Cayman vaults up at Gasparilla

Local gymnastics has consistently
been raising the bar in the last few years. With more young talent coming
through the ranks the future of the sport continues to have an upswing.

The latest positive is the showing
of a Cayman select team in Tampa, Florida. At this year’s Gasparilla Classic,
Cayman produced a top 10 girls team and a boys side that had high individual

In total 17 children represented
Cayman. There were five level three girls: Leah Alberga, Sydni Ebanks, Isabella
Grieff, Kaylee Melleneo and Kylie Porter. There were eight level four ladies in
Destiny Campbell, Giselle Ebanks, Arielle Farley, Jade Hernandez, Abigail
Lindsay, Morgan Lloyd, Raegan Rutty and Haley Willkom. There were four boys all
competing at level four in Kiefer Ebanks, Mikhail Grant, Igor Magalhaes and
Christopher Touhey.

Heather Waisanen was one of the
coaches for the team. In particular she oversaw the female squads alongside
Kelley Paz while Sorin Rad worked with the boys. Waisanen spoke about the
performances seen at the annual Florida meet.

“The level four girls came in
second place and the level three team came sixth,” Waisanen said. “Two of the
boys in Christopher and Mikhail tied for first place on the Vault and sixth on
the All Around with Christopher also coming in second on Floor and Mikhail
placing third. It should be noted that Igor was third on the Rings and Kiefer
was seventh on Vault.

“Our level fours placed fourth
overall last year and this year they placed second so we were happy with the
improvement. Our level three team competed for the first time so we were very
happy with their finish. The boys team all competed at level four this year,
which is a higher standard than they competed before. They all did really well
considering their movement to an upper rank.”

The team members are products of
the gymnastics programme currently ongoing at Motions Unlimited gym in George
Town. The youngsters build their talent through meets abroad and Waisanen
states there are more overseas tournaments coming up.

“Both the girls and boys team train
year round between six and a half to 12 hours per week. In the future, the boys
and girls teams will be travelling to Orlando for the AAU Nationals competition
in July. Also, three Motions Unlimited girls (Katie Scott, Lauren Hill, and
Jessica Lloyd) will be travelling to Jersey to represent Cayman at the Island