If Hayden Gratias and Serra Gillis were nervous before their first-ever major gymnastics competition, then they sure know how to settle down in a hurry.
The two members of the Prince Albert Aerials Gymnastics Club were part of Team Saskatchewan at the National Stream Cup in Edmonton on the weekend and Aerials’ coach Mike Amouri, who was part of the provincial coaching team for the event, says he was impressed with how the local girls performed.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they exceeded my expectations,” said Amouri prior to a workout on Wednesday at the High Noon Optimist Centre. “Once they get more experience they will perform even better.”
Gratias was part of the P5 competitions in floor exercises, vault, uneven bars and balance beam and in a field of 30 competitors from across the country, she placed 11th overall. Gratias finished first in the vault and second in the floor exercises and those results helped Saskatchewan to a first-place finish in the team competitions.
Gillis was in the pre-novice national aspire category with 40 other gymnasts and her results were equally as impressive. Gillis made the finals in two of the four disciplines and ended the meet with a sixth-place result in the floor exercises and seventh-place standing on the balance beam.
Gillis and Gratias will be part of a full complement of Aerials heading to Saskatoon this weekend for an event at Marion Graham Collegiate with the local club gearing up for their own meet Mar. 2-3.
That competition, which will feature both male and female artistic gymnasts, is expected to attract more than 200 competitors from around the province. Provincial STAR testing will also be held in Prince Albert at the end of February with gymnasts in four different levels seeking a passing grade to the next rung in the ladder.
Gillis and Gratias, along with clubmate Kelsey Hurl, will next see action with Team Saskatchewan when they head to Saskatoon at the end of March for the Western Canadian trials.