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Southern Region Grading, Farnborough, 1st February 2015

Orbit Rise with the Full Moon

On the 1st. of the month the Milton Keynes trampolinists travelled to Farnborough to compete in the first Southern Region Grading Competition of 2015.

We began the day as we finished last year, with a flourish.

In the girls 11 - 12 yrs. Level 5 Millie Heathcote competed at this standard for the first time. After two fine routines she took Silver and scored well enough to get a place in the National Development Plan finals at the end of May. Just the start we needed.

Also at Level 5, but in the over 15 girls group, Molly Jefferson, Libby Daniells and Helena Bloomfield jumped. When the compulsories and voluntary routines were completed, Libby claimed 9th. Place, Molly 8th. and Helena a fine gold medal. She also scored well enough to go to the finals in May. It was a shame that there were no team events for this group, as we would have certainly taken a medal.

Up at level 6 we had Ciara O'Brien and Martha McKinnell in the girls over 15s and Ritchie Clarke in the boys group. Warm ups went well, and all was according to plan until Martha forgot which routine she was doing and scored a zero for using the wrong moves. Her chances gone, only pride was left to save in her impending voluntary. Ciara and Ritchie executed fine compulsories hitting the scores for a final place in May. Martha completed a very good voluntary pulling her from last to 14th. place, Ritchie unable to impress the judges enough for a score to take him higher than 6th. place. Ciara however, gave a voluntary filled with height and flare, securing a final place in May and taking the gold.

On another judging panel we had Ben Gilroy in the level 3 boys over 13s, his first attempt at this standard. Ben excelled himself, confidently scoring eights, reaching a total that carries him to the National Development Plan final in May, and a Gold for his efforts. Competing at Level 4 in the over 13 girls Rebecca Dormer, Lucy Pangbourne and Milly Cole encouraged each other to bring out their best. After three high scoring compulsories it was clear that the girls meant business. If only a team was included! Even better voluntaries, all scoring some eights, ended with Rebecca holding a Bronze ( at only 12 years of age ) Lucy a Silver, and Milly victorious with Gold. Quite a team girls, and all though to the NDP finals in May.

On the third panel, Ella Jefferson made her first appearance at Level 2 over 13s and acquitted herself well by completing both routines and taking 13th. place.

Also making her first appearance at 2, but in the 11 - 12 year girls, Rachel Marsh made both her routines ending in 5th. place. Up a level at 3 in the 13 plus girls, Amy Smith completed both her routines without mishap, after recent training nerves and came 14th. That concluded the morning's contest leaving us with four Golds, two Silvers, one Bronze and seven finalists in May.

The afternoon began as frenetically as the morning. Recovering from injury, Emily Muttitt represented us in the over 15 girls F grade, growing in confidence with each attempt. Emily looked likely for a Bronze as the group progressed, but narrowly settled into 5th. place. Moving up to E grade both boys and girls of all ages, Charlie Roberts and Libby Daniells - yes, you may compete in both if you have the energy - flew the Orbit flag. Two good compulsory routines left them both in medal contention. Libby had her difficult new voluntary to face, including nine somersaults, while Charlie had to land his one and a half twisting front somersault. Both had success to spare. The reward was a Silver for Libby and a Gold for Charlie.

Moving to the top afternoon grade, D, in the Ladies, Martha McKinnell and Helena Bloomfield both competed again. Unfortunately, fearing a fall on Helena's last move in her compulsory, her coach threw in a safety landing mat to save her. This resulted in low scores of 6s from the judges, but at least she was unhurt. Martha showed a fine compulsory putting her into medal contention. The following voluntary routine was a question of pride for Helena, who didn't disappoint, pulling out her best routine of the day. For Martha, it was a question of which color medal if she completed her difficult routine. She also rose to the occasion, drawing an eight from the judges and securing the Gold medal. To her pleasant surprise, Helena held onto Bronze.

Over on another panel, young Rachel Marsh jumped in the under 13 girls G grade for the first time, and quietly worked away at her routines. Rachel completed two very competent rounds and surprised us all, herself included, with a Silver medal.

That concluded a long but gratifying competition, the afternoon adding another two Golds, two Silvers, and a Bronze. A great start to a new year.

As always, our thanks to all our parents, supporters, coaches, officials and helpers, without whom there would be no competition.