Scotland has never been a major power on Great Britain’s gymnastics scene, with the majority of the GB gymnasts hailing from England and a select few coming from Wales. This quad, it looked like things might change as the junior standout Louise McColgan reached the senior level, but then injuries forced her to retire just as several of Scotland’s best veterans also began to retire and move on.
But amid all of these changes, Shannon Archer — once a kind of background player on the team — has stepped up with immense improvements to her gymnastics, winning the all-around at Scottish Championships this weekend in addition to getting the gold medals on vault, beam, and floor.
19-year-old Archer earned a 49.084 in her debut performance this season, and also hit strong performances on every event but bars in the all-around competition, with bars her one weakness. Known for her power on vault, Archer was at her best there in the all-around, but her biggest improvements came to her beam and floor, both of which were solid and steady on both days of competition to make her Scotland’s strongest right now, where she’ll hope to stay going into the Commonwealth Games next year.
Behind Archer, Sofia Ramzan won the silver medal with a 46.55, 2004 Commonwealth Games team member Carly Smith won bronze with a 45.967, and Isabella Tolometti was fourth with a 44.9 after a rough day overall, though she came in with hopes to finish on the podium.
Tolometti came back strong to win bars gold in event finals, where she also won floor bronze and placed fourth on beam, while Ramzan won bars and beam silver, and Smith won the silver on floor.
In addition to this group, the vault silver and bronze went to Hayley Bell and Isobel Findlay, respectively, though both performed only one vault apiece. 2014 Commonwealth Games team member Cara Kennedy won the bronze medal on bars, and Daisy Willcocks, who placed fifth all-around, won the bronze medal on floor.
The junior division saw a great battle for the gold, with all three podium finishers ending up within about five tenths from one another. Ellie Russell ended up with the top spot, earning a 46.7 all-around, followed by Isla Warr with the silver and Laura Jane Core with bronze.
Beyond the top three, Emily Bremner placed fourth with a 45.2, Caitlin Lochhead was fifth with a 45.1, Kacey Morrison was sixth with a 45.034, Megan Morrison was seventh with a 44.05, and Rosa Holm-Huxley was eighth with a 43.917.
On vault, the gold went to Ellie Breadner (who also won floor bronze), silver to Core (who also won floor silver), and bronze to Kirsty Fowler. Kacey Morrison won gold on bars and beam, Russell won silver on bars and bronze on floor, Holm-Huxley tied for bars silver, Lochhead won beam silver, and Bremner won bronze on beam and floor.
In the espoir division, Crystelle Lake won gold in the all-around and on vault in addition to silver on bars and floor. Jessica Wright won silver all-around and Lilly Roy won bronze all-around, also picking up a vault gold. Lara Storrie won vault bronze, Anna Hollins won bars gold, Grace Muir won bars bronze, Lauren McCormack won gold on beam and floor, Sophie Macpherson won beam silver, Millie Redford won beam bronze, and Kirsty Buchanan won floor bronze.
Full results are available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins