Elliot Stratton and Michael Dodson traveled over to South Shields on Saturday 3 June 2006, for the last Grade 1 competition before the National Championships next month.  Both boys returned home with a medal, so an extremely successful day for the club.

For Elliot this was his last chance to qualify for the National Championships, so immediately this brought a great deal of pressure onto him.  Elliot had some help from Salto’s Toby Eager on his sets earlier in the week.  Things were looking ok during his set routine warm ups, although his controlled warm up was awful.  He then went on to produce one of his best ever set routines, certainly his best at a National Grade 1 competition.  Everything was fairly well centered and tight; he was rewarded with 23.5 and in 4th place.

Elliot’s voluntary routines have generally been stronger than his sets this year and here, once more looked dependable in warm up.  He coped with the four opening doubles very well and although the following single somersaults were less secure, it was a sound first voluntary routine and he moved up to 3rd with 54.0.  This gave him the all important qualification score for the National Championships by a large margin.  His voluntary routine in the final round was very good, being especially better through the single somersaults.  The judges rewarded him with extra marks for it so he consolidated his 3rd place with his best ever total of 85.5.

Michael Dodson, also helped by Toby Eager, had an especially good set routine.  It was high, in the middle and tight, this scored him 24.2 and put him into 2nd place.  His first voluntary routine had very high difficulty but was rather scrappy.  Nonetheless it was good enough to move him into 1st place with 55.1.  In the final round he quickly found himself close to the end of the trampoline, and unable to perform the rehearsed moves.  So thinking quickly on his feet, he made up a whole new routine, quite unlike the planned one.  He was able to complete this and so retrieved what could have been a disaster, but the reduced difficulty value saw him drop to 3rd overall ‘though only just behind 1st and 2nd

Both boys will now be aiming to increase both the difficulty and the security in their routines, ready for the National Championships next month.

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