Tumblers outdo themselves at Manitoba Games

The six members of the Thompson Tumblers who represented the Norman region, along with two athletes from Flin Flon, in gymnastics at the 2010 Manitoba Winter Games exceeded expectations, says coach Jennifer Battershell.

"It's been a really long time since Thompson was involved in the Winter Games [for gymnastics]," said Battershell, so just competing was significant. "That was a really big success for us."

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At the last Manitoba Winter Games four years ago, all of the Norman competitors were from Flin Flon, so Battershell said the Thompson group didn't go in expecting any medals.

"Our goal was basically to get a top-10 placement in anything, anywhere," the coach explains. "We ended up with seven top-10 finishes, which was more than what we thought. We had a lot of seventh places actually. That was really exciting for us."

Blair Bodie was the top all-around finisher for the Tumblers, placing 11th, with an eighth-place finish on the vault to go with 10th-place finishes on the uneven bars and the beam.

"That's really good," says Battershell.

Thompson's only male gymnast at the games, Conal Stevenson, recorded fifth-place finishes on the vault and high bar.

Hailey Lychuk finished seventh in the beam competition, while Kelsey Samborski was seventh with her floor routine.

"She was actually only 0.3 [points] off of the first place on floor," said Battershell.

Courtney Taylor earned seventh place with her floor routine, and 11th in the vault, while Leanna Rempel was also seventh on floor and 11th on the beam.

Flin Flon's Shannah Fisher finished ninth in the vault competition and with her floor routine. Danielle Labine, also of Flin Flon, had 12th-place finishes in the uneven bar and floor competitions.

Joining the team for the travel and three days of competition from March 8-10 was fun for Battershell and Kim Ronald, her coaching partner with the Tumblers.

"We really, really enjoyed it," said Battershell. "They had a great attitude during the whole games. Everyone worked so well together. It really showed. They did the best performances they've ever done. They showcased the Norman region wonderfully."

Now, the Tumblers can look ahead and plan for even greater things in 2014.

"This was the warm-up," said Battershell, who expects event better results for the Tumblers next time. "We had a really great representation from Thompson. We look forward to the next Manitoba Games."

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