Ikeda, Clay lead the way for Twisters at gymnastics nationals

Veteran Ken Ikeda and youngster Zachary Clay led the charge for Abbotsford’s Twisters Gymnastics Club at the national championships.

Ken Ikeda won a trio of medals at the national championships

Ken Ikeda won a trio of medals at the national championships

Veteran Ken Ikeda and youngster Zachary Clay led the charge for Abbotsford’s Twisters Gymnastics Club at the national championships in Regina last weekend.

Ikeda is a two-time Olympian – he competed in Athens in 2004 and was an alternate in Beijing in ’08 – and he won a trio of medals in the senior men’s division.

He took the gold in his best event, the pommel horse, and added a silver on parallel bars and bronze on the high bar.

Clay claimed his second national all-around championship, adding a junior men’s crown to his 2010 title in the tyro division. He won individual gold on the pommels and the vault, and added a bronze on the rings.

Other local highlights included a gold medal on the high bar from Nicolas Garfias in the high performance tyro division; an all-around silver by Steven Chaplin in the national youth category; and top-eight finishes from Dawson Friesen (fourth on vault), Marquita Morison (sixth on beam) and Cohen Kiers (eighth on parallel bars).

Additionally, nine Twisters gymnasts from the women’s competitive team were at the Garden City Invitational in Victoria. Medalists from Abbotsford included Lizaan Steenkamp (provincial level 2 tyro, silver on vault, tie for bronze on floor), Lauren Almos (provincial level 2 tyro, bronze on beam) and Ashley Perry (provincial level 4 novice, silver on vault, beam, floor and all-around).