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Piper Vale make national finals

PUBLISHED: 13:12 20 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 March 2010

GYMNASTICS: The Regional Qualifying round of the British Grades were held at the Ipswich Gymnastics Centre.

The competition is a qualifier for the National finals in Kettering in April, the top four representing the region while a score of over 40 earns the right to represent the club at the same finals.

The Regional Qualifying round of the British Grades were held at the Ipswich Gymnastics Centre.

The competition is a qualifier for the National finals in Kettering in April, the top four representing the region while a score of over 40 earns the right to represent the club at the same finals.

Last year Pipers Vale had seven gymnasts competing and they all made the national final; this year the club had 11 gymnasts competing.

The first grade was the compulsory elite grade 4 for 8-9 year-olds. In their first competition Charlotte Cattermole won gold and Lilly Black silver.

In the compulsory elite grade 3, Yasmin Cook took the silver and Charlotte Beeson was fourth, both earning their places in the national finals.

Natasha Wood finished fifth and will be reserve for the team, but as she and Amber Russell (sixth) scored over 40, they can both compete as individuals for the club in the finals.

In the afternoon it was the turn of the British club grade 3 gymnasts and Lindsey Banthorpe was a clear winner, while Jessica Walker was pipped by 0.05 and had to settle for bronze.

In the club grade Jay Groves carried off the gold well clear of her rivals and the final competition was club grade 1 where Kelly Hasleton won the gold and Nicky Bruce took the bronze. That meant that Hasleton had completed a hat-trick of regional titles at grade 3, 2 and 1.

It also meant that all the club's gymnasts had qualified for the national finals for the second year running, this time with a record number of 11.

Head coach Andy Wood said: "This result is unbelievable. The credit has to go the coaches for their hard work and commitment and also to the gymnasts. I never believed that in just 14 months we could become the best club in the Eastern Region, but I feel now that we are close to becoming this.

"This is because I have a fantastic team of coaches - Tony and Freda Whetstone, Justine Newby, Jason Groves and Elaine Wood - who all work extremely hard and this gives the club tremendous strength in depth and I feel that this result proves it.

"This result is the best that I can remember that any club in the region has done."     


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