Cayman gymnasts among Caribbean’s best

LtoR Karthik Adapa, Kaleb Woolaver, Igor Magalhaes, back Coach Doran Zimmerman (photo submitted)

The Cayman Islands made a strong showing at the 28 – 30 April 2017 Caribbean Gymnastics Championships in Barbados.

A dozen gymnasts represented the Cayman Islands at the championships.  The Level 4 Girls Team earned a third-place victory in the team competition with Raegan Rutty, Igor Magalhaes and Kaleb Woolaver each crowned Caribbean Champions in their respective divisions.

The Motions Unlimited gymnastics team competed against gymnasts from Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Jamaica, St. Vincent and Trinidad.  Level 3 girls, Natalie Bodden and Bethany Hawkins were the first gymnasts to represent Cayman on Friday. Next up on Saturday were the boys team of Igor Magalhaes, Karthik Adapa and Kaleb Woolaver and the Level 4 girls team of Sarah Bush, Emmi Daykin, Meaghan Fowler, Jaiden Gilbert and Maddalena Polloni.  Senior gymnast Raegan Rutty later rounded out the competition.

Both events showcased gymnastics through team and individual competition and provided an opportunity for gymnasts, coaches and officials from the Caribbean to network and continue to develop the sport in the region.

Cayman’s Girls L4 team finished 3rd.

Led by Coach Kenzie Brown, Level 3 Natalie Bodden earned silver on the uneven bars, finishing fifth all-around in her division, in a tie with Naadirah Griffith from Barbados.  Bethany Hawkins took bronze on vault, finishing only 0.05 points behind teammate, Bodden, for a sixth-place finish all-around.

The boys, under the guidance of Coach Doran Zimmerman, made a solid showing for Cayman. As the final competition before Island Games in June, Magalhaes took this opportunity to fine tune his competition skills as he impressed the audience commandeering a gold medal on every event and the Championship title all-around for the Level 8 Boys Division.

Adapa took to the stage earning silver medals for floor, vault, high bar and all-around for the Level 6 Boys Division while Woolaver completed the haul of gold with first place medals in all events and all-around in the Level 5 Division.

Coach Alison Laidler’s Level 4 team had a notable performance earning coveted spots individually on the award podium as well as the third-place team title just behind Jamaica and Barbados and ahead of Curacao.

Jaiden Gilbert earned gold on bars, finishing sixth all-around with Emmi Daykin bringing in bronze on floor and fifth all-around.  Maddalena Polloni also earned silver on bars.   The “Fab Five” team, including Bush and Fowler, all finished top 10 in their age divisions in the Caribbean Championships.

Head Coach Kelley Paz next stepped in for the senior level competition.  In the Caribbean Championship, Rutty dominated winning an impressive three gold medals for bars, beam and floor and silver on vault.  Rutty ultimately grabbed the top spot for the Caribbean Championship and third for the Barbados Invitational.

The gymnasts will be preparing for their final competition of the year, that will take place at Motions Unlimited on 20 May. This will be a local competition where all competitive gymnasts will display their strength and skills a local audience.  In June, National Team gymnasts, Morgan Lloyd, Sami Peene and Igor Magalhaes will go on to represent the Cayman Islands at the 2017 NatWest Island Games XVII in Gotland, Sweden and Raegan Rutty will compete at the Central American Sports Festival in Guatemala, hoping to secure Cayman a spot in the 2018 CAC Games.

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