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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018
Dumontelle and Frappier brimming with enthusiasm
by Randy Pascal

It was a rousing finish to the 2016-2017 season, to say the least, for the interclub competitors continuing to develop with the GymZone Sudbury Laurels.

Some 35 athletes made the trek to Minesing last month, site of the Infinity Gymnastics Challenge, returning home with 61 medals, and following that up with an equally impressive performance at the Sunshine Classic in North Bay a few weeks ago.

The contingent included 11 year old Abby Dumontelle, who jumped to level four this year and is looking at a potential move to level six next year, despite being the product of a family far more well-known for their prowess in curling and in golf. That said, it doesn’t look like she’s about to leave her newfound passion for gymnastics any time soon.

“I have really bad nerves and I didn’t know if I was confident enough or ready or not (to move up a level),” she said. “Before, I was never confident, but right now, I am better than ever, more confident than I ever was.”

Undoubtedly, that was part of what caused some rapid and noticeable improvement on some of Dumontelle’s routines. “In Sudbury, I did really bad on bars,” she said. “I did a little better in Barrie (Minesing), but then I scored super duper high in North Bay."

“The bars were really stiff and I thought I was going to do bad, but then I was really confident and just went for it and got a 9.5.” Enjoying a short break following the year-end banquet prior to jumping into her summer training, Dumontelle is already looking forward to building on her recent success.

“I have my floor stuff, and I have my vault stuff, it’s my bars that I really need to get a strong clear hip, because I don’t have that yet,” she explained. “You really need to have nice speed and momentum going into it, but it’s really hard to push back from the bar, because you have to come back in a really nice position, and that’s hard for me.”

Just eight years old but now four full years into her gymnastics career on the urging of her “memere” (grandmother), Charlie Frappier is thankful she followed the family advice. “She told me there are lots of cool moves to learn, so I decided to try it and I really liked it, so I decided to go competitive,” she said.

At this age, much of the training for the floor routines can be done on a “fast track”, a very handy device in the mind of this young gymnast. “On fast track, me and (coach) Holly (Mousseau) learned how to do a round-off back handspring back tuck,” said Frappier.

“The floor is bouncy like the fast track, but the fast track is a little bit bouncier, easier to train. When I do my routine, I have to remember not to be scared, and just do your best and pretend you’re on fast track.”

And while she has not yet reached the stage where the musical accompaniment to her floor routine is of her own choosing, Frappier is comfortable with the variations that she currently encounters.

“In level two, the beat is kind of slow and kind of fast, but in level three, it’s really fast, the whole thing,” she noted. “I like how its slow and fast in level two, because you get more time to concentrate when it’s slow, and then you know the whole routine when it gets fast.”

Still more work to be done over on the vault, where Frappier finds herself focusing on one specific aspect of her technique. “I’m trying really hard to get my “heel drive” – it’s part of the move that I have to remember,” she said.

“Some people, they pike up by accident into their hand stand flat back. The heel drive helps you keep your legs straight up.”

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