Gymnasts scoop awards in Wellington

01:00, Jun 14 2012
Amy Miles
ALL-ROUND EXCELLENCE: Amy Miles with fellow Nelson rhythmic gymnasts, back, from left, Renee McCrae, Aimee Robinson, Zoe Jensen, Grace Dennis, Gracie Kroos and Beth Strickland.

Thirteen-year-old rhythmic gymnast Amy Miles led a Nelson level 4 trifecta at last weekend's Wellington Open Rhythmic competition.

Under the guidance of experienced coach Yvonne Bradley, St Josephs School's Miles was one of seven gymnasts from the Richmond-based Nelson Rhythmic Gymnastics Club who contested the Wellington event, finishing first overall in level 4 and winning the trophy for the competition's best choreographed routine.

Of Nelson's other level 4 competitors, 12-year-old Gracie Kroos, from Nelson Prep, finished second overall to Miles, with 9-year-old Henley gymnast Renee McCrae third, 11-year-old Aimee Robinson sixth, Zoe Jensen, also 11, eighth and 12-year-old Grace Dennis 11th. Thirteen-year-old Beth Strickland, from Nelson College for Girls, placed second overall in level 6.

The Wellington Open was a sanctioned event where competitors achieved qualifying marks towards the Gymsports National Championships to be held in Dunedin from October 9-13.

To qualify for Dunedin, gymnasts need to be ranked inside the top 28 nationally in their respective grades. It means that the Nelson contingent will now contest further sanctioned events such as the Canterbury and South Island championships, both in Christchurch, and the North Shore championships in Auckland in a bid to qualify.

The Nelson Rhythmic Gymnastics Club has a history of success at recent national championships after Anna Thompson and Nicole Wilkinson secured gold medals at the 2009 Gymsport nationals at Hamilton's Mystery Creek.

Competing as part of a combined Top of the South squad, Thompson and Wilkinson finished first and second overall in the level 5 competition, Thompson first in ball and clubs and Wilkinson winning the freestanding category. The pair were also joined by Katy Sinnott at the 2010 nationals.