Starting off strong

Matthew Gourlie
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Two local gymnasts win all-around titles at competition

A pair of local gymnasts started the season on top of the podium.

The members of Gymtastiks of Moose Jaw who competed at the Prairie Invitational were: Faith Adkins, back left, Jaicee Maruska, Sarah Cairns, Leah Ashby, Bryn Giddings, front left, Jordyn Kukura, Ashlyn Adrian and Kaylee Maruska. Not pictured: Paige Pierce.

Leah Ashby and Sarah Cairns each won their individual all-around titles at the Prairie Invitational recently at Gymnastics Adventure in Regina.

Gymtastiks of Moose Jaw sent nine gymnasts to the meet and each came home with at least one medal.

"For the first competition it was pretty good. It's early in the season too," said Gymtastiks coach Janna Koski.

Some of the athletes had taken part in the Sask Winter Games trials earlier in the season, but for most this was the start of their competitive year.

"I think for the most part they all did really well and they all did as well as they could this early in the season," said Koski. "It can only get better. We don't want them to peak yet."

Ashby won the P1 Novice all-around title and finished first in the vault and second on the bars, beam and floor. Paige Pierce was first on the floor and third on bars in the same category.

Cairns won the P1 Tyro all-around title and was first on bars, beam and floor. Jordyn Kukura was third in the all-around and won the P1 Tyro vault, was second in beam and third on floor.

Jaicee Maruska was second in the P1 Argo all-around. She was tied for first in the vault and was first on the floor. Faith Adkins was second on the floor and third in the vault.

In P2 Novice, Bryn Giddings was second all-around, tied for second on the bars and second on the beam. She was also third on the floor. Kaylee Maruska was tied for second on the vault

In P2 Open, Ashlyn Adrian was third in the vault and the beam.

The competition was the first of four during the competitive season. A number of the local gymnasts posted an all-around score that will qualify them for provincials. They have to post qualifying scores at two of the four competitions to earn a spot at provincials.

"Most of them qualified," said Koski. "They will have lots of opportunities to make it."

There were some nerves at the first competition of the year, but Koski noted that is part of the learning process. She was happy with how the younger competitors did — especially the ones who didn't have a lot of competitive experience.

"For Jaicee and Faith it was their first competition," said Koski. "Some of the other girls had competed at a different level last year. With the gymcats, It's a different environment, everyone gets a medal as opposed to there being a top-10."

The Gymtastiks will be hosting a one-day competition Saturday. The day will begin with tumbling and trampoline starting at 9 a.m. and artistic gymnastics competition will take place in the afternoon. The event will draw competitors from outside the city.

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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