Senior baton competitors make podium at Nationals
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 10:03 am
As two of the most seasoned members of the Airdrie Sky High Twirlers baton team, Airdrie residents Sara Black and Taelyr Patton were busy with multiple events at the 2014 Canadian Baton Championships in Calgary from June 28 to July 3.
As the event wrapped up at Mount Royal University, the duo was getting ready to rest their batons for a while.
“When you compete in multiple events, it ends up being a bit tiring for sure,” Black said. “It’s still a lot of fun to compete, but when you go out there day after day, it starts to take a toll.”
“Everyone steps up their game when the nationals come around,” Patton added. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s here in Calgary or out East, you have to be at your best and put everything into it.”
Black, 18, was at the top of her game in her first year in the 18 and over division, as she finished in first place in the solo, three-baton, and freestyle events, and had a third-place result in the two-baton competition.
“Overall, I was pretty happy with my performance,” Black said. “The days can be pretty long sometimes, so I focused on the mental side of things a lot, especially in the freestyle finals (on July 2) as I had a lengthy wait from my first round run until the finals later that afternoon.”
“The competition at the Nationals is always strong, but it seemed like everyone stepped it up a notch this year,” she added. “That’s something that I like as a competitor as you want to finish ahead of people who did really good routines, and not be higher than those who struggled.”
Patton, 19, made her way onto the podium in the three-baton event with a third-place finish, and also had a fifth-place result in the solo baton 18 and over event.
“I feel like I made some improvements over last year, and like Sara, I could see that in the entire field,” Patton said. “Every club and every province that comes to compete here has been awesome, and it just makes everyone step up their game.”
While Black is currently gearing up to represent Canada at the World Championships in Nottingham, England from Aug. 4 to 10, Patton’s season officially wrapped up with her performance at the nationals.
However, the Airdrie native is already planning to work harder in order to be at the top of her game at next year’s Canadian championships.
“I saw a lot of new tricks and moves here in Calgary that I want to work into my routine for next year,” Patton said.
“I want to be in my top form at this event, and I feel by working hard right away, I can do just that.”