Saturday, April 17, 2010

AGB Goes to the VHPC Invitational

Along with a mere handful of spectators.

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...


Anonymous said...

Is Ash B Ashleigh Brennan? I thought she was retired?

Anonymous said...

no, ashleigh is still training.

Mez said...

Ash has, at the moment, aspirations for the Commonwealth Games.

To see her and Naomi Russell make the team would be AWESOME, both are making impressive comebacks.

nade00 said...

Thanks for the vids Mez!

Gosh, I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is such a shame that they are sending more or less the same team to worlds and CWG.

With Ashleigh & Naomi now + other HPC girls, the Waverley girls, the AIS girls, the WAIS girls, and the newbies like Wheeler, there are so many athletes of similar ability going for those spots. I wish they could all go!

It would be much more logical to send 2 teams, especially since worlds has been pushed forward 2 days by the organisers.

Mez said...

I really wanted to ask Peggy a bunch of stuff because she was RIGHT NEXT TO ME for a while but I succumbed to nerves. I tried to start a short conversation after GRB's bars by exclaiming within earshot of Peggy (AND Georgia's dad!) "Oh, she's so elegant!" (you know, as you do, quite loudly) but I got no response. I waited around afterwards to ask politely for some comments on camera but she dashed out the door.

Anonymous said...

I hope Georgia Rose can clean up her releases, they are a huge blip on what is otherwise a lovely bar routine. She should take out the Gienger for Pac because the deductions would surely outweigh the d-score advantage. Seems she has had this same issue of close releases for more than a year but it's not improved at all.

Anonymous said...

STRONG beam from Ashleigh! Obviously needs to tighten up connections, add poliash and release head, etc, but very solid and confident looking. Dare I say she looks better after the break?

Very cool skill from Britt on bars -- I love to see the girls working on some of the rarer-seen skills.

Lovely swing from GRB on bars -- I can see her upgrading fairly easily. Definitely deductions on the Geinger, but a bit more experience with the skill within a routine should fix that.

Poor Svetlana on bars -- but I think her problems came more because she was trying to do all the skills perfectly. All her turns were directly on top of the bar, just a shame the timing was a fraction off. Still, with more experience she'll have a lovely routine with a high execution score. I see more potential there than if she was finishing everything at 45 degrees.

Thank you SO MUCH, Mez, for all the vids. It is fantastic for those of us who were unable to make it.


Anonymous said...

I thought Georgia's choreography was much nicer in the vid from open day. It looked sort of different here? She looked a bit confused after the first leap sequence. I guess that's what happens when you have to cram in tumbles too, but she was just so lovely in that earlier dance through, it's a shame.

Anonymous said...

Ashleigh and Peggy gave out the medals and certificates at the first session (IDP 3-8). It was announced then that Ashleigh was going to compete in the next session and this would mark her return to competitive gymnastics. VWHPC has beautiful medals to award the winners this year which they didn't have before.

Anonymous said...

Georgia Rose's Gienger is fine. No, it's not her best skill, but it's usually much better than it was in Mez' video. Don't judge her bar routine by this one video.

I look forward to seeing more of Ashleigh Brennan. I think it's great that she's making a comeback!

Anonymous said...

The only thing that could make all these amazing comebacks even better is if Dasha came back. I like to think that maybe she will change her mind about quitting as the Olympics draw nearer.The 8 skill code is much better for her after all.

Anonymous said...

I'm so stoked to hear Ash B is back! That is awesome news! She can bring some lovely gymnastics and great leadership to the Aussie team :) I hope she makes the CWG team later this year!

Anonymous said...

I think Svetlana is going to be a great senior gymnast once she has her skills in place. Her double tuck was really nice. She has nice dance, nice form, and good technique. From what I understand she couldn't compete at all last year due to injury so she is doing well to be where she is.