No one would ever call Kaylee Watt shy, especially when it comes performing gymnastics on the floor.
"I like being on the floor alone, doing my routine in front of a whole bunch of people," said the 10-year-old member of the Prince George Gymnastics Club.
But Watt had a rare case of nerves Friday as she competed during the 2013 B.C. Artistic Gymnastics Championship at the Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre. It was Watt's first time competing at the provincial championship.
"I really wanted to do good but there was lots of people who have been doing this longer than me," said Watt.
The case of the jitters came from the fact Watt was competing in the Provincial 2 (P2) Tyro category for athletes born in 2002 which she only began training for four weeks earlier, moving up from P1 Tyro after winning the all around at a March meet in Quesnel. Watt was one of four gymnasts at the Prince George club to move up to P2 Tyro, which gave the home club a full complement of athletes.
It was also the first time Watt had to compete as the lone Prince George athlete in her flight on the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
"It was kind of different because I didn't have a friend to talk to," she said.
Out of 25 athletes born in 2002, Watt finished 22nd overall with 42.100 points. Her highest placing was 15th on the bars where she scored a 10.950. On her other events Watt tied for 20th on vault, was 21st on beam and 19th on floor. Due to the volume of gymnasts at the provincial championship some categories were split into two groups based on birthday years in order to give more athletes a shot at a podium finish. There were 48 gymnasts in the P2 Tyro category.
Jennifer Watt, Kaylee's aunt and coach, said she was happy with the way her pupil competed.
"This is the first time she's ever been nervous at a competition," said Jennifer. "But it was too be expected because she added new skills on every event and upped her difficulty."
In P1 gymnasts have compulsory skills to perform but when they move up they are allowed more leeway to create original routines. Jennifer said she wasn't surprised her niece enjoys performing on the floor.
"She has no problem performing for people and she's always smiling for the judges and the audience," said Jennifer. "She's a showboat."
The only other Prince George gymnast to compete Friday morning was Sydney Hamilton, in the P2 Argo category (2003 birthdays), finishing 19th of 20 competitors with a score of 41.850 in the all around. Hamilton was 14th on vault and beam.
Imogen Paterson of the Phoenix Gymnastics Club in Langley swept all five gold medals for the P2 Argos with an all-around score of 50.700. Abigail Stavast of Smithers placed eighth in the all around (45-950) and won the bronze medal on the beam, while Terrace's Ann Zettler tied for ninth in the all around (45.550).
In the P2 Tyro (2002 birthdays), Surrey's Alexa Cannon won the all-around gold with a 48.500 and also took gold on the floor (12.450). Cannon was the silver medalist on vault and bars and won bronze on beam. Tara Kerr of Smithers took gold on beam and placed ninth in the all around (46.050). Meghan Newbery of Smithers tied for the silver medal in the all around (47.200) with a second-place finish on beam and a (tied) third-place finish on floor.
In the P2 Tyro (2001 birthdays), Jayd Gorsic of Club Aviva in zone 3 won the all-around gold with a score of 49.600, after finishing second on vault, beam and floor and fifth on bars.
In the P2 Argo (2003-05 birthdays), Jayna Carvell of the Flicka Gymnastics Club in zone 5 took gold on beam (12.750) and in the all around (49.750). Carvell was also second on the bars.
The competition continues today, with seven Prince George girls competing between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Alia Wilson, a pre-novice aspire gymnast in P.G., competes from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m., alongside the high performance and national calibre men. The high performance, national women compete from 5:45 to 8:15 p.m.
Sunday the Prince George boys and Level 5 girls compete from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The final flights compete from 12:30 to 3:15 p.m.