Baker’s efforts pay off

Duncan Dynamics’ Hayley Baker with her Team B.C. silver medal and fourth-place ribbon. - Don Bodger
Duncan Dynamics’ Hayley Baker with her Team B.C. silver medal and fourth-place ribbon.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Hayley Baker is the first member of the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club to earn a medal at the national level.

Baker was a vital part of Team B.C.’s silver medal during the National Stream Cup in Montreal.

“It was really fun,’’ said Baker, who was back at the Duncan gym practicing Wednesday.

Top three scores in each event counted in the team competition. Baker contributed three scores to the cause.

Going against girls up to age 21 — six years older than her — didn’t seem to faze Baker.

“It just felt normal and good,’’ said Baker.

She didn’t go into the event with any particular expectations of herself.

“It was pretty much go there and see what happens,’’ Baker said. “It was my first national competition ever.’’

“She’s a strong girl,’’ added coach Olga Mataganova, who accompanied Baker on the trip.

Baker qualified for the vault final and finished fourth, missing second by the smallest of margins. She was an alternate for the final in the floor event, placing ninth out of 24 participants.

Baker was 13th on the bars, a great result for her that aided Team B.C. Despite not being her strongest event, she had some of the judges saying her handstand on the bar was the best of the competition.

“It’s a different opportunity,’’ said Mataganova. “It’s national level and you have to learn more difficult skills.’’

Overall, Baker really enjoyed the experience.

“The trip part of it was long, but it was really fun,’’ she said. “I travelled with my family.’’

Baker also has family living in the Ottawa area who got a chance to come and watch her.

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