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Desiree Malmiste soars to a special award on the vault

It may not have been where she most anticipated achieving success, but Sudbury Laurels' gymnast Desiree Malmiste was jumping for joy with her performance on the vault at provincials.

The ten year old Level 6+ competitor not only took first place in her grouping in the event, but was also presented with a special award for the achieving the "highest/tightest/most flight" as she let loose at the end of the runway at the competition hosted in London.

"I was surprised that I got first on the vault," said the soon-to-be grade six student at E.P. Foyer-Jeunesse. "It's not my best event - and not my most favourite. But I was working really hard at it."

"I got on really fast, pushed off really hard and I was really tight," added Malmiste. "It shocked me to get a 9.25."

That said, there is an inner aggressiveness that serves this talented youngster well.

"Eat the vault - don't hover over it; that's how it was in my mind," she continued.

Making her second appearance at provincials in as many years, Malmiste was more than pleased when her performance in the vault combined with a bronze medal on the floor and 10th place on bars would leave her sitting sixth in the all-around overall placings.

"I was at provincials last year but I didn't do very good - I was just happy to be there," she said. "I was working even harder this year and I knew better what to expect. I had more confidence that I could win something this year."

Slated to make the jump to Level 7 for 2023-2024, Malmiste was looking forward to a June meet to get her feet wet as she continues to climb the competitive ladder in gymnastics.

"I just want to see where I am at," she explained. "It's fun getting new skills, doing new routines."

Joining Malmiste on the podium at provincials were Jennifer Iestwaard (Level 7 - 15+) who placed third in the all-around standings after earning a bronze medal on both the vault and the beam, as well as Avery Roy (Level 7 - age 13/14) who captured bronze on the vault, helping her slide in to fifth place in her division.

Palladino Subaru