Bermuda medal haul in Manhattan
Bermuda’s Gymnastics team travelled to New York City last weekend for their second appearance at the Manhattan Classic Invitational.
The meet was an important one for the team, as it served as one of two competitions this season where the gymnasts could earn the qualifying score necessary to compete at the USAIGC International Championships held in Florida.
The BGA has been participating in the Championships for over 10 years and hope to send a strong team in June.
In Manhattan, the BGA had thirteen girls participating in three levels of competition: Tabytha Hofheins (14, Warwick Acadamy) participated in the Platinum level which was the highest for the Bermuda squad, in the Gold level was Sadia Wilson (11, BHS), Sydney Mason (13, BHS), Zantae Dill (13, Saltus), Danielle Wall (12, BHS), Clara James (12, BHS), Anna Francoeur (9, Warwick Acad), Zekiah Lewis (11, West Pembroke), and Samantha Soares (11, Warwick Acadamy).
Bermuda also sent a team for the Silver level: Anah Lightbourne (10, Harrington Sound), Tomei Talbot (11, Whitney), Trinity Wilson (11, Warwick Acadamy), and Maya Malpas (10, Saltus).
The girls were accompanied by head coach and programme director Duke Nelligan and assistant coach Mandi Baughman.
In the challenging Platinum level, Hofheins found the top of the medal podium many times: placing first on bars, beam, floor and in the all-around with a 33.150.
Hofheins, the reigning Island Games bars champion, upgraded her dismount to a double back flip for this competition.
Head coach Nelligan said: “I’m so proud of Tab for being aggressive on the new dismount. She held nothing back and made her goal. It’s great for our team as well: all the younger girls saw her accomplish this and it puts a little more fire inside of them saying, hey, I want to be the next one to do that.”
In the Gold level meet, Wilson led Bermuda to a first place finish, beating out eight other strong teams. Wilson also won the balance beam and all-around titles in her age group, Junior A,(9.25 and 35.175, respectively).
Baughman added: “Sadia continues to be a focused and consistent gymnast in training and it is paying off. Her performance this weekend is especially commendable as although she had been sidelined with a hand injury the week prior, she continued training and did all she could to prepare. We’re very proud of her.”
Bermuda had many other strong results in Junior A Gold division, especially on floor exercise. James placing 5th with a 9.0, Wall placing 7th with a 8.875, Lewis with a 8.8 for 8th place, and Soares finishing 12th with an 8.0.
In the Junior B Gold division, Mason won the silver medal in the all-around (33.85) and on the uneven bars (8.125). Dill had her highest finish on the floor exercise, garnering a 8.95 for 5th place.
In the silver level division, the top all around finisher from Bermuda was Lightbourne, who scored a 33.225 for sixth and an impressive 9.1 on balance beam for a bronze medal.
Talbot had an outstanding performance on the bars and won the gold medal with an 8.375.
The young team finished with a fifth place team trophy and another competition experience under their belt.
The Bermuda team also won the Team Spirit Award for the competition, voted on by the judges for the group displaying the most excitement, support, and sportsmanship.
Bermuda had five gymnasts earn an all around mark high enough to qualify for the USAIGC International Championships: Tabytha Hofheins, Sadia Wilson, Sydney Mason, Danielle Wall, and Anah Lightbourne. The remaining gymnasts will have another chance to attain the 33.00 score necessary on March 31st, when Bermuda hosts teams from the USA and Cayman Islands for the “International Gymnastics Challenge” at the St. David’s National Gymnastics Center.