Four gymnasts from Selkirk Challengers Gymnastics Club in Castlegar outdid themselves last month at the BC provincial championships in North Vancouver.
Soda Bagshaw competed in the Level 5 Junior Olympic category. She was awarded silver in the balance beam and tenth place in vault.
She said she had a mixture of confidence and nerves heading into the competition.
“I felt pretty good, pretty confident in beam because at the last competition I got silver,” she said. “So that was good. Bars, I was scared for. It takes a lot of work to get it.”
The 14-year-old described her feelings upon learning she won silver in beam: “Overwhelmed. It was crazy. ‘I am second in all of British Columbia,’ is the thought that went through my head. I was just proud of myself because I did not think I would ever get anything like that in all of my life.”
Thirteen-year-old Lily Garthe also competed in Level 5JO. She placed fifth in uneven bars and 11th over all.
Jacob Watt competed in Level 1JO. The nine-year-old won silver in parallel bars, bronze in pommel, floor, rings, vault and high bar. These accomplishments secured him the bronze over all medal.
Reese Whitehead accomplished gold in vault, bronze in pommel, and silver in high bar, parallel bars, floor and rings. His combined performances earned him the silver over all medal.
“At the beginning, I was nervous because there are so many people watching and there are so many other kids competing with you,” the ten-year-old said. “There is just a whole bunch of different events, and you worry about how you are going to do.”
Whitehead obviously did not let his nervousness get to him. About winning the silver he said “It felt really good.”
Reese’s mother Taya, who is very involved with the club, explained: “These are huge accomplishments for a small club with limited training hours. Our kids train six hours a week and we were competing against kids who train 20 plus hours a week.”
She thanked competitive coach Rhonda Saunders for guiding the club members to success.
Saunders was very happy with her students’ accomplishments. “I am so extremely proud of them for as little as they trained and how well they did. The look on their faces was awesome. They didn’t think they were going to place at all. My job is so rewarding.”