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Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019
Tour Selection provides a starting point to the year
by Randy Pascal

With no one ready to seriously challenge for a berth on the Ontario Tour Selection team just yet, coach Terra Davidson and the Sudbury Laurels massaged the expectations for their eight athlete contingent, just a touch, creating a wonderful starting point for a new year of competitive gymnastics.

It was probably one of our best all-around placings that we have had, especially for our level sixes, suggested Davidson. They are up against as many as a hundred athletes in their category, and they were all above the halfway mark.

We kind of look at it as a practice meet, Davidson added. If you make Tour, bonus, but this is really about getting the ready for the first qualifier. Interestingly enough, the Sudbury entries represented a wide variety of different stages of development, starting with the likes of 13 year old Charlotte Eberlein.

I would have been one of the youngest people there, admitted the grade 8 student at Carl A. Nesbitt Elementary School. Thankfully, nerves did not get the better of her. You have to be confident, you have to forget that there are people that are there watching you, so that you perform as you would in practice.

I stuck my beam routine, which I am really proud of, because Ive been struggling with that for a while. On floor, I had a really good routine, getting a nine, which is really good for me. Competing with a goal of reaching provincials come April, Eberlein knows that she still has her work cut out for her to reach her overall score of 36.

On bars, my casts are a little bit low, compared to some of the other people, she said. I have to get those higher. On vault, I need to work on sticking my landings. Normally, my vaults are really good, but if I dont stick my landings, its iffy.

While Eberlein can look forward to plenty of meets offering the possibility of improvement in the years to come, 17 year old GymZone veteran Brooklyn Lavallee enters the 2017-2018 season knowing its likely her last in the realm of womens artistic gymnastics.

Im going to coach gymnastics, and I might do tumbling, noted the grade 12 Confederation Secondary student with an eye on the Concurrent Education program at Laurentian University for next year.

Im not really thinking that its my last year yet, because I still have a whole bunch of competitions, she said. Like Eberlein, she would leave the Tour Selection meet with plenty of positives on which she could draw. On the beam, I barely wobbled, she said. It was one of the best routines Ive had in my life. I wasnt nervous at all.

And though she understands all too well that there might not be any long-term gains from the progress that she shows this year, Lavallee is not about to ease up in terms of breaking new ground with her abilities as a gymnast.

I still need to work on bars, she conceded. Im going to put in a new skill soon, get my giant for hopefully first or second qualifier. I think bars is the hardest event because its not natural. Youre not on your feet, its all with your hands. And Im not a natural circler, so its really hard for me.

Both Eberlein and Lavallee are expected to be joined by a larger group of their teammates as the Sudbury Laurels begin the process of attending the qualifiers that are hosted right across the province.

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