Boys display class at titles
WIDE Bay Gymnastics Club secretary Vickie Riphagen was lost for words when speaking about the performance of the club's level three boys' gymnasts.
She was having trouble explaining how the boys won gold at the Australian club championships just one day after finishing runner-up at the state titles.
"I expected them to take out the state championship and didn't know how they would fare at the national championship," she said.
"I think they used Monday (state titles) as a warm to Tuesday."
If that's the case it certainly worked.
The team of five - Zoren Fitzek, Isaac Ryan, Joseph Ryan, Luke Taylor and Felix McWilliam - was simply flawless at the Caloundra tournament, clinching gold for the Urangan-based club ahead of Gold Coast, which took the honours at the Queensland championship.
"They worked really well as a team and they bonded well together," Riphagen said.
"Every routine was just perfect.
"In boys gymnastics, they are scored out of 60 (six apparatuses) and they were scoring over that after bonuses were added."
What's more impressive, it was the first boys' team from WBGC to compete at the national clubs championships.
"They are so dedicated and hard working," Riphagen said.
"They are so keen to improve and love learning new skills."
Joseph Ryan led the way for his team's win on floor and high bar, and second on parallel bars and pommel horse to be crowned national clubs individual champion for combined level three and four.
A team of 14 gymnasts from WBGC competed at the five-day competition with five level three girls making their debut at a state-level competition.
Riphagen said the girls performed well against stiff competition to finish 20th out of 32 teams.
"They did well for their first state competition and even though they didn't perform as well as they normally do, their scores were competitive with the other teams," she said.
The club's team of combined level five and six girls' gymnasts started behind the eight ball from the outset of the tournament with Katelyn Riphagen succumbing to an ankle injury.
Despite the early setback, the team of three performed admirably to finish 22nd out of 35 teams.