Like many other countries, Canada has also hosted its National Championships at the end of May, bringing together male and female gymnasts across different levels from all over the country. With All-around and Event Finals, multiple athletes managed to win some medals and take home a sweet memory from this championships.
Among the seniors, two-time Olympian Ellie Black won gold with 54.318 in finals, recovering the title of National Champion after missing out in 2016. Starting her day on beam, she scored just below 14 after wobbles on her double turn, front pike and front tuck, though her BHS to layout series and switch leap to switch half were both solid, as well as her front layout full dismount, which she landed with a hop forward. Next on floor, she showed a front layout full through to double tuck, a front double twist to front tuck with a tiny hop and a double twist with a small hop on the landing to receive a mark in the low to mid-13s, due to her somewhat low difficulty level. On vault she once again performed her front layout full, taking just a small hop forward on the landing to post in the mid-14s, while on bars she unfortunately counted a fall on her Maloney to Hindorff connection and also had some muscled handstands throughout her routine, scoring just 12.534 despite showing some clean releases like a Shang, a piked jaeger and a van Leeuwen and finishing her exercise with a stuck toe-on front tuck half dismount. After taking some time off following the Rio Olympics, Ellie seems to be back on track to lead the Canadian women for another quad and has started her season in the best way possible, recovering her National Champion title. If she managed to avoid any serious injury in the next few months, she should undoubtedly be on that World team and hopefully challenge from a strong all-around finish in Montreal.
To the surprise of many members of the gymternet, Rose Kayen-Woo took the silver medal with a fantastic total of 54.051 in finals, less than three tenths behind Black. The younger Woo sister started her day with a mid-13 on beam, presenting a front tuck, a BHS to layout, slightly piked, a switch ring a bit short on the back leg and a double pike dismount with a hop, though she missed her front aerial to switch half connection, losing a bit in difficulty there. She went on to have a solid performance on floor, featuring clean tumbling lines like a double arabian, a triple twist with a hop back and a double twist to finish to receive a score in the low-13s. Next on vault she showed a FTY with a few steps back for a high-13 and lastly on bars she posted in the mid-13s after a nice routine that included a toe-on full to Tkachev, a pak to Maloney to clear hip circle and a double front dismount with a step back. After not quite living up to her junior hype as a first year senior in 2016, Rose seems to be improving and gaining some consistency with her routines, which could make her one of the key players for Team Canada this year and this quad.
In third place was another junior superstar, Jade Chrobok, who is still getting used to her new status as a senior gymnast, but managed to do well here and score a total of 53.100 for bronze. Also starting her day on beam, Chrobok showed a clean set featuring a switch leap to switch half, a side aerial to LOSO series, with some bent knees throughout and a very low double pike dismount to post in the mid-13s, while on floor she scored just below 13 for her routine of whip to whip to double tuck, 2.5 twists to front tuck landed a bit low, double twist with a few steps and double pike to finish. She went on to perform a Yurchenko 1.5 on vault but took some steps forward and to the side, touching the mat outside the lines to incur in an out-of-bounds deduction and score in the mid to high-13s, and lastly on bars she received a high-12 for her exercise, showing a Maloney to Tkachev and a double front dismount with a step back, but also having some execution problems that kept her E-score below 8. After becoming National Champion last year, Chrobok has dealt with some injuries and is still on the road to get back to full strength so it’s natural she isn’t winning everything in her path. However, she has managed to stay competitive among the top Canadian gymnasts and once she’s back in shape she should also become a front runner for the big international teams.
Right outside the podium was 2016 National Champion Isabela Onyshko who had been away from the sport since last summer, scoring a 52.918 and recovering nicely from prelims where she was just 16th with a score in the mid-47s after a disastrous bars routine. Nonetheless, she still counted a fall on bars and floor in finals, so her all-around scoring potential is much higher than what she achieved here. In fifth place was Sophie Marois with 51.468 after some issues on bars and floor, followed by Shallon Olsen in sixth with 51.167 having counted a fall on beam. Despite qualifying in third place, Brooklyn Moors was only seventh in finals with 51.151 after falling on floor and Laurie Denommée was eighth exactly a tenth behind her with 51.051 also counting a fall on her own, this time on bars.
Two-time Olympian Brittany Rogers didn’t compete on floor at this meet and only performed on beam in qualifications, posting in the mid-12s after some low difficulty and major execution issues. In finals, she competed vault and bars, receiving a high-12 for her Yurchenko layout, even though she had shown a nice DTY in prelims for a score in the low-14s, and posted in the mid-13s on bars both days despite boosting some huge 5.9-6.0 difficulty scores, which means she probably counted a fall each day. Nonetheless, she still managed to capture the event title, given that no one else reached her scores, even with hit routines.
Among the juniors, Ana Padurariu once again won the gold medal, posting a huge all-around score of 55.267 that would have beaten Black’s AA score by almost a full point. Starting on vault, she completely stuck her FTY to receive a score just below 14, continuing to bars where she showed a piked jaeger, her original inbar piked Tkachev, an inbar to inbar half to shoot to high bar and a full-in dismount with another stuck landing for a low-14 on this event. Unfortunately, she counted a fall on her switch leap to sheep jump on beam, but the rest of her routine was nearly perfect featuring a candle mount, a switch ring, a side aerial to LOSO to LOSO series, a switch half and a stuck (another one!) double pike dismount to post in the mid to high-13s despite her mistake. Finishing on floor, she had another solid performance, landing her piked full-in with some steps backs, followed by a 2.5 twists to front tuck and a double pike with a big step back, while also showing great personality and expressiveness for a final score in the mid-13s. By now, Ana has pretty much established herself as the best Canadian gymnast currently competing, junior or senior, and when she joins the senior ranks next year, she should easily become their top AAer and even challenge for some medals internationally as she’s done in her junior years. For now, her main goal is to avoid any serious injuries and improve her difficulty steadily, while also perfecting her execution in order to contend with the best of the best around the world.
Quite a long way behind Padurariu, in second place was 13-year-old Emma Spence with 51.201 after hit routines albeit with some execution issues. On vault, she showed a Yurchenko 1.5 but had quite an iffy landing to receive just a low-13, despite the 5.0-difficulty of this skill, while on bars she posted in the high-12s after showing a toe-on full to Maloney to pak, both transitions with some degree of leg separation, a van Leeuwen, a piked jaeger with some bent knees and a double pike dismount with a hop forward to finish. She went on to have a similar score on beam after a candle mount to a super rare clear hip around the beam, a BHS to a slightly piked layout, a switch leap to switch half and a low double tuck dismount with a step, before moving on to floor where she presented a piked full-in, a front tuck through to double tuck with a stuck landing and a double pike with a tiny hop back to finish her day with a 12.300. Despite nowhere near Padurariu’s level, Emma had quite a solid performance at these championships and should continue to improve in the next few years as she gets a bit older. She already has some respectable difficulty values and if she works on her execution she could get great results with these routines.
The bronze medal belonged to 2003-baby Quinn Skrupa who achieved a 50.484 total with mostly hit routines. Also starting on vault like the two top medalists, Skrupa competed a FTY, landing with a her chest a bit low and taking a step forward to receive a low-13, moving next to bars where she performed an Endo half to stalder to shoot to high bar, with an overarched handstand before the shoot, and finished with a double layout dismount with a hop to score in the mid-11, possibly due to a fall during her routine. On beam she showed a handstand to BHS to tuck full with some steps back, a very fluid front aerial to split leap to BHS series, an Onodi and a double tuck with some steps back for her highest score of the day, 13.234, and lastly on floor she received a mid-12 for her routine that featured a stuck piked full-in, a double arabian with a step, a double pike and a double tuck to conclude her all-around finals on a high note. Also a newcomer into the elite scene in Canada, Quinn showed she has the basics to be a great gymnast and a few more years should help her achieve even better results and hopefully represent her country internationally, as she’s already done at the recent International Gymnix.
Missing the podium by about two tenths was Elizabeth Holmstrom, who finished fourth with 50.234 after a solid day but a wobbly beam routine, while Imogen Paterson was fifth with 49.734 after a fall on her switch half on beam and some issues on floor kept her from scoring higher. In sixth place was Zoé Allaire-Bourgie who had a fantastic competition on vault, bars and floor, but counted three falls on beam to score only 49.500, and in seventh place was Mia St-Pierre who was third after prelims but only managed a 49.151 in finals due to a fall on beam and some issues on floor, followed by Chloé Lorange in eight with 48.951.
As for event medals, they were handed out based on the results from all-around finals, without an extra day for actual event finals. On vault, Olympian Olsen once again captured the title with an average of 14.375 after showing a solid DTY with a hop and a stuck Khorkina, while all-around champion Black took the silver medal, receiving a 13.950 for her messy front layout full and her Tsukahara with a half twist, both landed with a hop forward, and Moors was third with 13.725 after performing a front layout half and a solid full twisting Tsukahara.
On bars, Rogers was crowned the new national champion with a total of 13.634 despite multiple errors in her routine that consisted of a piked jaeger, an overarched toe-on full that she still managed to connect to a Ricna, a Downie to pak with some leg separation, a van Leeuwen and a double layout dismount with a step. The silver medal belonged to Kayen-Woo with 13.567, less than a tenth behind Rogers despite a full point difference between their difficulty scores, and Chrobok took bronze with 12.900, also showing some issues with execution.
After a somewhat disappointing fourth place in the all-around, Onyshko managed to take the gold on beam with 14.034 after showing a BHS to back tuck, a Y turn to split leap to side aerial and a switch leap to switch half to ring jump, though she also had a few wobbles throughout her exercise and performed just a layout dismount which she nonetheless stuck. Black was second exactly a tenth behind with 13.934 and Kayen-Woo was third with 13.634, both with difficult and hit routine, but not as clean as Onyshko’s. On her pet event, floor, Black took yet another gold medal to add to her all-around title after receiving 13.350 for her routine, while Kayen-Woo and Chrobok helped complete the podium, repeating their all-around positions, with 13.100 and 12.950, respectively.
In the junior category, Padurariu completely swept the event titles, taking each and every one of them to add to her all-around gold. On vault she received an average of 14.075 after a stuck FTY and a Yurchenko 1.5 with a solid landing, though both were a bit messy in the air, and was followed by Lucia Jakab in second place who scored 13.400 for her full twisting Tsukahara and her front pike and Chloé Lorange in third with 13.275, performing a FTY and a Yurchenko layout. On bars, Padurariu was again first with 14.100, over a full point above second place Allaire-Bourgie who received 12.900 for her routine featuring a Maloney to pak, a piked jaeger and a stuck double tuck dismount. Spence was then third with 12.834 after some leg form issues throughout her exercise.
Despite counting a fall in her routine, Padurariu still managed to take the gold on beam thanks to a near perfect routine otherwise and a 5.8-difficulty score that brought her a score of 13.767. Switching places from the all-around podium, Skrupa was second with 13.234 and Spence was third with 12.867, both hitting their routines cleanly. At last, on floor, Padurariu posted 13.450 to win another gold medal, Allaire-Bourgie was second with 13.100, showing a 2.5 twists with a stumble back and a very expressive choreography, and Elizabeth Holmstrom took the bronze with 12.900 after a solid performance that included a stick in her double tuck landing.
After the Elite Canada competition earlier this year, this was the second big national meet for the Canadian gymnasts, with most showing a lot more here than before as the season has progressed quite a bit since then. With the Worlds selection process right around the corner, the senior girls are now more focused than ever in showing their true potential so that they can be selected for the team that will represent Canada at the World Championships held in home soil, in Montreal. As for the juniors, it’s time for them to get back into the gym and perfect their current skills, while also preparing some upgrades to increase their difficulty scores and make them more competitive internationally, which in turn should only make Canada a stronger team in the sport of gymnastics during the next few years.
Full results here.