Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff-Gymnastics ------ standup or for Sports ----Kayla Holliday spots her landing as she competes in the vault event at the Southern Zone Gymnastics trials in Red Deer on Friday. Through the weekend about 250 female gymnasts ages 8-18 are competing for a chance to represent their gymnastics clubs at the provincial championships this April. Holliday trains with the Red Deer Exelta Gymnastics Club which is located at the Collicutt Centre.

Senior Exelta Gymnastics Club members put up strong effort in last home meet

Not even a car accident could keep Kaelan Hayter could keep her from her final home gymnastics meet. Six weeks ago, Hayter, 18, rolled her truck and suffered bad concussion. She just recently returned to practice and was on the floor Saturday representing the Exelta Gymnastics club at the Western Canadian trials at the Collicutt Centre.

Not even a car accident could keep Kaelan Hayter could keep her from her final home gymnastics meet.

Six weeks ago, Hayter, 18, rolled her truck and suffered bad concussion. She just recently returned to practice and was on the floor Saturday representing the Exelta Gymnastics club at the Western Canadian trials at the Collicutt Centre.

While she did not qualify for Westerns, the important thing was to finish her gymnastics career on her own terms.

“I still have all the symptoms from my concussion, I still get dizzy and really noxious,” she said. “I just wanted to try because it was my last year, I’m happy with the way I performed.”

Hayter finished seventh in on the vault, the balance beam and the floor and 13th on the uneven bars to place 10th overall in the open division.

Exelta coach and women’s director Barb Bilsborrow was impressed with the effort from Hayter who has been with the club for 16 years.

It was also a strong final home meet for Hannah Bilsborrow, 17, who finished eigth overall, earning an alternate spot on the provincial team with the top seven gymnasts going to Okotoks April 30 to May 3. For Bilsborrow to go to Westerns she will need someone to drop out.

But she was happy with her weekend, finishing fifth on the vault and sixth on the beam. She also placed 10th on the bars and 13th on the floor.

“I stuck beam and my vault went really good, so I was really happy with that, beam’s normally my worst event while vault is my best event,” said Bilsborrow, who earlier this year finished fourth at the Presidential Classic in Florida.

Bilsborrow and Hayter do have two competitions left before their competitive careers are officially over, with the University of Calgary Invitational next week and then provincials in Lethbridge on April 17 which double as the national trials.

“They’ve both been to Westerns (at lower levels) two or three times, they’ve been on the national team to Montreal last year, they’ve definitely done well in their careers, I think they’re both really happy with how they’ve done and any other team they make is just bonus,” said Barb Bilborrow.

The two girls will both take next year off before going off to university, but they are not quite done with gymnastics yet. Both plan to stay with the club and help coach during their year off from school.

“I like working with the kids and you see a different side of gymnastics when you’re coaching it instead of actually doing it,” said Hannah Bilsborrow. “There’s a lot of potential coming up in the club, it’s going to be good.”

It was a good weekend overall for the Exelta club with seven other gymnasts finishing in the top 12 in their divisions to qualify for provincials. In the Provincial 5 Open division Lina Koller (sixth overall) and Rachel Hyink (11th) made the cut, as did Provincial 3 Argos Kayla Holliday (third), Megan McGonigal (seventh) and Olivia Stratulate (eigth). Meanwhile, Katherine Stuber (ninth) in Provincial 3 Tyro and Karis Wygeria (12th) in Provincial 2 Tyro will also be going to provincials.

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