Fraser Valley Blizzards Gymnastics Team brings home medals from state meet |

Fraser Valley Blizzards Gymnastics Team brings home medals from state meet

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News
Courtesy photoThe Fraser Valley Blizzards Gymnastics Team just finished its season at the state meet in Aurora last weekend. Pictured here (from left) are: front row " Ella Durbin, Megan Lovato, Lauren Rimmer and Danielle Keen; middle row " Erin Emery, Robin Peterson, Delanie Neiberger, Sierra Smith, Jessica Blahnik, Nicole Rhodes, Amanda Durbin, Gabriele Blahnik and Tori Lahrman (on balance beam); top row " coach Hoppy Hayes, assistant coach Amy Blahnik and assistant coach Heather Hagler.

Several medals were won by the Fraser Valley Blizzards Gymnastics Team at the state meet in Aurora last month.

The Blizzards competed with about 22 other teams and more than 100 gymnasts during the 2008 CARA State Gymnastics Championships held at Overland High School on Friday and Saturday, July 25-26. The top six finishers in the all-around category or an event won medals.

“The state meet was very competitive,” said coach Hoppy Hayes. “It was really hard to win a medal.”

Competing in the hotly contested Optional 1 category for ages 11-12, the Blizzards’ Gabriele Blahnik won the state championship title with an all-around first place score of 29.650.

In addition to winning the all-around medal, Blahnik won four event medals with second places in the vault, balance beam and floor exercise and a fourth place in the uneven parallel bars.

A championship medal was also won by Lauren Rimmer in the Optional 1 class for ages 11-12. She took first place in the vault with an outstanding score of 8.550. In addition, she placed 12th in the uneven parallel bars.

Competing in the same category, Danielle Keen earned a fifth-place medal in the vault with a score of 8.250.

Rounding out the team’s medal-winning performances was first-year competitor Robin Peterson, who performed in Compulsory 4 for 8-year-olds. She took a fifth-place medal in the vault with a score of 8.600. She also took an eighth place in bars, 13th in beam and 15th in floor exercise for an all-around 10th place.

Megan Lovato just missed out on a medal in vault by a 10th of a point in the Optional 1 competition for ages 11-12. She finished the event in eighth place with a score of 8.150 which was her best-ever in the vault.

Also close to winning a medal was Nicole Rhodes competing in Compulsory 5 for ages 9-10. She placed seventh in the balance beam with a good score of 7.250. She also took 11th places in vault and floor exercise, and 12th in bars for an all-around ninth place.

Three other Blizzard gymnasts competed in the state meet’s Compulsory classes. Erin Emery placed 12th in the C-4 8-year-old vault competition while Tori Lahrman took 14th in the uneven parallel bars for C-4’s 9-year-olds. Jessica Blahnik placed 14th in the vault for ages 9-10 in Compulsory 5.

“Overall, the girls did an outstanding job in both the regional and state meets,” Hayes said. “All 14 of our gymnasts qualified for the regionals and nine advanced to the state meet. They’ve worked extremely hard, had lots of fun and improved greatly from our first meet in Kremmling on May 31.”

With the end of the team’s competitive season, coach Hayes expressed her thanks.

“I would personally like to thank my assistant coach Amy Blahnik for her dedication to the kids and to the sport of gymnastics,” she said. “I also want to thank the parents for their support of the kids and the program. Well done, everyone.”

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