GRADE 2 NATIONALS
On Saturday 7 May Elliot Stratton and Karen Bettany of Richardís Trampoline Club competed at the National Grade 2 competition in Perth, Scotland. Their long journey began early Friday afternoon, along with their coach and the youngest club member Lukas Fairweather as their mascot. Following a plane journey and 2 long coach journeys they all arrived safely, ready for the competition the next day.
The aim for both performers was to score enough to retain their Grade 2 status for next year, and to qualify for the National Championships at the end of the year. This was Elliotís first experience at Grade 2, and his group was up first.
Elliot often struggles under the pressure at competition, but things were looking good after some excellent routines during his warm up. However his compulsory set routine got off to a bad start after his first somersault came in short. This lead to some travel during the routine, and a further wobble during his Barani take off made things worse. Going into the second round Elliot knew he needed a good routine. He completed the routine safely using the maximum difficulty allowed at Grade 2, but scoring 52.0 going into the final wasnít enough for Elliot to achieve his aims today. This didnít affect Elliotís performance in the final though and he finished in 2nd place, a fantastic finish for his first Grade 2 competition.
Karenís group followed immediately after. This is Karenís 3rd year of competing at Nationals. Her preparation for this competition hasnít been good though, as she lost some of the somersaults she needs for this level of competition. She completed a good compulsory set routine, lacking some of her usual height though that gets her extra marks. This meant if she was to have any chance of getting the score she wanted, she needed to use her voluntary routine in the second round, instead of playing safe and repeating her set routine. Having only completed this routine once in practice it was a risky decision, but it paid off as she performed it well. This demonstrated her great wealth of experience in competing, however she didnít quite make the score she needed for her aims. But she was very happy with what sheíd done and finishing in 12th place overall.