Gymnast Sweeps Gold Medals in New York

March 10, 2011

Members of the Bermuda Gymnastics Team, ranging from 10 to 15 years old, traveled to New York City this past weekend for the Manhattan Classic meet, and achieved a number of impressive accomplishments including one gymnast winning every single category.

In the Platinum level, 15-year-old Morgan Beckles swept the Gold Medals, including winning the all-around with a 35.150. Morgan, the Team Captain won a total of five medals – all gold – floor, beam, bars, vault and all-around.

Also in the Platinum level, 13-year-old Tabytha Hofheins’s top score came on beam with an 8.3, and she earned 2nd place in the all-around with a 31.1350. The Platinum gymnasts also led Bermuda to earning the “Spirit of the Sport” Award, given to the team displaying the most team spirit, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship

In the Silver level, the team turned out a number of excellent performances to earn the 2nd place Silver team award, just over a point away from first place.

The team is pictured below, in the back row: Sydney Mason, Tais Burgess-Allen, Zantae Dill, Sadia Wilson, Danielle Wall, Zekiah Lewis, Tabytha Hofheins. Front row: Morgan Beckles, Coach Mandi Baughman, Coach Chris Nelligan, Coach Duke Nelligan

team manhattan

Mandi Baughman of the Bermuda Gymnastics Association said, “Eight team members, made the trip: team captain Morgan Beckles (15), Tabytha Hofheins (13), Sydney Mason (12), Zantae Dill (12), Danielle Wall (11), Sadia Wilson (10), Tais Burgess-Allen (10), and Zekiah Lewis (10). The Classic gave the girls a chance to compete twice in one weekend: once on Friday under USAIGC rules and then again on Saturday and Sunday under the more demanding USAG rules.”

“On Friday, the gymnasts had the opportunity to compete in the same session, as Silver level and Platinum level gymnasts were scheduled at the same time. All of the silver gymnasts competed in the 9-12 year old division and Sadia Wilson was Bermuda’s top finisher, earning a 36.775 (her personal best) for 4th place in the all-around.”

“Helping her to that score was a huge 9.575 on vaulting for 2nd place. Just behind Wilson was Zantae Dill, who scored a 36.05 in the all-around for 5th place. Dill was also Bermuda’s top finisher on the floor with a 9.1 for 3rd place. The rest of the silver team finished in 7th through 10th place, with Tais Burgess-Allen’s 35.2, Zekiah Lewis’s 34.950, Sydney Mason’s 34.925, and Danielle Wall’s 34.500. This impressive group effort earned the 2nd place Silver team award, just over a point away from first place.”

“Tabytha Hofheins and Morgan Beckles competed in the Platinum level division. Beckles swept the gold medals, winning every event and the all-around with a 35.150. Hofheins’s top score came on beam with an 8.3, and she earned 2nd place in the all-around with a 31.1350. The Platinum gymnasts also led Bermuda to earning the “Spirit of the Sport” Award, given to the team displaying the most team spirit, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship.”

“Returning to action the next morning, Hofheins and Beckles competed under the tougher rules of the USAG Level 9 session. Unfortunately, Beckles was suffering from a cold and had a few uncharacteristic mistakes. ”

“Considering Morgan was worn down with the cold, she turned in a great performance. She refused to water down her routines and still went for all her big skills. It was a great example for our youngsters who cheered her on. Just because you don’t feel your best, you need to trust that your hard work in the gym has prepared you to perform” Head coach Duke Nelligan remarked.

“Beckles still turned in a strong floor performance on her way to a 32.025 and 4th place in the all-around. Hofheins improved on her bar score by 7 tenths of a point from Friday on her way to a 5th place finish all around in the 13 year old division.”

“The rest of the Bermuda gymnasts finished the weekend by competing in the USAG level 7 session on Sunday. Like Friday, the group turned in consistent and exciting performances and earned 7th place as a team in a very competitive field. The team’s top finish came from Zantae Dill, who won the gold medal on balance beam in her 12 year old age group, with an 8.6. Also in the 12 year old division was Sydney Mason, whose 9.175 5th place floor score helped her achieve a solid 34.425 in the all-around (7th place). Danielle Wall was the team’s lone competitor in the 11 year old division and her beautiful floor routine earned her a 9.2 and a 9th place medal. In the 8-10 year old division, Tais Burgess-Allen and Sadia Wilson finished 2nd and 3rd on vaulting with a 9.25 and a 9.20 respectively. Zekiah Lewis also medaled on vaulting, notching a 9.05 for 7th place. Wilson again earned Bermuda’s highest all-around score, a 35.875 for 6th place.”

The team coaches were elated by the gymnasts’ performances, as Coach Nelligan says, “We were hopeful that the girls would finally compete at the level they are capable of, but you never know how a competition will play out. At our two earlier meets this year (Baltimore in December and Chicago in February) we had a few standout routines but also lots of mistakes. This weekend the girls really pulled together and all stuck their skills. I think we only had four or five falls out of 48 level 7 routines. That is exactly how we need to be progressing as we move towards Island Games!”

Coach Nelligan admits that the preparation for the Manhattan Classic was a bit different from the earlier meets. “By this point, the gymnasts have put in the hard work in conditioning and acquiring their skills. So we were able to put more time in the finishing touches – pointed toes, straight legs, smiling to the crowd. We also worked on our team spirit leading up to this meet. One thing we asked the team to do was learn one dance move in each gymnast’s routine. During the meet, the team lines up along the side of the floor, and the whole group does this ‘signature move’ along with the gymnast competing. It gives the gymnast on the floor a sense that she is not out there by herself, but as part of a team which supports her. And for the team on the side, it gives them something fun to do instead of just waiting and being nervous! Our athletes really came together as a true team and their enthusiasm was rewarded with the Manhatan Classic Spirit Award. I can’t wait to see what they can achieve this summer at the Island Games”.

The gymnast’s next activity will be a “Jump-A-Thon fundraiser on Saturday, March 19th. The team will set up a trampoline outside City Hall and jump continuously from 8:30-5:30. The funds raised will go towards supporting this summer’s Island Games team. The trip will be a “costly yet invaluable experience” for the gymnasts according to Coach Nelligan, as they prepare for Bermuda’s Island Games in 2013.

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  1. It is what it is says:

    Celebrate!!! can I get a woo! woo! You go girls!! Well done!!!

  2. Hudson says:

    Well done girls! Keep up the good work :-)

  3. ninkybm says:

    Way to go Bermuda Gymnasts!!! Very proud of all of you….

    from a former gymnast :)

  4. You go girls!! says:

    AMAZING!! What a wonderful group of young ladies! These girls should be very proud of themselves – they are fantastic role models for the rest of Bermuda’s young people. Winning the “Spirit of the Sport Award” says it all for these girls. Thank you Coach Mandi for being such a positive role model for these young ladies!

  5. Conscious Sista says:

    Great job to these young ladies for their individual and team accomplishments. You have made Bermuda proud!

    Excellent job of the coaching staff as well!