Serena Baker went to the Canadian Gymnastics Championships to perform her routines well and to have some fun.
The 17-year-old Bluewater Gymnastics product accomplished both, and helped Ontario win the team title at the recent national event in Gatineau, Quebec.
“It’s always a great experience,” she said. “It’s really inspirational.”
Baker, competing in her third nationals, was fifth in the bars competition, just a fraction of a point behind the eventual winner, and she placed 18th out of 36 finalists in the all-around competition.
But, in an extremely tightly bunched field, she was less a point away from reaching the top ten.
The Northern Collegiate student credits work with a sports psychologist this season with helping her advance another step in the sport
“She helped me with how to focus and not to get nervous,” she said. “Just to keep my cool.”
And that newfound calmness hasn’t been lost on her coach either.
“She was very ready to compete,” said Liz Brubaker.
“Out of eight routines she only made one mistake, so we were really pleased with how she did.”
While at the nationals, Baker caught the eye of the gymnastics brass from Central Michigan University. She and several others were invited to a camp at the Mt. Pleasant campus in hopes of landing a scholarship following her senior year at Northern.
When asked about goals for the coming gymnastics season, Baker was succinct.
“Improve, be confident and have fun,” she said.