Coach Michael Sergeant, left, and Treyson Cerrato at the Surrey Gymnastic Society. (Photo: Nick Laba)

Coach Michael Sergeant, left, and Treyson Cerrato at the Surrey Gymnastic Society. (Photo: Nick Laba)

Surrey high school senior wins gymnastics nationals, quits sport

After winning the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics Canadian Championships in Ottawa, Treyson Cerrato says it’s time to move on

By Nick Laba, Now-Leader contributor

They say to quit while you’re ahead, and Treyson Cerrato listened.

Just days after being crowned a national gymnastics champion, the Surrey high school senior said he would be retiring from the sport that he’s spent the majority of his life training and competing in. After a long week in Ottawa, Cerrato was awarded gold on Sunday in the national open category at the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics Canadian Championships. With this win, he adds the national title to his six provincial victories.

But while it feels good to hold the gold, Cerrato said this was his last competition.

“Mainly, it just feels like it’s time for me to move on to something else,” said Cerrato, who is setting his sights on jobs and attending university next year.

His coach, Michael Sergeant, noted the physical toll the sport has taken on his athlete.

“It has taken an extreme toll on his body—he got injured at the competition,” Sergeant said.

Cerrato said he suffered a scary knee injury the day before the national competition, which he then had to focus on protecting during the events.

Finishing with an all-around score of 75.700, Cerrato beat out second-place Mathieu Laprés from Quebec with 75.050, third-place Nathanael Teng from Ontario with 74.500 and 53 other athletes from across the country.

The competition is a combination of six events: floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar. Cerrato placed consistently across all events, but dominated the high bar, which he said is his favourite.

“That’s one of the [events] that as a spectator, and as an athlete it really gets you going,” he said. “Being high up, the release moves, just everything about it, really. It’s just the most exciting.”

Coach Sergeant said they’ve spent the past year perfecting the routine. It’s Cerrato’s fierce determination that sets him apart.

“On holidays where people are away, going away and doing different things, ‘Trace’ and I are in here training,” he said. “And so [I’m] really happy it paid off and super proud of the athlete he’s become.”

It’s been a pleasure to train together for the past two years, Sergeant said, but he credits previous coach John Carroll’s work in developing Cerrato’s athletic talents as a child.

He began training at Surrey Gymnastic Society’s gym at age 6. Now 18, Cerrato said he has countless fond memories of the space, which the 600-member gymnastic society will have to leave by June 30, 2020. The society helped build the shared facility with Frank Hurt Secondary in 1983, but is now being evicted as a result of the school’s plan to add an extension where the gym is located. Cerrato said it’s not going to be easy to leave the sport that’s been such a huge part of his life, but he’s taken away many lessons and is satisfied to end his career on a high note.

“There’s not many better ways to go out,” he said.

His coach, however, might not be so convinced this is the end of Cerrato’s gymnastic career.

“Never say never,” Sergeant said.

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