VARSITY 2016

It’s the end of term and the Gymnastics Club are really pleased to be finishing it on a high in the aftermath of this year’s Varsity competition against Cambridge.

It’s really been an amazing year for the squad, and first off huge congratulations must go to the superstars who battled injury, illness, Cambridge, cuts, bruises, fatigue, essays, labs and Nat’s driving to make it past the final hurdle in one piece.

Special mentions also go to the gymnasts who managed to achieve Blues this year: Eric LeGresley, Serena Chang, Brittany Lee Garcia, Caitlin O’Brien and Katrina Kelly (half).

It was an immense day at Birmingham University Sports Centre. First off, the Men’s team driven by Aidan somehow managed to arrive over half an hour late (actually to this day I haven’t actually had an explanation) but soon warm up was well out the way, the judges were briefed, the gymnasts were lined up and Edgar had not yet put a shirt on. We had four hours to get everything through and finished, which meant there were multiple events happening at the same time, and our spectators did a grand job of cheering us on. There were many highs and lows and astounding performances – astounding for all sorts of different reasons – but overall everyone did themselves proud and we hope had a really great day.

Highlights include:

  • The Women’s A team WINNING by a massive 20 mark margin. Girls, you have been an absolute pleasure to captain this year and I hope this victory goes a small way to paying your hard work tribute. After everything you’ve put into this season and all that we’ve been through together I can honestly say you are the toughest lot out there and you’ve done me proud. Congratulations!
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Photo credit to Christian Vaquero

  • Individual medals being awarded to: Serena Chang (gold, Women’s A), Brittany Lee Garcia (silver, Women’s A), Caitlin O’Brien (bronze, Women’s A), Gabbie Swycher (gold, Women’s B), and Becky Stroud (bronze, Women’s B). There were some whopping apparatus scores and placings too, full results can be seen here:

29th Varsity Gymnastics results- 2016

  • Seeing the Men’s team all smart and scrubbed up in their navy leotards. Although the Cambridge men were a pretty strong lot, our men did us proud and learnt an awful lot. Eric also placed fourth individually and many a new skill were tried out by everyone. We will keep training and be back next year!

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  • Some top floor routines from the Women’s B team, which included Hairspray (Emilie), Step up (Becky) and Taylor Swift (Nat) as well as Gabbie’s soaring twelve-point-something score to round off a really solid day of work. You go girls!

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To give you an idea of the sass level

  • Britt completing a whole day of routines on injured ankles, who needs a boot and crutches anyway?! Cambridge were actually so inspired that they featured her on their Twitter feed, with the caption ‘SHE’S INJURED HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE’. We agree, you’re magical Britt!
  • Liza dragging herself out of bed despite being so ill that she had not been able to leave it for the previous week. Again, you’re a trooper.
  • Clare-Marie being an overall superb individual and producing a stellar set of routines leaving her with mammoth final scores. It was so lovely to have you along and you did yourself proud.
  • Aidan displaying his muscles for all to see during his Rings routine.

I could continue to babble on  about how great everyone was, but I will leave it with our Facebook album, as I think the photos speak for themselves. Final thank yous must go to all the judges (you are wonderful), Cambridge for a fab day, Birmingham University, Sophie Cheng for photos, the awesome spectators from the Oxford side whose support was invaluable, the outgoing Committee for a terrific effort and all my other little helpers (ie my sister who took orders from me all day without only minor complaints). I hope it was a reflection of how much this sport and the universities have to offer and cannot wait to see everyone back in the gym soon. Moreover, we look forward to a very exciting term up ahead and suitable celebrations back in Oxford.

For our full album see here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.840557942736694.1073741834.228620027263825&type=1&l=2b4f6578af

Thanks to Sophie Cheng for photography (www.facebook.com/schengphotography). There’s a selection of her work here:

Lots of love,

Serena (Women’s Captain 2015-16).

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