Gymnasts shine at Florida invitational
Bermuda's gymnasts gave a good account of themselves at the Gasparilla Classic Gymnastics Invitational in St Petersburg, Florida, last weekend.
The Bermuda Gymnastics Association sent a team of 15 athletes to the meet, which was held at the Tropicana Field Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Major League Baseball team.
Bermuda's team, featuring three girls and 12 boys, delivered impressive displays at the meet, one of the largest competitions held in the United States, with six of the boys competing for the first time.
Kinae Dowling, 15, of Berkeley Institute, competed in the USA Gymnastics level six, cleanly executing routines and narrowly missed out on a top-three placement with a fourth on the vault and fifth in the all-around.
Bailey Boyd, 10, of Saltus Grammar School, also impressed with her floor routine capturing a seventh place and receiving podium recognition for eleventh in the all-around.
Ella Tear, 10, of Purvis Primary, competed in the Excel Gold division earning a sixth place on bars and finishing in the top ten with a score of 35.050.
“I'm very proud of the gymnasts' poise and focus while competing at one of their largest competition venues to date,” Maya Beckles, the Bermuda girls' coach, said.
“They completed clean routines with some of them learning or adding new skills to their routine to ensure they put their best foot forward. They should be very proud of their performance at such a high-calibre competition.”
Leading the boys' team, Taj Lowery, 12, of Warwick Academy, competed in the USAG level eight and received high placements on floor and high bar, with fifth and fourth places, respectively. Lowery came seventh overall.
In the level five session, ten-year-old Jordan Trimarchi earned podium status with a second-place finish on the vault, which helped him earn fourth place in the all-around.
Jacob Madeiros and Ben Mello, both aged eight, shared a fourth-place finish on the vault with a tied score of 9.200. Both athletes enjoyed top-ten finishes on each event helping them to land sixth and ninth, respectively, in the all-around.
The USAG level four competitors rounded out the competition for Bermuda. Tristan Robinson earned the team's first gold medal of the competition, scoring a 10.6 on parallel bars, while six-year-old Arman Newton claimed two first-place medals on the vault and on the rings.
Also achieving podium finishes were Toby Madeiros, seven, with a first-place finish on the vault, while Christian Hanwell, also seven, came first on the vault and third on the high bar. Joseph Lau, six, was third on the floor.
Dylan Sangster, eight, earned top-ten finishes on five out of six events, helping him place eighth in the all-around.
Gianluca Bortoli, came in the top ten in three events, narrowly missing a top-ten finish in the all-around, while seven-year-old Noah Forbes earned a fourth-place finish on the vault and top-ten finishes in four more events.
Magan Outerbridge, the boys' team coach, said she was very proud of all the boys throughout the weekend.
“Their excitement always helps me to be excited for competition,” she said. “The first-time competitors displayed strong routines.
“I'm glad they were able to whet their appetites for competition and I'm eager to see what they bring for the next competition.”