With the National Age Group Championships coming up in just over 3 weeks, a few gymnasts to look out for !
The Level 3’s! ( Click Here for Report on the Level 4’s)
Erika Magpantay of Marriott’s GC is my pick for the winner! A beautiful gymnast who also has the difficulty. Erika first came to my attention last year when she competed at the Compulsory 4 National finals where she placed 3rd overall. Erika then went on to compete in the Level 4 National Age Group Championships where, with a low score on beam she placed 15th overall. This gave her a combined place of 4th overall. Erika recently won the East regional level 3 championships by over 2 marks! She will compete for the East Team at the National Age Group Championships.
Stephanie Ponder of Sapphire GC has been successful at competition ever since she was a level 5. When she competed Level 4 age 8 at the 2010 ‘Alpha Factor Open’ she came 2nd. She then went on to compete at the National Compulsory 4 where she again, came 2nd, both of these times she came 2nd to Rebekah Bell (who I now believe is training with her at Sapphire GC ).At the Level 4 National Age Group Championships a low score on beam put her at 7th place overall, meaning she finished the year with a combined 2nd place.
She started off this year by winning the Compulsory 3 National Finals, and helping the East team to win the Team competition. Recently she placed 2nd at the East Regional championships and will compete for the East Team at the National Age Group Championships!!
Megan Splain of Bulmershe GC came to our attention this time last year when she came 2nd at the National Age Group Championships, followed by her team mate Freya Roberts in 3rd. She also helped the South to win the team competition.
Megan placed 5th when she did Alpha Factor level 4 age 8 in 2010. She went on to compete at the National Compulsory Grade 4 finishing in 27th place, a score of 9.25 on Range and Conditioning let her down. With her 2nd place later in the year at the National Age Group Championships she finished with a combined placing of 14th. Earlier this year she competed at the National Compulsory Grade 3 in Birmingham where she finished in 3rd. She came 2nd at the South Regional Championships and will compete as part of the South team.
Christine Tse of City Of Birmingham is a stunning gymnast who has done very well at both Compulsory 4 and 3 National Finals, she didn’t do as well at the level 4 Age Group Championships so maybe she doesn’t have the high start values needed to do well in voluntary competitions. Last year she came 4th at the National Compulsory 4 finals, She went on to compete at the National Age Group championships where she finished 23rd, these two competitions gave her a combined placing of 4th. She bounced back earlier this year competing at the British compulsory 3 finals where she came 2nd! She recently won the West Midland Regionals. She is definitely one to watch for at the National Age Group Championships where she will be competing for the West Midlands Team.
Lauren Ali of C.C.Y.C had a good start to last year at the British compulsory 4 finals where she placed 7th overall , she then went on to win the Level 4 National Age Group Finals in November! These two competitions gave her a combined place of 3rd overall!
Lauren started this year well with an 8th Place finish at the Compulsory 3 National finals. I think she could better that at the National Age Groups, as last year she performed better at the voluntary competition than the compulsory! Lauren will compete for Wales at the National Age Group Finals.
A few other gymnastics to look out for
Taeja James from City of Birmingham has made a massive improvement this year going from 51st in Compulsory 4 last year to 5th in Compulsory 3 this year! Also all the Heathrow Level 3’s were looking impressive earlier in the year at Wiltshire open. I think Jolie Ruckley and Georgia Wink from Wales are also in with a chance of the medals.
I think I should also mention that it will be sad not to see the reining British Champion Rebekah Bell at the National Age Group Finals. Rebekah Bell burst on to the scene in 2010 winning the level 4 age 8 at the ‘Alpha Factor Open’ , she then went on to win National Compulsory 4 finals and later in the year became the combined National Champion. Becky competed at the National Compulsory 3 earlier this year where she placed 11th. It seems she did not do regionals, so therefore will not be competing at the national finals. I think a few changes of clubs may have taken its toll ! Let’s wait and see if she will be back for next year!
A few results you may find interesting!
Compulsory 4 National Championships 2011
1st – Rebekah Bell (Europa)
2nd – Stephanie Ponder (Sapphire GC)
3rd – Eryka Magpantay (Marriotts)
Level 4 Age Groups 2011
1st Lauren Ali ( C.C.Y.C.)
2nd – Megan Splain ( Bulmershe GC)
3rd – Freya Roberts (Bulmershe GC)
Combined Level 4 Championships 2011
1st – Rebekah Bell (Europa GC)
2nd – Stephanie Ponder (Sapphire GC)
3rd – Lauren Ali (C.C.Y.C.)
Compulsory 3 National Championships 2012
1st – Stephanie Ponder (Sapphire GC)
2nd – Christine Tse ( Notts GC)
3rd – Megan Splain ( Bulmershe GC)
Please leave your thoughts for me and If there is anyone you think I have missed out let me know!