PIT Gymnasts Tackle Tasmanian State Championships

WAG re-cap - Danielle Quinlan

For some Gymnasts, it was their first year competing at a State Championship event and for many gymnasts, this was their first opportunity to compete interstate. Excitement was at an all-time high when we attended podium training on Friday afternoon. This podium training session allowed for the Gymnasts to test out the equipment ahead of the competition and they were thrilled to discover that due to the gymnastics floor being placed on top of a basketball court, the floor was extremely bouncy. Once training was completed, all Gymnasts headed back to their accommodation to get a full night’s rest before the big day.

The competition commenced on Saturday morning with our Level 4 Gymnasts. Podium training prior to the competition enabled the girls to feel confident throughout the competition, knowing that they had already trained on the equipment. The Level 4 Gymnasts performed consistently and set a high standard with their excellent performances. Gymnastics Tasmania offers individual placings for all levels, in contrast to Gymnastics Victoria who at WAG Level 3 and 4 only offer team awards. Therefore, for the first time in a competition the Level 4 Gymnasts were able to experience individual placings. All of the Level 4 Gymnasts were ecstatic to receive at least one individual placing on an apparatus or in the all-around category. Cleopatra nailed her Beam routine and was very proud to achieve a personal best score on this apparatus. Chloe competed consistently throughout the competition and had a standout performance on Floor with a powerful handspring.

Inspired by the performances of the Level 4 Gymnasts, the Level 5’s were keen to begin their competition. As the first of the PIT Gymnasts to debut the new senior leotards in an interstate competition, they gained many compliments from judges and Tasmanian clubs. Mikayla achieved a season personal best in her All Around score and her teammates and coaches could not be more proud. Although there were some concerns about the width of the Vault strip, with some gymnasts fearing that they would accidently run off the Vault, Lucy competed a dynamic Vault and earnt herself 1st place on this apparatus.

After spending the morning cheering on their fellow teammates and perfecting their competition hairstyles in the stands, the time came for the Level 6, 7 and 8 Gymnasts to compete. With some of the Level 7 and 8 Gymnasts battling injuries and Veda arriving extremely early in the morning, all of the girls demonstrated immense resilience throughout the competition. Jessica hit a solid Beam routine to earn her 1st place on this apparatus and followed this result up with 1st on Vault and 1st All Around. Despite her early flight, Veda received 5th on Beam and earned herself a well-deserved rest.

The Level 3’s concluded the competition with some more high-quality performances and results. It was exciting for the Level 3 Gymnasts to be able to see their scores while they were competing, and they were extremely encouraging towards their teammates. With every great score, the energy of the Level 3 Gymnasts increased, and this further enhanced their performances. Similar to the Level 4 Gymnasts, this was the first time that the Level 3’s experienced individual awards and they were well rewarded for their fantastic performances. All the Level 3 Gymnasts achieved individual awards in their respective age groups and it was particularly exciting for Janelle to be named the 1st All Around Gymnast in Tasmania. Zahli performed a confident Beam routine and was rewarded for her efforts with a personal best score on this apparatus.

All the gymnasts were incredibly supportive of one another, showcasing great club spirit and sportsmanship. The opportunity to experience an interstate competition as well as bond with teammates was priceless and it was fantastic to see so many of our Gymnasts achieving goals and improving on their performances from past competitions.

MAG re-cap - Anthony Dorrington

It wasn't just strictly business in Tasmania as the PIT coaches assembled for the 7am flight over to Hobart. We all piled into a couple of hire cars and off we went into Hobart for some lunch. After a tasty parma and chips, we headed up to Mt Wellington for some sight seeing and ran into Adam and James (Level 3) at the top where a snow ball fight quickly proceeded to take place. Unfortunately for us, it was like throwing ice blocks at each other so the battle didn't last long as we all had training later in the afternoon.

Training at the competition venue was a great experience as you don't normally get that opportunity at the lower levels during our State Champs. We also had the the place to ourselves so it was worth coming down a day earlier to try out the competition equipment. As a club, it was fantastic to see both MAG and WAG athletes in action training and supporting each other.

The following morning it was game time! With Melbourne (Go Dee’s) winning their elimination final the previous night, the coach had a particularly enthusiastic stride in his step! The level 3 and 4 boy’s started strong on Vault with Adam and James sharing third place. Over to Pommels with Jamil scoring a personal best of 10.3 to claim equal first (Wow! Max score possibly is a 10.5). Will J picked up a third after he fought hard to stay on the Buck with a 9.6. Over to Rings and Steve muscled his way through a clean routine while Will J claimed the gold medal.

Due to the small number of boys competing, Olympic order was not followed (for those playing at home). Next up in our apparatus rotation was floor and all the boys performed their routines with amplitude & control with Thomas and Lucas looking exceptionally professional on the competition floor. Jamil, Adam and James came in at 1-2-3 respectively on Floor. On P-Bars Will J produced a ripper of a routine with a score of 9.95 to take out first place. Thomas was incredibly unlucky to miss out on a third place after his best routine of the comp with an amazing kip - 9.2. To round out the comp was H-bar where all boys demonstrated good control with their straddle/Stalder-outs. AA highlights included Jamil placing 4th AA in Level 3 and Will J placing 1st in Level 4. There were no Under and Open divisions at this competition.

Over all it was a fantastic experience for the boys to fly over and compete in Tasmania. There’s an award that runs between Tasmania and PIT called the Dorrington-Hargraves Shield. This award is a tribute to the long running association between John and John who are both life members of their respective states. It is awarded to the team who has the most combined AA points from all MAG divisions. This year the Dorrington-Hargraves Shield was won by Tasmania.

Other highlights from the Level 7 division included Tom picking up a 2nd on Pommel and 3rd on Rings while Ben placed 2nd on Floor, 2nd on Vault and 4th AA.

Thank you to all the MAG & WAG athletes, parents and siblings who came down to support and participate at the Tassie Champs. It was a fantastic weekend away and I hope everyone had a blast!

All photos available through PIT Gymnastic's Smugmug photo sharing account, password request via the front office