When she steps onto the competition floor Apr. 24 in Windsor, Mariposa Gymnastics Club member Ali Archer will be retracing a path she has taken numerous times before.
While only 16, this will mark her fifth appearance at the Ontario Gymnastics Federation Championships.
“It never gets boring because there are different kids every year and it’s a different level, so it’s always exciting,” said the ODCVI Grade 10 student.
Her goal is simple.
“At a competition (in St. Catharines) we just had, the same girls were there that I am going to be competing against in Windsor. At that event, I finished 11th, which was a big disappointment for me. I definitely want to finish in the top 10,” she said.
At the recent Ontario Cup qualifying event, held at Base Borden, Archer finished third overall in the 14 and Over, Level 6 Division.
At that event, Archer posted second-place finishes in the vault and balance beam, third on the uneven bars, while also posting a fifth-place finish in the floor program.
While now accustomed to facing the best in the province, Archer said performing at such a high level takes a toll mentally and physically.
“I get still get pretty nervous before I perform and I still shake a lot. But it is better in that I know what is going on in front of me and nothing I will be experiencing will be new,” said Archer.
She is hoping efforts to improve her floor routine will provide dividends at the Ontario finals.
As a member of Mariposa for 13 years, Archer has been one of the guiding lights in the club, and one of the senior gymnasts the younger girls look up to.
She feels comfortable being a role model.
“For someone to be in the club as long as I have, it’s only natural for the younger ones to look up to someone who has been here so long,” said Archer.