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Closing out the season in style

Parisa Darwish and Jamie Wright represented two polar opposite ends of the gymnastics pathway, as both wrapped up their 2018-2019 competitive season, along with a large handful of Sudbury Laurels teammates, with memorable performances in North Bay and Burlington.

Now 14 years old and preparing to make the jump from Ecole Notre Dame de la Merci in Coniston to grade nine at Collège Notre Dame this fall, Wright already knew that her attention would be turning elsewhere come September.

"This was my last year in gymnastics," she confessed. "There were skills that I wanted to compete before ending my competitive gymnastics career. For my last competition, I just wanted to go at it hard and get the best scores that I could."

"I was very happy with how I did," added Wright. "I got the best scores, and placed better, than I had in a long, long time. I was very very proud of completing the hand split roll on beam."

At just 11 years of age, Darwish is still ascending the mountain of skill sets and levels in women's artistic gymnastics. Slipping in with the remaining Level 3 athletes in a sport that she has enjoyed since the age of four, the grade 7 student at Ecole publique de la Découverte in Val Caron was wrapping up her first year of competitive meets earlier this summer.

Unlike many in her sport, Darwish is most at ease on the bars, though her all-around aggregate abilities are still pretty solid. "When I first started, everyone was doing cool tricks on bars, so I got motivated to be more like them," recalled the talkative youngster.

"The more I got my skills and realized there's more I can do, that's when I figured this is one of my favourite events. It's just something inside of me, I don't know what."

If she was to be held back, in terms of her placing, it would be the beam that was the culprit. Darwish was coming off an 11th place finish on that apparatus in her previous competition, as she focused on her one last shot for the season.

"At my last competition, I wasn't thinking of the beam the same way I thought of bars," she said. "I was too worried about the competition and the judging and stuff, and I failed. I fell twice. It wasn't good."

The improvement could not have been more dramatic, as Darwish not only topped the standings on the beam, but added top three scores on the vault (2nd), floor (3rd) and bars (3rd) en route to an overall aggregate silver medal performance.

She certainly wasn't alone. Remaining medal winners from Sudbury included:

Melina Doiron (L4) - 1st on vault, 2nd overall, 3rd on bars/beam
Alexia Ferguson (L5) - 1st on vault, 3rd on floor
Chloe Gervais (L3) - 1st overall, 1st on bars/floor, 2nd on beam, 3rd on vault
Emma Hinschberger (L5) - 1st on vault, 2nd overall, 2nd on beam
Blaire Rickard (L4) - 1st on vault, 2nd overall, 2nd on bars/beam/floor
Aria Petroski (L3) - 1st on vault, 2nd overall, 3rd on bars
Jordyn Vildis (L6) - 1st on floor, 2nd on vault/bars
Melanie Martin (L3) - 1st on beam, 3rd on floor
Isabella Prato (L4) - 1st on beam
Dylan Watts (L5) - 2nd on vault, 3rd on beam, floor and overall
Isabella Deschenes (L3) - 2nd on vault
Ellie Renaud (L3) - 2nd on beam, 3rd on vault
Josée Laurin (L6) - 2nd on floor, 3rd on vault, beam and overall
Aleah Bouillon (L3) - 3rd on vault, bars, floor and overall
Avery Roy (L5) - 3rd on vault/beam
Jennifer Iestwaard (L5) - 3rd on bars
Katie MacIsaac (L5) - 3rd on beam

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