Kawartha Lakes gymnasts win big at provincial level

By William McGinn

Madison Persaud from Lindsay won first place in the bar, beam and floor.

Six young gymnasts of the Lindsay Gymnastics Centre recently competed in the Ontario Provincial Gymnastics Championship, and out of 160 provincewide participants per age group, every one scored in the Top 10, and two of them took home the title of Provincial Overall Champion. That’s another way of saying first place.

The six girls were coached by Meghan Howe who has been coaching competitive teams in Lindsay for 19 years, and Stacey Perreault, who has coached at the centre for 30. The competition went from May 19-22. Howe explained this is the first championship Lindsay has attended since 2019, since the pandemic and the amount of spectators and athletes cancelled two of them.

The six were the only ones in the Gymnastics Centre to go to the two provincial qualifiers needed to try and be accepted into the championship, and all six qualified.

There are four events in the “artistic gymnastics” the competition does, known as “the vault, the uneven bars, the balance beams, and the floor.” Howe coached the girls for the balance beam and floor, and Perreault coached for the vault and bars.

Olivia Tufts from Fenelon Falls took home first place in the beam category.

The big winners were Madison Persaud from Lindsay, competing in the 13-year-old age category, and Olivia Tufts from Fenelon Falls, competing in the 14-year-old one. Madison took home first place in the bar, beam, and floor, plus fifth in the vault. Olivia got first place in the beam, and second on the vault and floor. Their total scores earned them champion titles.

Additionally, Kennedy Lowell, 13, another Lindsay gymnast, got first place in the vault, taking the spot Madison got fifth. In other words, every event for the 13-year-old category was won by Lindsay’s Gymnastics Centre. Kennedy also got second place on floor and seventh on beam, and she finished 3rd overall.

The other Lindsay competitors were Alyssa Carnaghan, 14, and Emily Bowler and Soul Mappin, who both competed in the 15+ category. Alyssa won in the Top 10 in every event, second place in the beam, third on Vault and Floor, and sixth on Bars. Plus she finished 2nd overall. In the 15+ category, Emily got 8th overall, winning fourth on Beam, and eighth on Vault and Floor. Soul got 10th overall, winning fourth on Floor and fifth on Vault. Out of the 159 other girls each of them were up against, each of them scored in the overall Top 10 and half of them got championship titles.

These were the centre’s Level 6 athletes. Howe told the Advocate there is another provincial championship for the athletes in the centre’s Level 3 and Level 4 divisions this weekend in Alliston, ON. In total, 17 athletes have qualified in total for Provincial Championships from the club. More gold titles might be earned soon enough.

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