Cayman girls run things

The day started off with a thunderstorm, which caused a power failure, but not even a power outage could dampen the electrifying performances of the gymnasts competing in the 2006 Cayman Classic. Once the power was restored, after warming-up, the competition was soon underway.

Ciara Jackson

Caymans Ciara Jackson, in arabesque during her beam routine, was the all-around winner for Level 2 8 & 9 year olds division. Photo: Guy P. Harrison

First up were the level 2 and 3 competitors. With two events running simultaneously, the competition moved along quickly. With remarkable concentration and poise that belies their tender ages, the athletes delivered impressive performances in each event. The gymnasts enjoyed the enthusiastic and supportive cheers from both the audience and their fellow teammates. As the events concluded the athletes gathered round for the awards ceremony. As the results were announced, it was evident that all the hard work and dedication to their sport was paying off handsomely for the Cayman athletes (see box).

In the all around (cumulative scores from the individual events) at Level 2 (ages 6 &7) year olds Motions Athletes claimed two of the top three positions. Hilary Cockhill was first, and Noelle Johnson was third. In the 8 and 9 year old age group Motions athletes claimed the top 3 positions. Ciara Jackson claimed first place with Polly Serpell and Hannah Ebanks placing second and third. ‘I am so proud of all of you’ Level 2 Coach Megan Conklin praised her girls after the competition was over.

For the Level 3 athletes in the younger division Motions Athletes Bethany Dikau and Samantha Lang placed second and third. In the older division Shenelle Stewart was first, Adah Grant was second and Nicole Fleury was third.

As the team results were announced the immense pride was evident as the Motions Unlimited athletes clambered onto the 1st place podium in both Level 2 and Level 3.

As soon as the awards ceremony for the Level 2 & 3 competitors was over, the warm-up sessions for the level 4, 5, and optional levels was underway. From the warm-ups it was evident that Cayman was in for a treat to be able to watch some of the higher-level gymnasts from the Florida teams. Appreciative ‘oohs and ahhs’ could be heard from the viewing gallery. The younger gymnasts watched spellbound and the sentiment ‘I can’t wait to be able to do that’ was echoed over and over again.

The Motion Unlimited athletes continued their outstanding performances at both Level 4 and Level 5. In the all-around at level four Lauren Hill was third in the younger division. In the older division Samantha Mascarenhas also finished in third. The level 4 team finished the day in second place.

In the 9-11 age group at level 5 Ashley Borde finished in third place. In the 12+ age group the Motions Athletes competed against themselves. Trisha Meyerhoff finished in first place, edging out Bianca Alberga by only .25 points. Tanya Meyerhoff was third. Unfortunately, Motions Athlete Julia Watling was unable to compete due to illness. The Motions Unlimited team took first place in the team competition.

The Level 7/8 competition was won by Lightning City and the Modified Optionals was won by Flairs gymnastics.

As the competition came to a close the tired, but happy gymnasts accepted the well-deserved congratulations from those in attendance and the sound of medals clinking against each other provided happy punctuation to their departure from the gym. For the Motions Unlimited athletes the Cayman Classic was a fine way to end their competitive season. ‘ We had a great season this year, the girls worked hard and their efforts paid off, we are all very proud of how well they represented the gym and Cayman,’ said a beaming coach Janine Olaso. After a brief pause she added, ‘We are already planning for next year!’

While they were in Cayman the athletes from Florida enjoyed a beachside welcome BBQ on Friday evening and a trip to Stingray City with the Cayman athletes.

For full score results, log on to the Motions Unlimited website at: www.motionsunlimited.com or the Lightning City website at www.lightningcity.com

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