Three local high school teams of gymnasts from Powell River competed at the Comox Pajama Party in Comox on February 9.
The meet served as the trials to attend the BC High School Provincial Championships for gymnastics. The high school program includes six levels of competition: Level 1 Junior, Level 1 Senior, and Levels 2 through 5.
Powell River Christian School athlete Madison Belyea was the sole competitor for her school. She won gold on vault, bronze on uneven bars, silver on beam and fifth place on floor for a silver all-around win. This secured Belyea a berth in the provincial championships.
Partners in Education athlete Trinity Jacques rejoined the gymnastics program a mere two weeks before the competition and made the quick decision to join the trials and hope for the best. Jacques won bronze on vault and placed on all other events. She had to wait to see if she’d get a coveted wildcard berth for the provincials but was eventually invited to attend.
Brooks Secondary School sent a team of five athletes to the trials: Mira Khang, Jordyn Mackenzie, Naomi Harrison, Rachel Traer and Hillary English.
Khang competed in Level 1 Junior. She won her division with a silver on vault, gold on bars, gold on beam and silver on floor for gold all-around.
Mackenzie also won her division, Level 1 Senior, winning the gold in every event and gold all-around.
English competed in the Level 5 division, bringing home bronze medals for the beam and floor. Combined with her two fourth place finishes she received a fourth place all-around. English also received a wild card invitation to attend the provincial championships.
Harrison and Traer placed in all their events; however, they did not initially qualify to attend the provincial championships.
“It is a stark reminder that gymnastics is a sport where you will have good days and off days; even Olympians have off days,” stated Powell River Gymnastics Club office administrator Karyne Bailey in a media release. “We are so proud of all of our athletes because even one small slip can be the difference between a gold and 10th place. It’s all in how perfect you are this one time, the one time the judges are judging. You can land it perfectly 100 times in practice, but still falter at a competition. That is the nature of the sport.”
Harrison and Traer later received wildcard invitations to attend provincials.
“We’re not sure if they are going to be able to attend yet, but that means the entire team received invitations to attend provincials,” stated Bailey. “We hope they will attend but it is very last minute given they will need to travel tomorrow night.”
The three teams will leave Powell River on Wednesday, March 4, and travel together with their coach and chaperone to Victoria for this year’s BC High School Sports Gymnastics Championships, where they will compete over two days in four different levels.
“We wish them all the best as they compete against the best high school gymnasts from across British Columbia,” stated Bailey.