After being sidelined with injuries in 2014/15, it’s been a comeback year for Langley gymnast Maya Crutch.
And what a comeback it’s been, thus far.
Thirteen-year-old Maya, who trains out of Walnut Grove’s Flip City Gymnastics at the JOA 8 level (Junior Olympics Artistic), shone at the Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships held last weekend at Richmond’s Olympic Oval.
Maya took first all around for JOA 8 at a meet that drew many of the top gymnasts from across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
In Richmond, Maya won gold on floor and bronze on beam while placing fourth on vault and fifth on bars.
Team BC won the all around team title, with Maya helping to lead the way.
This caps off a very successful year at the JOA 8 level for Maya, who is coached at Flip City by Alana Jensen, Toma Flaviu, Rusty Pierce, and Tracy Lee.
Maya said her coaches have inspired confidence in her through the years.
“I have had a lot of coaches over my seven years [of competitive gymnastics],” she said.
“They have all helped me a lot. Some have given me discipline, some toughness, some calmness, love in their own way, and all have given me the confidence that I can be good. It’s always been there but I was just too scared to look for it.”
At the BC Winter Games in Penticton, Maya finished fourth all around with her highest mark of the year on the floor, a 9.6, which earned her the gold medal.
“She was quite excited to get a fourth all around at the BC Winter games trials in December, which was her first competition in more than a year,” Maya’s dad Mike said. “She just kept getting stronger and more consistent as the year progressed after that meet.”
During the Gymnastics BC championships at the Langley Events Centre, Maya placed second all around with a gold on floor.
Flip City Gymnastics won the all around team competition at that meet, as well.
Maya’s other results this year included:
Tag Cup: first all around
Twisters Invitational: first all around
Christy Fraser Memorial: first all around
Las Vegas Lady Luck: fourth all around
BC Winter Games Trials: fourth all around
There is one more competition to go for Maya this year, as she will make the move up to JOA 9 level and compete at the Ogopogo meet in Kelowna in June.
Maya has a hectic schedule: She is a competitive dancer who also trains at circus.
She trains, on average, 18.5 hours per week in gymnastics, 4.5 hours a week in dance, and five hours each week in circus.
Maya says she’s drawn to gymnastics for both its social and competitive components.
“I am attracted to the sport because I meet different people and friends along the way, especially when you’re in higher level,” Maya said. “It also keeps me fit and that gives me chances to try other sports.”
Maya thanked her chiropractor and physiotherapist, both of whom she visits a few times a month to keep her body in alignment, relatively pain free, and “compete” ready, her dad noted.