Marriotts girls do the club proud

THREE girls from Marriotts Gym Club were back in action in the British Club Grades at Ipswich. Club grades three, two and one are the hardest of the British Club Grades. Gymnasts perform a set vault, a set routine on bars, with set elements as part of the

THREE girls from Marriotts Gym Club were back in action in the British Club Grades at Ipswich.

Club grades three, two and one are the hardest of the British Club Grades.

Gymnasts perform a set vault, a set routine on bars, with set elements as part of their routines on beam and floor.

The pass mark for the grade is 28.00 overall and the top four gymnasts in each grade go forward to represent the Eastern Region in the national final at Birmingham at the end of April.

The grade three competition attracted an entry of 27 gymnasts from around the Eastern Region, with 19 achieving a pass at the level.

But for the two Marriotts gymnasts, Mollie Smith and Katie Bell, the day was not just about passing the grade.

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Both gymnasts started on the bars and Smith had an excellent routine with a 9.3 score. Bell also produced a good routine but had a fall on her landing for a score of 8.475.

Next was beam and both gymnasts went through their routines without a fall (Smith 9.15, Bell 8.75).

Floor was the top piece for Bell who scored an excellent 9.40 with Smith on 9.25. Two good vaults completed the competition.

Overall Smith scored 37.00 and Bell scored 35.825 to take the silver and bronze medals respectively.

The pair will now go through to the national final along with the two gymnasts from South Essex Gym Club who took first and fourth place.

The four gymnasts will form the Eastern Region team.

In the grade two competition, Maddison Maranian put in another fine performance, easily passing the grade with a score of 33.00 but missing out on fourth place by just half a mark.

As one of the youngest competitors in the grade, she was beaten by gymnasts several years her senior.

Coach Svetlana Lebiadzinskaya was delighted with the performance of all three of her gymnasts.

Marriotts head coach Derek Trotter said: "The next few weeks will be a very busy time for the gymnasts with both grades and competition and this has got the year off to an excellent start."

* Nine Marriotts gymnasts have been awarded places in the 2006 Herts county squad.

They are Smith, Bell and Maranian, along with Lauren Jones, Olivia Harry, Anna Young, Sophie Cripps, Lucy Moxham and Laura Burns. They all qualified following the recent squad trial.