By Marty Gordon
Christiansburg has become known as the place to play, and this week, three major sporting events bear out the truth of that statement. Virginia Tech will host UVA in a major Atlantic Coast Conference swim meet Saturday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. The Big Blue wrestling tournament is slated for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18, at Christiansburg High School. And the Rock Star Gymnastics All-Star tournament makes it return to the Christiansburg Recreation Center Thursday, January 16, through Monday, January 20.
More than 20 teams are expected to compete in the Big Blue Invitational, which the Blue Demons have won five straight times. Friday action gets under way at 12:30 p.m. with preliminary action. On Saturday, wrestling will start at 10:30 a.m. with first to four rounds en route to the championships.
Admission to the Rock Star Invitational, which is sponsored by the Virginia Techniques in Christiansburg, is free for ages 5 and under, $5 per day or $10 for the weekend for ages 6-12; $10 per day or $15 for the weekend for ages 13 and up, and $5 per day or $10 for the weekend for ages 60 and up.
Friday’s events begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the schedule starts at 8 a.m.
The competition honors Kassidy Foster, a 12-year-old Level 7 gymnast, who passed away in 2007 after a battle with cancer.
Before her death, Kassidy took a Make-A-Wish trip to California where she was treated like a “rock star,” which accounts for the name of the Christiansburg event.
Special awards are given in memory of her including the Kassidy Foster Memorial Award given to the gymnast achieving the highest score at each level in each session.
Swimming will be spotlighted Saturday when the ranked University of Virginia women’s team comes to town. The UVA men’s team is ranked 15th while the Virginia Tech men’s team is ranked 24th.
At the meet, Breast Cancer Awareness Day will be observed. The Hokies will honor the life of Margaret Soulen Gilbert, a record-setting swimmer for the Hokies in the 1980s who lost her battle with breast cancer. Admission is free, and spectators are encouraged to wear pink and to arrive early to receive free wristbands.