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Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018
Larochelle and Lapierre learn from Canada Cup
by Randy Pascal

Directly on the heels of several very successful meets, GymZone Sudbury Laurels trampolinists Kyle Lapierre and Sebastien Larochelle looked back on their recent Canada Cup competition in Kamloops as providing another key building block, moving forward.

A 19 year-old second year student at Laurentian University, Lapierre was making a return to a top level meet for the first time since a torn cartilage in his hip sidelined him for the better part of a full year. That said, a series of first place finishes at Ontario Cup events had everyone feeling pumped as he prepared to head west.

But a back-logged schedule appeared to cause issues for much of the field, with all but two or three competitors taking a tumble at some point in their routine, and just four athletes reaching the necessary minimum score to qualify for the finals.

“A lot of it was dealing with the stress of the grandeur of the venue,” explained Lapierre. “I had not been to a big event venue like that in a while.” There was a time, pre-injury, when the local gymnast had no issue taking in the performances of his fellow competitors.

Not so much these days, as Lapierre also happened to draw one of the later starts in the field. “Now, I have to be in my own bubble, kind of visualizing,” he said. “I’ll be super-high energetic, but still in my own bubble. But you hear the crashes.”

With provincials set for mid-April, Lapierre is hoping to qualify either for nationals, or Eastern Canadians, in a worst-case scenario. Back into his weekly practice sessions, Lapierre and coach Michelle Seanor have opted to take a step backwards, in order to facilitate three steps forward.

“We’ve taken it right back down to fixing our takeoffs, kind of dumbing it down, right back to the basics,” said Lapierre. “We’ll build back up from there.” Larochelle, for his part, was making his debut at an event of this magnitude, walking away generally pretty pleased with his overall performance.

“I was very nervous,” Larochelle acknowledged. “My goal coming in was to finish all my routines, which I did. It was clean, but not super-clean. My shapes were good when I was kicking out, my legs were straight.”

“I was just travelling, coming in and out of the box.” Larochelle explained that while the aim is to land each element of the routine as close to the center of the trampoline, having your chest arched slightly forward or backward will cause the athlete to drift, slightly, towards the edges.

In the end, he was thankful for being able to maintain the focus he needed, despite dealing with an environment to which he is unaccustomed. “Usually when we compete, it’s enclosed,” said Larochelle.

“This was like a big dome, it was massive. But trampoline is all in the head,” he continued. “If you’re not confident with the skill, chances are you won’t land it.” Larochelle has shown a steady progression over the course of the 2015-2016 season, finishing fifth in the final Ontario Cup qualifier in early March.

A somewhat similar story for Level 4 trampolinist Pauleena Moote, who did not compete in Kamloops. Moote has fought her way up the rankings, from an initial placement of 22nd in her grouping, to a sixth place finish in Oshawa this month.

According to coach Seanor, Moote appears well on her way to a solid result at provincials in Barrie (April 15th to the 17th), looking for a performance that would put her in contention for a spot on the group that will compete at Eastern Canadians.

Science North
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