Raegan Rutty misses cut for gymnastics finals

| 29/07/2019
CNS Local Life
Raegan Rutty takes flight during floor exercise (Photos by Jade Webster)

(CNS Local Life): After failing to qualify for the individual apparatus finals at the Pan Am Games on Saturday, 27 July, Cayman Islands gymnast Raegan Rutty has shifted her focus to the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Germany coming up in October. Rutty, 17, the first of the Cayman athletes to compete in Lima, was unable to crack the requisite top 24 placing among the gymnasts taking part, and finished an overall 38 out of the 58 competitors.  

“Not qualifying for finals was definitely disappointing,” Rutty said of her performance. “I really wanted to qualify and go in front of the audience again to show everyone what Cayman has to offer, but I definitely learned a lot from this competition.”

Individually, she finished 40th in vault (scoring 12.075), 49th in uneven bars (9.600), 48th in the balance beam (9.400) and 46th in floor exercise (9.900).

“I feel really good [with my scores],” Rutty said, noting she performed “a bunch of skills” for the first time. “Even though I missed my dismount, the hardest part of my routine, I made it pretty well, pretty solid and clean, so I was really happy about that.”

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During her balance beam routine

Rutty’s coach, Edward Umphrey, said the Games were filled with a lot of firsts for the young gymnast: her very first Pan Am Games, the first athlete to compete for the Cayman Islands and her first set of newly upgraded routines.

“Even though Raegan didn’t qualify I am extremely proud of her,” Umphrey said. “Many of the girls that she was competing against in the competition already competed at multiple Olympic Games, Pan Am Games and CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games and every Games you can think of. This is Raegan’s first Pan Am Games and really her biggest competition.”

Umphrey added that Rutty completed “a lot of new upgrades for this competition and she did them very well, probably the best I have seen her do, so that was a huge accomplishment.”

With all her firsts, he said, “Everything that she is doing right now and everything that she will be doing in the future is all groundbreaking and new for her. She’s paving the way for all the kids coming up in the Cayman Islands and really what she’s doing is something special.”

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Rutty in her run-up to the vault

In the qualification round, Rutty was up against some of the world’s best including US gymnasts Morgan Hurd, 18, and Riley McCusker,18, who have the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in their sights, and Ellie Black, the 23-year- old Canadian, who was the most-decorated athlete at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, winning five medals.

“It was fun to just get out there and hear all the girls yelling my name, just living in the moment and just embracing the crowd and the music. It was just amazing,” Rutty said of her experience.

Rutty is using Lima as a measuring stick to prepare her for the World Championships, where she will look to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

“I have the World Championships coming up, so this meet was good at seeing where I am physically and mentally,” she said.

But before looking ahead, she is taking the time to savour her first Pan Am Games experience. “After my floor routine when I saluted, I said, ‘I did it, I finished’. I said, ‘You know what? I can do this, I own this, I can do this.’ It’s crazy, it is really just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and…I did it.”

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Category: Sports

Comments (2)

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  1. Kpaz says:

    Congratulations to this amazing athlete. The headline of this article should have placed more focus on her accomplishments of being the youngest athlete on the Cayman team as well as her being the only gymnast to ever represent at an event of this magnitude. She is an inspiration to all athletes representing smaller countries.
    Great job Raegan and all the best in your future endeavors. We are all rooting for you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well done Rutty. You are amazing and a true role model. Your hard work and dedication will pay off. Keep it up