Whistler tumblers bring home the hardware 

Hardly a neck could be seen as the Whistler Gymastics Club returned from the KATTS gymnastic club meet in Kamloops last weekend, so many medals had piled up.

They also had their hands full with a couple of trophies.

A total of 32 of Whistler’s 36 competitive gymnasts attended the meet, which included teams from as far away as Victoria. From the youngest KIPs (Kids in Progress) to Whistler’s top Level 2 and Level 3 tumblers, just about everyone earned a medal or ribbon for something.

"It’s great for the girls to get out of town for competition so that they can gain experience," says club program director and coach Tami Ross. "Not only to see other gymnastics clubs, but to go out and represent our community and at the same time meet other girls with similar interests."

Most competitions take place in the Lower Mainland, and for many of the competitors the third annual KATTS meet was their first chance to see some of the strong clubs from the Interior.

"The girls found out just how well they can do against clubs with a lot more money and equipment than we have," Ross says. "Look at our youngest competitors – they train six hours a week, and came home with a lot of medals competing against teams with full-time facilities, and who get to train between 12 and 16 hours a week.

"Congratulations go out to all the coaches, athletes and parents for the effort. You have to wonder how well we could go with a permanent facility of our own."

In the KIP level, where all the competitors are awarded either gold, silver or bronze medals based on how well they performed, the Whistler team placed third overall.

Ashlen Coombs was a standout, winning a gold on the floor and bars, silver in vault, and bronze on the beam. Rachel Belch won gold on the floor, silver in vault, silver on the bars and a bronze on the beam. Hilary Carreell won a gold on the bars, silver on the vault, and bronze on floor and beam. Sonya D’Artois and Amy Frances won silver on the vault, floor and bars, and bronze on the beam. Nicole Halliwell won four silver medals, and Shannon MacDonald won four bronze.

The Level 1 Argos team won first place overall with its efforts.

Makinna Coombs was third on the bars, third on the beam, fifth on the floor and sixth on the vault to finish third all around.

Close behind, Riley McSkimming was third on the vault, fourth on the bars, and sixth on the floor and beam to finish fourth.

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