Aerials gymnasts fly high at Taiso meet

Dave Mathieson
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Amherst Aerials Club gymnasts display the medals and ribbons they won last weekend at the Taiso Atlantic Cup in Lower Sackville. The winning athletes are: (front, from left) Kirsten Lawrence, Emma Sjanic, Nicole Bailey, Megan Cole, Alena Rhindress, Emily Bacon, (back, from left) Kyrsten Landry, Felicia Landry, Imogen Quinn, Brayden LeBlanc, Brianne Beale and Kirsten Mason. Missing from photo is Emma White. 

AMHERST – Flipping and flying at high speeds requires courage, and Amherst Aerials Athletes put their courage on display last weekend at the Taiso Atlantic Cup competition in Lower Sackville.

“Megan (Cole) was third on bars but it’s been a long time coming,” said Aerials coach, Michelle Landry. “About two years ago she fell and dislocated her elbow while jumping from the high bar to the low bar. Ever since then she has struggled with the fear of doing that skill again.

“But this weekend she successfully completed it for the first time.”

Cole finished third on bars, first on beam and floor, and second overall.

She said doing the skill on bars for the first time in competition in two years was, ‘Scary.’

“But I was really happy when I did it,” she said.

The Landry sisters also competed against each for the first time in several years after 16-year-old Felicia moved up to Division 3 from Division 2 to compete against her 18-year-old sister Kyrsten.

The younger sister outdid her older sibling.

“Felicia beat me, she did better,” said Kyrsten. “I thought it would feel bad but it really wasn’t that bad because, although you might be upset, at the same time you are happy for her.”

Felicia said she kept her emotions in check after beating her older sister.

“I was second on beam and she was fifth, so I was up on the podium and it was awkward,” said Felicia. “I didn’t’ know what her reaction was going to be so I didn’t want to appear too happy because I didn’t want her to be upset.”

Michelle said many of the coaches at the meet said it was nice to see the sisters compete against each other, and both Kyrsten and Felicia said it was fun.

“The last time we competed against each other (when they were younger) there was more tension and we didn’t like each other then. Now we’re closer,” said Kyrsten.

Both girls say competing against each other will act as a motivator for the rest of the season.

“I will definitely have to improve my vault, and get my bars back to where they were,” said Kyrsten.

Felicia said she has new skills she will be working on for the Titan meet next weekend in Dartmouth.

“I’ve been working on my handstand on bars, doing a twist on vault and improving my floor routine,” she said.

Both sisters then looked at each other, said, “Good job Sis',” and then gave each other a high five.

Aerials athlete results from the Taiso meet are as follows:

(Division in brackets)

Kirsten Lawrence (Tyro 1) – Finished first on beam.

Emily Bacon (Tyro 1) – Finished fifth on beam.

Imogen Quinn (Tyro 1) – Finished first on beam.

Emma Sjanic (Argo 1) – Finished second on vault, sixth on bars, and third overall.

Nicole Bailey (Novice 1) – Finished third in vault, and fourth on bars, beam floor and overall.

Megan Cole (Novice 1) – Finished third on bars, first on beam and floor and second overall.

Alena Rhindress (Novice 1) – Finished fifth on floor.

Brayden LeBlanc (Open 1) – Finished fourth on beam, third on floor and sixth overall.

Kirsten Mason (Open 2) – finished sixth on Vault.

Kyrsten Landry (Open 3) – Finished fifth on beam and sixth on floor.

Felicia Landry (Open 3) – Finished second on beam and sixth overall.

Organizations: Argo 1

Geographic location: Lower Sackville, Dartmouth

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