Plenty of room to spare in Prahran today as some of Victoria's best (and I do mean some - MLC, Waverley, Jets, Grips, apparently didn't make the trip out) strutted their stuff in front of a small but dedicated crowd.
And Peggy Liddick.
Our national women's head coach was there, and her presence made me as nervous as I'm sure it made the gymnasts. Kinda like when police officers walk past - you know you're totally innocent and non-threatening, you just feel like you're going to be pulled up for something. She was quite taken with the HPC's system of chair sponsorship ("This Chair Donated by [x gymnast]") and asked two younger gymnasts, "How do I get my name on a chair?... Do you guys just bring them from Bunnings or something?" She also took a shine to the girls' pink aprons left over from the breast cancer fundraiser, joking, "I love the waitress look you've got going on!"
In short - give this woman her own stand-up set, post haste.
But yes! To the competition proper.
Seniors Naomi Russell and Fiona Coley were not present. Zoe Lorenzin and Alex Eade continued apparatus training as the others rotated events; Ash Brennan trained in the first rotation but joined the rest of Mischa and Tracey's squad for beam, vault and floor. All girls wore the pink breast cancer fundraiser leotards with matching ribbons. Some girls from Balance Gymnastics came to watch the second session, wearing their OSU-esque black and orange leotards.
I recorded as much as possible on my new video camera but, I ashamedly admit, I accidentally erased Georgia Rose Brown's GORGEOUS beam routine. I am kicking myself for it. I managed to catch a whole bunch of other routines and observations.
Before I upload them, here are some tidbits -
* Britt Greeley is sporting a tan; she worked her Weiler kip on the single bar throughout today's session, sitting and chatting to Peggy during the first rotation.
* The girls have had their dance and pirouette work overseen by choreographer Lisa Bradley in recent days.
* Zoe Lorenzin did double pike dismounts on bars, then some fairly piked attempts at double layouts. I repeat - double layout dismounts! I can definitely see her getting the skill consistently. She then did some lovely ones on the tumbling strip (spotted then un-spotted) plus some piked full-ins for good measure, while fellow junior Alex Eade worked on triple twists. Alex fell backwards on nearly every one, but made some amusing faces in the process. I tried poorly to catch both of these things on camera.
* The gym gets a new floor mat tomorrow, apparently. They have their own medal dais now with the centre's logo on it, used at the end for awards.
* Georgia Rose's dad (at least I think it was her dad) dutifully filmed each of her routines, as did Peggy. A lot of buzz around GRB today as the Pacific Rim representative, she got a special shout-out at the end.
* Ash B was the only senior on show today, so she won 3 apparatus titles outright. Hers was the last lot of awards given out, Peggy walked up and just put all 3 gold medals around her neck instead of having each one announced individually. Much laughter ensued.
Aaaand... I'll pretty much let the videos do the talking now! Forgive any wobbly bits and my excessive use of zoom. I was up, down and around trying to capture the best angle.
Stay tuned, I'll have them up and in a playlist before tonight is out.
Edit: Ok, so I lied. YouTube is taking FOREVER and I have about half a dozen videos still to come (including Georgia Rose's vault, Svetlana's floor and the medal ceremonies). Please bear with me, my little laptop can only take so much. My apologies for you all hearing me constantly saying gymnast names at the beginnings of videos, it's to remind myself when the time comes to label them on YouTube! I will try and get the rest up by tomorrow afternoon.
In the meantime, enjoy this little random moment I felt like capturing...