The Yass Gymnastics team competed at the Country Championships in Armidale recently coming away with a slew of accomplishments across their level twos to level sixes including gold in Team Gym.

Usually held in Newcastle, this was the first year Armidale held the competition, resulting in a smaller turnout due to the long distance.

Michelle Vitler, owner and head coach at Yass Gymnastics, said all the girls did really well with many competing at their first Country Championships due to cancellations the last few years.

Level 2s Ellie Green and Micki Laugher with Coach Aimee Vitler

“They’re getting back to pre-COVID standards, so it’s taken a while because they’ve been out of the gym for so long,” Michelle said. “I’m very impressed with how they’re coming along.”

Level 2s Ellie and Micki

It was the first time Yass Gymnastics had taken their young level two gymnasts to the Country Championships, but Michelle said they had older siblings also attending this year.

“It was good for them and they were able to experience what a country championship was like,” she said. Ellie and Micki did well and came away with several ribbons each.

Level three and four scoring is marked out of 40 points, 10 for each apparatus. Between 36-40 is a gold banding, 35-36 is silver and under 35 is bronze.

The two level three gymnasts had a smashing comp banding bronze in their division for their first Country Championships.

Level 3s Grace Green and Stephanie Laugher who both came away with a bronze medal at their first Country Championships

Four level fours competed at Armidale with Liv, Tilly, and Chloe banding bronze and Georgie receiving silver.

Scoring for level five and up is marked individually for each apparatus – floor, beam, bars, and vault. For example, if a gymnast receives the highest score on the floor, they are awarded gold for that event. Level fives and sixes needed to attend the Country Championships to qualify for state and out of the three gymnasts that competed at Armidale two qualified for state.

Level fives Rach received 6th in vault and Elyse Shea received 3rd in floor and 5th in bars. Emma Barlow also smashed it at her first country championships in level six placing 4th on Bars and 2nd on Vault with 6th overall.

Elyse Shea, 12, and Emma Barlow, 13, qualified for state and will now travel to Sydney in November to compete at the New South Wales State Championships.

Level 4s Matilda Foster, Olivia Dean, Chloe Pearce receiving bronze metals, and Georgie Austen receiving Silver

“They did really well, and we haven’t had a lot of competition obviously because of COVID,” Michelle said. “So to be able to get back out and compete in other clubs has been really good for them. For girls that haven’t had a lot of comp time they’ve done really well.”

Emma Barlow heads to state

Seven Yass gymnasts competed in the TeamGym event between levels four to six, winning gold on the floor, tramp and tumbling.

Winning gold overall, Yass’ TeamGym qualified for the State Championships in October.

Elyse Shea on the podium after placing 3rd in floor and 5th on bars

The group train at all different times and only had about two training sessions together before the competition. Additionally, the hall they train in doesn’t have the space for a full floor so they’ve been practicing in a smaller area.

TeamGym (Back) Olivia Dean, Georgie Austren, Aimee Vitler, Emma Barlow, (Front) Rachael Barlow, Elyse Shea and Matilda Foster who recieved well deserved gold

“This is probably the second time they’ve competed with that routine,” Michelle said. “So they’ve done really well, because they don’t all train at the same time.”

Brianna O’Rourke