Aerials gymnasts rack up ribbons at meet

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - From the floor to the high bar, the weekend gymnastics meet was the biggest the local club has hosted with 250 registered participants.
"The weekend was really wonderful. Things went really great," said Michelle Landry, coach of the Aerials Gymnastics Club, while preparing prizes for some of the contestants in the 2009 March Break Invitational.
"Back in the beginning, our club was struggling and we wanted to promote our club. This is our seventh year hosting this event and we're hoping next year's event is bigger."
With four full sessions over two days, the March Break Invitational saw gymnasts from across the Maritimes competing for the top spots. Along with the Amherst club, 13 other clubs had representation from ages six and older.
"This type of meet allows us to include all ages of gymnasts. It's open to our recreational gymnasts because it's good to let them experience the thrill of showing everyone what they can do."
From the Aerials, Cara Polegato's performances had the judges rank her first overall in the Open 1 division.
Polegato placed first in bars, second in floor and fifth in vault.
Margaret Skabar placed third in beam and sixth in bars, earning her sixth overall in the Open 2 division.
Samantha Landry came fourth overall in Open 3, earning second in beam, fourth in bars, and sixth in vault and floor.
On the novice side, Cara Holloway came first in floor, fourth in vault and sixth in beam in Novice 1.
Felicia Landry earned third overall in Novice 2, placing first in beam and fourth in bars, while her teammate Kyrsten Landry placed fifth in bars and vault in the same division.
"All the comments from the gymnasts, coaches, judges and parents have been positive ones, which is good to show that small clubs can host events like this as well," Michelle Landry said.
With many people commenting the Amherst club should host a provincial competition, Landry said this event could be a stepping stone into that.
The proceeds from the event will go toward the club's expenses.
"Because we've moved into our new building, operating costs are a lot higher and we do as much fundraising as we can," she said.
"And our equipment has gone through a lot of wear and tear, so we're looking to replace some of that. It definitely gets expensive."
Next up for the gymnasts is the provincial competition April 3-5 in Lower Sackville.

Organizations: Aerials Gymnastics Club, Open 1, Open 2

Geographic location: AMHERST, Lower Sackville

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