Last night's session of the Victorian State Gymnastics Championships definitely came with ups and downs.
I spotted world championship team members Mary-anne Monckton and Josh Jefferis in the stands, supporting their squadmates alongside big cheering sections (the biggest were undoubtedly from MLC and Waverley).
I unfortunately didn't watch enough of the men, but it was great to know some names from the last few years - locals and visitors - were back again for another season (including Bacon, Cook, Pocklington and Wadsworth). I did catch one sky-high kovacs on high bar and and Kent Pieretse's huge piked double arabian on floor. Jefferis joked that the HPC boys "survived" pommel, glad to hear it managed not to claim some victims!
I've got to give a 'smile award' to MLC's Meagan Silvers. She had a great personality throughout the competition, I even spotted her dancing as her group rotated to beam!
The vaunted Victorian High Performance Centre girls came unstuck a number of times last night. No gymnast in their lineup hit four for four, but I am sure this will come in time. Current senior AA leader Georgia Rose Brown was ethereal as always, getting through beam competently save for some wobbles and a fall to her back on a double tuck dismount (her pirouettes in Y-scale are jaw-droppingly beautiful) and suffered a fall on bars after hitting a gorgeous shap to geinger. Alex Eade fell multiple times on beam (significantly on the flic-two foot layout series), having done so on bars in the previous rotation, but rocked floor like a veteran with her gigantic double layout opener. Maddie Leydin and Kiara Munteanu also had a mixed night, with the former flubbing bars but dominating beam, and the latter sitting down what was looking to be a powerful double arabian on floor but hitting her exciting Memmel salto on beam.
Tango floor routines were the order of the day, with Eliza Freeman (Waverley) and Christine Bonfadini (Dolphin) particular standouts in terms of presentation.
The NZ visitors had some of the coolest skills of the night on beam - tiny Christchurchian Charlotte Sullivan powered through a piked back whip. Millie Williamson twisted a nifty back dive into split handstand. And finally, the delightful Mackenzie Slee. She performed a Mitchellesque wolf pirouette into immediate stand and full pirouette. She hit it in warmup but messed come performance time, cleverly covering an accidental heel drop that left her sitting on the beam with a flourish of seated choreography!
There was a lot going on at once last night, and my apologies to those following my livetweets that I had to duck out one rotation early.
For more photos and more detailed results from last night, and for the rest of the competition rounds to come, check out Gymnastics Victoria's Facebook page that is regularly updating live or the official championships results page.
I did film a few routines and will get them onto youtube ASAP!