Luke Van Harmelen, of the Surrey Gymnastics Society warming up on the rings during the Surrey Gymnastics Invitational at Guildford Recreation Centre March 2. The invitation ran March 1 to 3. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey gymnasts win big in annual invitational

More than 750 athletes descend on Guildford Recreation Centre

Surrey gymnasts won big at an annual invitational in Guildford over the weekend.

The event, hosted by Surrey Gymnastics Society, saw about 750 athletes competing throughout the weekend, said society CEO Jocelyn Chua. Throughout the weekend, the girls competed in the Carol Lenz Memorial and the boys competed in the Surrey Classic.

Dozens of athletes with the Surrey Gymnastics Society competed in the annual invitational at the Guildford Recreation Centre March 1 to 3. Chua also said the invitational includes gymnasts from throughout B.C., as well as Alberta.

The Surrey gymnasts who placed or medalled are: Megan Ma, Chloe Ostrosser, Harsimran Rakhra, Charlie Sunshine, Madeleine Gassien, Gianna Brown, Mia Morales, Carrie Ma, Japjit Dhanoa, Brianna Lopez, Avia Punzalan, Dinea Usison, Emilyna Keo, Sofia Villamil, Adriana Garbe, Sanne-Lise Garbe, Isabeau Isaacson, Melissa Piliotis, Erin Harvey, Alexa Cannon, Alice Bashko, Paul Bashko, Yeshen Mootoosamy, Jay Mehta, Luke Van Harmelen, Treyson Cerrato.

The Carol Lenz Memorial invitational is named in honour of Carol Ann Lenz, a former coach with Surrey Gymnastics Society, who died in a car crash on the Pattullo Bridge in 1983, said her mom Eleanor Lenz.

Carol Ann, said Eleanor, started out in gymnastics at the age of six. Over the year, Eleanor said, Carol Ann progressed and was told she was “Olympic calibre” and would be have to go to Oregon to train.

Eleanor said that Carol Ann ultimately chose not to go that route and carried on with gymnastics until she was about 15 or 16 years old, and then helped coach at Surrey Gymnastics Society.

Carol Ann was 18, almost 19 years old, and going to Douglas College when she was killed in the car accident, Eleanor said.

“It was a very windy day. It was Nov. 15 (in 1983) and it was extremely windy going over the bridge, and a van went by with a ladder tied on with electrician’s wire, which is not a legal tie-down and it flew off the van and went through the windshield of her car.”

It was two years later in 1985, Eleanor said, that the Surrey Gymnastics Society held the first invitational in Carol Ann’s honour.

“It started out just as a little handful of girls… and it’s now grown to 750 girls from all over B.C.,” Eleanor said. “When I was asked… what kind of a meet would I think (Carol Ann_ would like, and I said, ‘I think she probably would like a meet for little girls who would never be able to go to western Canadian championships, the provincials or nationals; a meet where they could come and do gymnastics and get medals and awards.”

As the society wrapped up its annual invitational it is now facing an “uncertain future,” said Chua.

“Due to an expansion project at Frank Hurt Secondary,” Chua said. “We have recently been given warning that we may need to vacate by the end of 2019. We are working hard to find a new location.”

Chua said the society is looking into a partnership with the City of Surrey, “along with other possible arrangements.”

“But time is short and it will be a significant challenge for our beloved club and it’s 700 members.”

RESULTS

Junior Olympic Level 2 (2007-08 age category):

  • Megan Ma took gold on beam and floor and won bronze on vault and uneven bars.
  • Chloe Ostrosser finished first on vault and uneven bars, second on beam and third on floor.

Junior Olympic Level 2 (2009 age category):

  • Harsimran Rakhra finished first on vault, uneven bars, beam, floor and captured all around gold medal.
  • Charlie Sunshine was third on vault and finished seventh all around.

Junior Olympic Level 2 (2010 age category):

  • Madeleine Gassien placed first all around and first on vault, first on uneven bars, third on beam and fourth on floor.
  • Gianna Brown finished second all around. She got silver on vault and placed fourth on uneven bars and beam.
  • Mia Morales places fourth all around, won silver on floor.
  • Carrie Ma captured gold medal on beam, silver on bars, bronze on floor and finished fifth all around.
  • Japjit Dhanoa won gold medal on floor, silver on beam and placed sixth all around.
  • Brianna Lopez placed fifth on vault and bars and seventh all around.

Junior Olympic Level 2 (2011 – 2012 age category):

  • Ayia Punzalan finished first all around and captured two gold medals on uneven bar and beam and bronze on floor.
  • Dinea Usison was placed fourth all around and third on floor.

Junior Olympic Level 4 (2007 – 2008 age category):

  • Emilyna Keo won all around gold and she got three more gold medals on vault, uneven bars and beam, and silver on floor.
  • Sofia Villamil placed second all around competition. She got silver medal on uneven bars and bronze on floor.

Junior Olympic Level 4 (2009 age category):

  • Adriana Garbe won the all around silver medal and finished first place on uneven bars and beam.
  • Sanne-Lise Garbe finished fifth all around, placed third on uneven bars and fourth on Beam.

Junior Olympic Level 6:

  • Melissa Piliotis finished first place all around and won gold medals on uneven bars and beam, silver on vault and floor.

Junior Olympic Level 7 (2001 – 2003 age category):

  • Erin Harvey won gold medals on vault and uneven bars, silver on beam and bronze on floor. She finished first place all around.

Junior Olympic Level 8 (2001 – 2003 age category):

  • Alexa Cannon placed fourth all around and won silver medal on vault.
  • Alice Bashko won bronze on beam.
  • Isabeau Isaacson won gold on vault, placed fourth on floor and finished sixth all around.

Provincial 2 category (2010 & under age group):

  • Paul Bashko finished first place all around. He won gold medals on rings, high bar, silver medals on floor, pommel horse, parallel Bars and bronze medal on vault.
  • Yeshen Mootoosamy placed second in the all around competition. He captured gold medals on floor, pommel horse, silver medals on rings, high bar and bronze medal on Parallel Bars.

Provincial 2 category (2011 & 2012 age group):

  • Jay Mehta won gold medal on floor and silver on pommel horse. He placed fourth in all around.

Provincial 5 category:

  • Luke Van Harmelen captured three gold medals on vault, high bar and all around; silver medal on parallel bars and bronze on rings.

National Open category:

  • Treyson Cerrato won gold all around. He won gold on rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar, silvers on floor and pommel horse.
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