|Vanessa's Competitive Results|
1996 Canadian Championships, Novice: 7th AA
1997 Pan American Invitational: 3rd Team, 8th AA, 2nd V
1997 Canadian Championships, Junior: 9th AA
1997 Puerto Rico Cup:
1998 Wild Rose International, Junior: 9th AA, 3rd V
1998 Junior Pan Am Championships
1998 Canadian Championships, Junior: 4th AA
1998 Elite Canada, Junior: 4th AA
1998 Canberra Cup: 18th AA
1999 Canada Winter Games: 9th AA, 1st V
1999 Gymnix International, Junior: 2nd AA, 1st V, 1st UB, 2nd BB
1999 Canadian Championships, Junior: 17th AA (3 events only)
1999 Elite Canada, Senior: 3rd AA
2000 Gymnix International, Senior: 8th Team, 12th AA
2000 Canadian Championships, Senior: 9th AA
2000 Romanian International: 17th AA|
2000 Junior Pan Am Championships: 4th Team, 16th AA, 5th V, 6th UB
2000 Elite Canada, Senior: 2nd AA
2001 Elite Canada, Senior: 11th AA, 3rd UB, 8th BB
2002 Gymnix International, Senior: 8th AA
2002 Wild Rose International: 3rd V, 3rd BB
2002 Maryland Classic, Open: 3rd Team, 2nd AA, 3rd UB
2002 Parkette Invitational: 1st Team, 4th AA
2002 U.S. Region 7 zones
2002 Dragon Invite
2002 Canadian Championships, Senior: 3rd AA, 2nd V, 1st UB
2002 Commonwealth Games: 3rd Team, 3rd V, 3rd UB
2003 Pan Am/World team trials: 14th AA (bars only)
Vanessa Meloche, born July 16 1985, ranked among the top Canadian junior women for three consecutive seasons (1997-1999). As a result of her talent, she had her first taste of international competition with the Canadian team at the 1997 Puerto Rico Cup, when she was only 12 years old. 1998 would be another busy year for this promising athlete. After finishing 4th in the all-around at the Canadian championships in Hamilton, Meloche was selected to compete in two prestigious junior international meets. In July, she competed with the Canadian team at the Junior Pan American Championships in Houston, Texas, and in December (less than a week after finishing 4th at Elite Canada) she traveled to Australia for the Canberra Cup.
The year 1999 would be an important one for Meloche as well. Early in the season she helped her Quebec women's team take the gold medal at the Canada Games. Individually, Meloche's strong vaulting (a powerful piked front) earned her a gold medal in the apparatus finals. A few minor injuries meant that Meloche could only perform on three events at the 1999 Canadian championships in Burnaby, BC - an event where she had been a favourite to place well. However, she finished the year off in grand style, making her senior debut a year earlier than expected.
In December of 1999, Meloche was one of seven gymnasts chosen by national team coach Andrei Rodionenko to compete senior the following season, despite not being FIG age eligible. After finishing third all-around at the 1999 Elite Canada competition in Montreal, Meloche competed as a senior internationally for the first time at the Gymnix International in Montreal in March of 2000, where she placed 12th in the all-around. Shortly following the Gymnix meet, she made her European debut with a strong showing at the Romanian International - competing against many Olympians and world championship team members.
At the 2000 national championships, also in Montreal, she finished as the highest-ranking junior aged gymnast in the senior competition, with a 9th place showing. Meloche finished out the year with her second appearance at the Junior Pan American Championships, held in Brazil, and a solid second place in the all-around at Elite Canada in Winnipeg.
|Performing the Markelov|
at 02 CWG Trials
Up to this point in her career, Meloche had been training at the Gym-Richelieu club under the guidance of coaches Michel Charon and Galina Laschina. Near the end of the year 2000, Meloche had an opportunity to spend some time training at the Parkettes club in Allentown, Pennsylvannia. She liked it there so much that she soon made arrangements to train there full time.
Unfortunately, an ankle injury (and subsequent surgery) meant that Meloche would miss virtually all of the 2001 season - her first as an FIG eligible senior. Meloche was certainly one of the top contenders for the 2001 world championship team, so this injury was not only devastating to her, but to the Canadian team as well.
Meloche would have to wait until the season ending 2001 Elite Canada competition in Toronto to show her stuff. Even though her ankle was not yet fully healed, Meloche gave it her all and performed very well on three events. On vault, her stuck handspring front pike earned her the highest score in the all-around event.
|2002 Gymnix International|
Despite a couple of fluke falls on bars (on a simple sole circle and a double front dismount) she still qualified for the apparatus finals where she finished third on the event. Her strong swing mechanics and excellent difficulty (giant 1 ½ to piked Jaeger, Markelov) really made her routine stand out. She also qualified for finals on the balance beam, where she showed a piked front mount, a punch front, switch leap to switch side to support, ff-layout, wolf jump-full and double tuck off. Two falls on her final event, the floor exercise (1 ½ twist through to double pike and arabian double front second line) dropped her to 11th place in the all-around standings, but she still made a strong impression with her well-constructed routines, clean form and bodyline, and strong physical conditioning.
Meloche enjoyed considerable success at the Parkettes, and expressed her satisfaction with her training in a Gymn.ca interview. While at the Parkettes, Meloche competed at the 2002 Maryland Classic, 2002 Parkettes Invitational, U.S. Region 7 zones, the Dragon Invite in Missouri, and the Wild Rose in Edmonton. She also finished third at the 2002 Canadian championships and claimed the gold medal on the uneven bars and the silver on vault.
Under the guidance of the Parkettes, Meloche was named to Canada's 2002 Commonwealth Games team. In Manchester she competed only vault and bars, qualifying to the event finals on both apparatus. She left Manchester with three bronze medals; team, vault, and bars.
Fresh off a triple-medal effort at the Commonwealth Games, Meloche returned to train in Canada, this time under the tutelage of 2000 Olympic coach, Carol Angela Orchard, at the Sport Seneca club.
Written by: Christopher Scott
Last updated by : 2002.09.21