phoebe, Rachel and Monica were Friends in a cheesy 1990s sitcom, they weren’t able to pull off winning a trampoline medal.

It took talent and timing for Hawkins and Reid in their approximately 45-second routine, which included at least 10 skills.

Their first hard skill was a back-pike, in which they do a back flip in a pike position — touching their toes like a Summer Olympic diver.

“It was our third skill,” Hawkins said.

“I just concentrate on what I was trying to do and when I was finished (the back-pike) I kind of looked out of the corner of my eye to she how she was doing.”

The toughest skill was their front to the three-quarter — where the two-young ladies are in a Supergirl flying position before tucking their head under for a roll just before hitting the trampoline. It is their second last skill.

They nailed it — much to the relief of Reid.

“During our warm-up I almost fell over, because I messed up,” she said. “I was really happy that we finished it.”

It also made a big impression on one of Hawkins’ biggest fans.

“My dad said: ‘Wow that was just amazing — you did such an amazing job’’’ Hawkins said with a smile.

Hard work

A nine-year-old boy has already found out working hard pays off.

Zayden Rabie of Okotoks won the trampoline and tumbling in the P2 and P1 level, respectively.

He got a kick out of his tumbling routine.

“I stuck my landings and in my back-tuck I kicked out and my toes were pointed and I had my legs straightened out,” Rabie said.

He had a similar strong performance in the trampoline.

“Basically, it was just the same stuff as tumbling,” he said with a laugh. “You’re just bouncing.”

His performance comes just weeks after he stumbled a bit at a provincial meet in Red Deer.

“The mistakes he made at earlier competitions didn’t happen here,” said Airborne coach Matt Wheele.

“He has worked really hard to correct those mistake, but he tends to always work hard.”

He said the Airborne tourney is ideal for the young athletes like Rabie to hone their skills.

“Young athletes like Zayden are still learning his basic elements and this is an opportunity to perform in front of the judges and get used to competition,” Wheele said. “It is great experience.”

Airborne T&T has both a recreational and a competitive stream to its programs.

For more information on Airborne go to


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