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Gymnasts shine at home meet

Record number of athletes qualify for provincials



The Whistler Gymnastics Club hosted the B.C. Zone 5 Championships and Interclub Competition this past weekend, inviting clubs from the Sea to Sky, Sunshine Coast, North, West and downtown Vancouver to Whistler Secondary School.

It was a big meet for the Provincial Level 2 and Level 3 gymnasts, as the top-six athletes in each category would advance to the provincial championships taking place in Langley from April 17 to 20.

The Whistler club shined at home, with a record seven athletes qualifying for the provincials and several other athletes making the cut as wild cards. Gymnast Keeley Wentzel also managed to place first all around against athletes from the top clubs in the province in her age group.

"It was a great achievement for her," said meet director and coach Tami Mitchell. "I don't want to say it was a surprise, but anytime you go up against the top clubs in the province where the girls get a lot more hours of training than we have available it's pretty hard to place first all around."

Keeley Wentzel competed in the Level 2 Tyro category, where she placed first on bars, first on floor, fourth on vault and seventh on beam to place first all around out of 19 competitors. Carly Mann was third all around, with a silver medal on the bars, a bronze on bars, fifth place on vault and sixth on beam. Ali Marriott was just one spot back with a gold on beam, silver on vault and ninth place finishes on bars and floor. Cambria Willis was seventh all around, with sixth place finishes on bars and floor. Jesse Budge was 13 th , Charlotte Mahoney 17 th , and Christina Saldat 19 th .

In Level 2 Novice, Hannah Raffler placed second all around with silver medals on vault, beam and floor and a sixth place finish on bars. Katrina Underhill was sixth all around, with a gold on the floor and bronze on the vault, and Maye Akama was ninth all around with a fourth on floor and fifth on bars.

In Level 2 Open, Jasmin Budge was third all around with bronze medals on vault and bars, and fifth place finishes on beam and floor. Lenka Prochazka, who tied for first overall at the Surrey Invitational, had an off day on beam, but still placed fourth all around with a gold on bars, silver on vault and fourth place finish on the floor. Tyece Fairweather was seventh all around with a bronze on bars and fourth on beam, and Meg Halliwell was ninth with a gold medal on beam. There were 12 athletes in the category.

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