Gymnast climbs golden mountain
Gymnastics: Allie Ayotte wins overall at provincials
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 10:53 am
By Bruce Campbell
Nerves at the provincial championships didn’t wobble an Okotoks gymnast earlier this month.
Mountain Shadows gymnast Allie Ayotte won the overall in the P2 Tyro category at the Artistic Gymnastics provincial championships on April 12-13 in Lethbridge.
“I thought I would place, but I didn’t think I would win first,” said Ayotte, a student at Good Shepherd School.
She had near top 10 finishes in the four disciplines, the balance beam, the bars, the vault and the floor en route to the title. She surprised herself by finishing first in the beam.
“I didn’t wobble — I always get nervous on it,” Ayotte said. “When I was done, I was really happy.”
The beam was the first of the disciplines for Ayotte. She relaxed and went on to finish second in the floor, eighth in the vault and just missed the top 10 with an 11th place on the bars.
She had to think quickly on her feet in her second-place performance on the floor.
“The music — I was too early,” she said. “So I had to make up some dance steps. The judges didn’t know.”
Ayotte didn’t know she had won either until overall silver medallist Bianca Kholman had finished her floor routine.
“All season she had done really well on floor, but this time she didn’t do quite as well,” said Mountain Shadows coach Michelle Bahr.
Ayotte won by .05 points over Kholman.
Bahr said the P2 category may have been the most competitive among the divisions. Still, the club was able to have three top 10 finishes among the 23 competitors at P2.
Lexie Zacharias was fourth overall and was the model of consistency. She was fourth in bars and the floor.
Hannah Proctor finished 10th overall, however she came home with a gold medal in the vault in the P2 Tyro.
She nailed a front handspring on her second attempt, after a not-quite perfect first attempt.
“I wanted to do better on my second attempt,” said Proctor, a student at St. Mary’s School in Okotoks. “My legs were tighter (together).”
She was awarded 12.850 on her second attempt. Her first attempt wasn’t too shabby at 12.750 — which would have put her in a tie for first.
Jordyn Bahr was second in the Open P4 division. She was first in the beam, despite the fact she doesn’t really like it.
“I have always been good at the beam and I liked it, but I have been falling this year — so I don’t like it this year,” said the 15-year-old Jordyn.
The reason she has been falling more this year, is because her degree of difficulty has gone up. All that falling off earlier in the year resulted in a near-perfect performance in Lethbridge at the biggest meet of the year.
She was the first one up on the beam.
Her score of 12.05 set the bar awfully high for the other competitors.
“I don’t like being the first one (on the bar) because you don’t have time to settle down,” Jordyn said. “I didn’t really settle down until after I was done.”
Jordyn had the highest degree of difficulty among the 14 competitors.
She was second in the floor and ninth in both the vault and the floor.
Victoria Paish was fourth overall in the open P4. She finished first in the vault.
Kiara Newhook used the strength of her uneven bars to catapult her to third place in the overall in the Tyro P3.
“I did pretty good,” said Newhook, a student at Good Shepherd School. “I got first in bars. I like getting new moves on bars.”
She had a new routine in the bars, which she had been working on for a month.
“I put in a ‘Giant’ and then a dismount,” she said.
A giant is when the gymnast — with an extended body — swing themselves totally around the bar.
Other results from Mountain Shadows athletes were:
Argo P2 — 10. Breckyn Bahr; 19. Brooke Spurway
Tyro P3 — 6. Sydni Paish, 8. Callie Zacharias (second, vault)
Novice P2 — 12. Megan Petrie
Novice p4 — 12. Madison Chiasson
A foothills gymnast used her upper body strength to snare a bronze medal.
Breeann Podesky, a John Paul II Collegiate, finished third in the Novice P3 division. She finished tied for third in the vault and the uneven bars. She was fifth in the floor and the beam.
She did a front handspring in the vault with a score of 12.50. She had a 12.60 in the bars.
“I have a lot of upper body strength and that helps me a lot on the bars,” Podesky said, who competes for Gymtastics in Calgary. She was able to combine her strength with her speed in finishing third in the vault.
The season isn’t quite over yet.
Mountain Shadows will host more than 200 gymnasts at the Mountain Magic Invitational Gymnastic Meet on April 25-27.