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Bluewater Gymnastics athletes shine at Montreal meet

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Troy Shantz

A pair of elite Bluewater Gymnastics athletes took the podium and many others won medals and qualified for provincials with a strong showing at the International Gymnix meet.

Rachael Riley, 14, Amy Bladon, 17, each earned bronze in their respective categories in Montreal on March 10.

Competing as a member of Team Canada in the Junior Cup, Riley and her team placed third, behind only the U.S. and Belgium.

She was named to the Junior National team last fall and attended training camp with national team coaches in February.

Riley excels at the vault, said Bluewater executive director Rose-Ann Nathan, and now national-level coaches are helping her improve in other others.

“The national team is really focusing on her strength and endurance, to have her bars and her beams more consistent,” Nathan said.

Riley and junior high-performance teammate Jovie Richardson, who was 9th on bars, will attend the Canadian championships in May, Nathan said.

Bladon, who medaled in vault in Montreal and finished 6th overall, has signed with Penn State University this fall on a gymnastics scholarship.

Other strong performances from Bluewater gymnasts included:

Avery Caleffi (Level 6) placed 4th on floor while Tyleigh Winger (Level 7) was 4th on beam.

Erynn Hutchinson (Level 6) had a gold medal on vault, bronze on bars and silver all around.

Emily Wilson (Level 6) was 4th on beam and 6th on bars, while Addison Dawson (Level 6) placed 7th on bars.

Jaycie Turnbull (Level 6) had a gold medal on beam, gold on floor, and 4th all around.

Rachel Winklmeier (Level 6) had a silver medal on bars, 5th on floor, and 5th overall.

Haile Harrower (Level 6) finished 6th on bars, and Lyla D’Andrea (Level 8) was 11th on vault.

All have qualified for the Ontario championships in April.

Meanwhile, Nathan said the club hopes to have a new coach in place by the summer.

Former executive director and coach Dave Brubaker was placed on administrative leave in 2017 after being charged with sexually assaulting a former student.

The former national team coach was found not guilty in a Sarnia court last month.

Nathan said the club has a reputation for high-level coaching and has recruiters in Canada and the U.S. seeking a qualified replacement.

“For someone at Jovie and Rachael’s level … the technical training is very specific,” said Nathan, noting a Mississauga-area coach has been travelling to Sarnia to work with Bluewater athletes.

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