40 B.C. gymnasts to compete at artistic Elite Canada

World championship finalists Ellie Black of Halifax (Alta Gymnastics) and Scott Morgan of North Vancouver (Flicka) lead the country’s top gymnasts into competition this weekend at the annual artistic Elite Canada meet February 7-9 in Gatineau, Que.

Competition kicks off on Friday and runs through Sunday with medals up for grabs in novice, junior and senior events for both men and women.

As the first major event of the year, Black and Morgan want to continue to build on their success of last fall at the 2013 world championships in Antwerp, Belgium where both advanced to the floor finals in their respective men’s and women’s events.

Both Black and Morgan say they are focused more on working on new routines at this early stage of the season than winning medals.

Morgan, whose eighth place finish in the men’s floor final in Antwerp was Canada’s best result at the world championships since 2006, has been working since the fall on adding difficulty to his best events leading up to the next world championships.

“It was difficult going from such a high at worlds to getting back into the gym,” says Morgan. “You train so hard to peak for a competition like that and it’s tough to stay at that level but now I’m feeling stronger and more routine ready and fit.”

Morgan isn’t pushing the new skills on floor, rings, vault and plans to work them into upcoming competitions later in the season.

A difficult new floor routine that would boost Morgan’s start value by three tenths of a point up to 15.7 is a coming along but not ready yet for prime time.

“It’s incredibly difficult to make those new skills and combinations concrete and solid day in and day out, but it’s very close. We’re ready with the new layout and style of it all and hopefully we can slot the skills in around mid season.”

Results from Elite Canada along with the Canadian championships in May, will count heavily in team selection for major upcoming international events this year, including the Commonwealth Games and Senior Pan American Championships.

Forty B.C. athletes competing this weekend

Senior men
Scott Morgan - Flicka Gymnastics
Kal Nemier - Flicka Gymnastics
Scott Nabata - KGTC
Julian Geisler - Langley Gymnastics
Devy Dyson - Richmond Gymnastics
Joshua Stuart - Richmond Gymnastics
Ken Ikeda - Twisters Gymnastics
Zachary Clay - Twisters Gymnastics
Robert Watson - Twisters Gymnastics
Steven Chaplin - Twisters Gymnastics
Jonathan Osers - Twisters Gymnastics

Senior women
Briannah Tsang - Flicka Gymnastics
Clair Kaji - Flicka Gymnastics
Taylor Chan - TAG
Itzia San Roman Santillan - Vancouver Phoenix

Junior men
Michael Sibley - Flicka Gymnastics
Colin Schuler Ram - Kerrigan Gymnastics
Cameron Stanley - Langley Gymnastics
Brian Lau - Richmond Gymnastics
Aaron Mah - Vancouver Phoenix

Junior women
Samantha Haghighat-Joo - Flicka Gymnastics
Jordan de Jong - Flicka Gymnastics
Shallon Olsen - Omega Gymnastics
Seina Murase-Cho - Omega Gymnastics
Angel Zhong - Omega Gymnastics
Jessie Moody - Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics

Novice men
Addyson Cheladyn - Kerrigan Gymnastics
Nicolas Bourne - Richmond Gymnastics
Chris Kaji - Richmond Gymnastics
Cohen Kiers - Twisters Gymnastics
Dawson Friesen - Twisters Gymnastics
Darren Wong - Vancouver Phoenix

Novice women
Madisen Bedard - Flicka Gymnastics
Jaime Fourchalk - Flicka Gymnastics
Haley de Jong - Flicka Gymnastics
Ashley Obsieger - Flicka Gymnastics
Grace Noble - Omega Gymnastics
Ilka Juk - Omega Gymnastics
Cathy Zhong - Omega Gymnastics
Shayla Symes - Omega Gymnastics

Good-luck to all of the B.C. athletes