Four local gymnasts prepare for provincials

 

By Joel Charron

 

Rose City Gymnastics athletes Natalie Coughlin, 16, Sabrina Fryer, 13, Molly Dean, 12 and Cassidy Lavigne, 10, will all be competing in Women’s Artistic Ontario Gymnastics Championships April 4-7.

The Ontario Championship will be held at University of Windsor’s St. Dennis Centre and will feature over 1,000 athletes competing for provincial recognition.

Rose City Gymnastics coach, Diane Deslippe said the four Amherstburg girls are part of a 32-person team representing Rose City at this year’s competition.

“This is one of the largest teams we have had,” she said.

Qualifying for the provincial championship was no easy task. Coughlin, Fryer, Dean and Lavigne all had to compete in three separate competitions and qualify with their two best event scores.

The top 32 athletes qualified for the Ontario Championship

“They were up against a lot of athletes so it was really hard to be in the top 32,” said Deslippe.

For Fryer, Dean and Lavigne the Ontario Championships will be the final competition of the year, while Coughlin will be battling to qualify for a spot in the National Championships.

Deslippe noted that the athletes have been training very hard for the Ontario Championship, training up to 20-24 hours a week, depending on their level.

“These girls work very, very hard,” state Deslippe. “I’m really proud of them.”

The athletes will be competing in four events: uneven bars, balance beam, vault, and floor exercise.

Coughlin, who is recovering from an ankle injury will be competing in the national open division said she is a “little bit nervous” but overall feels ready for the upcoming competition.

“It’s been a little bit of a difficult year because of my injury but things were going well before it happened so I’m feeling pretty good going into the Ontario Championship,” she said.

Coughlin said she would be competing in two of the events for sure but will wait to see how she feels before competing in the other two events.

Fryer will be competing in the Level Eight division (ages 12-13.) Fryer said she feels like she is in a good

Sabrina Fryer, Natalie Coughllin, Molly Dean and Cassidy Lavigne will be representing Amherstburg and Rose City Gymnastics at the Women’s Artistic Ontario Gymnastics Championships on April 4-7 at  University of Windsor’s St. Denis Centre.

Sabrina Fryer, Natalie Coughllin, Molly Dean and Cassidy Lavigne will be representing Amherstburg and Rose City Gymnastics at the Women’s Artistic Ontario Gymnastics Championships on April 4-7 at
University of Windsor’s St. Denis Centre.

position as the Ontario Championships approach.

“I’ve been practicing for this for awhile,” said Fryer. “I’m feeling pretty confident.”

Fryer added performing in front of a home crowd is definitely a bonus in this competition.

Dean will also be competing in the Level Eight division (age 10-11.) The spunky gymnast is coming off an ankle injury of her own, and said she is a little nervous heading into the weekend.

“We’ll have to wait and see but I think I’ll do just fine,” she said.

Dean is no stranger to competing at the provincial level as this is her third time competing at the Ontario Championships.

“I kind of know what to expect at these competitions,” said Dean. “I’ll be nervous before the events begin but I’ll settle down when it’s time to perform.”

The youngest of the Amherstburg Rose City athletes competing in the pre-novice division, Lavigne said she’s excited for the upcoming Ontario Championships.

Lavigne, who has participated in gymnastics for only three years and already qualified for a provincial meet said performing in front of a home crowd helps put her nerves at ease.

“I’m not so nervous knowing I’m close to home,” she said.

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