Club gymnasts start season with boatload of medals

The boys in the Bainbridge Island Gymnastics Club are off to a solid start in the 2018 competition season.

The gymnasts competed against the region’s best in three meets so far.

They opened the season in Kent with the Cold Turkey Invitational on Dec. 7, traditionally the first meet of the competition season. Then, after the holidays, they traveled to Vancouver to compete in the VEGA Challenge on Jan. 13-14.

And most recently, at the Iron Cross Foundation’s Coaches’ Cup in Kent, they rounded out the first half of the season’s competitions.

Coming off their Turkey Day holiday, at Cold Turkey, Charlie Phillips (Level 5), Leo Koch (Level 5), Kian Giuliano (Level 4) and Jonah Frago (Junior Development, Division 2) brought their best to open the season. Leo Koch was the team’s star performer, taking the gold in vault with a score of 9.800, while Jonah Frago took home silver medals on four events and in the all-around with a 52.500.

At the VEGA Challenge in Vancouver, BIGC was able to put their full team on the floor and brought home a first-place team finish, with a combined score of 173.700.

The Bainbridge team fielded Connor Ziemba (Level 4), Kian Giuliano (Level 4), Leo Koch (Level 5), Charlie Phillips (Level 5), Jonah Frago (JD2), Owen Scheer (JD2), Jacob Hall (JD1) and Aidan Cretarolo (JD1).

The team victory was underscored by the individual triumphs by all the young men.

Aidan Cretarolo led the team, winning gold in the all-around with a combined score of 62.000. He also took home gold on floor exercise; silver medals on pommel horse, vault and parallel bars; and bronze on rings.

Jacob Hall took silver in the all-around, with gold medals on pommel horse and parallel bars.

Jonah Frago tied for first on high bar, and Owen Scheer rounded out the JD group by capturing the bronze medal on parallel bars.

Connor Ziemba stole the VEGA Challenge show in Level 4 with gold in the all-around and on floor; silvers on high bar and pommel horse; and bronze on parallel bars.

Teammate Kian Giuliano also rocked at Level 4, medaling on every apparatus and taking silver in the all-around. Giuliano took gold on high bar; silver medals on floor, rings, and parallel bars; and capping his stellar day with bronze on pommel horse and vault.

Not to be outdone, the Bainbridge club’s Level 5s medaled in the all-around, with Leo Koch medaling in every event. He brought home gold medals in floor, pommel horse and vault; silver in all-around and on parallel bars; and bronze medals on rings and high-bar.

Charlie Phillips capped off the Bainbridge club’s great weekend with a bronze in the all-around, silver medals on floor and vault and bronze on pommel horse.

The Bainbridge Island Gymnastics Club kept the road show going into the ICF Coaches’ Cup on Jan. 20-21.

Connor Ziemba continued his stellar season, taking gold in the all-around, pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar and silver medals on floor and vault.

Kian Guiliano was also outstanding, with a gold finish on rings, silver in the all-around and on floor, vault and parallel bars. He also claimed the bronze on pommel horse and high bar.

Charlie Phillips earned the silver on vault and a bronze on floor in the Level 5 session.

In JD2, Owen Scheer took gold on pommel horse and silver on vault.

In JD1, Jacob Hall was the epitome of consistency with golds on vault and parallel bars, silvers on rings, pommel horse and in the all-around, and bronze on floor and high bar.

Also in JD1, Aidan Cretarolo continued his dominant season with a third-place finish on vault and gold on every other event — and in the all-around.

The Bainbridge Island Gymnastics Club team will continue the show in the coming months, with meets at the Jet City Cup in Woodinville, the Charity Choice Invitational in Tacoma, and the Northwest Team Challenge in Kent.

The BIGC boys’ team may not have the numbers of competitors that some of the other clubs boast, but their coaches said they always “punch above their weight class” and spend a lot of time on the podium – a testament to the year-around dedication, hard work and hours upon hours of practice they put in.

The team, organized under the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, is led by longtime Coach Bryan Garoutte and Bryan “Wilbur” Peterson.

Club gymnasts start season with boatload of medals