The wait seemed like it took forever.
As the Emerald Ridge Jaguars eagerly anticipated the final results of the Class 4A state gymnastics competition on Saturday, they got the answer for which were looking.
Woodinville was announced as the second-place team, and the Jaguars knew they had won the state championship at the Tacoma Dome Convention Cener.
“It was chaos,” Emerald Ridge coach Bobbi Jones said. “The kids and parents were screaming, crying and hugging each other. It was a great moment.”
The Jaguars edged Woodinville 174.050 to 173.475.
“We were trailing going into the last rotations,” Jones said. “We had to come back to win. We really dug deep.
“Vault, which is our best event as a team, helped us come back from being behind Woodinville by 2.5 points.”
CaroLyne Schmidt placed fifth in the all-around competition and second in the vault. Fellow senior Elizabeth Clemens nabbed fourth in all-around and sixth on the bars, beam and floor sections.
Jones said seeing the team achieve its goal is something she will never forget.
“We have 12 kids and five seniors on the varsity team,” Jones said. “All of them contributed to us getting this championship. It was a complete team effort. It wasn’t just a handful of athletes doing what they do and everybody else watching. Every competitor did the best they could for the team.”
Jones said this year’s team was the deepest she’s ever coached in high school gymnastics.
“We could be strategic and consistent about who we were putting in certain events because we had a ton of depth,” she said.
Jones said the team received an emotional lift when Abby Newby returned to the lineup for the state competition. Newby tore three ligaments in her ankle on Dec. 12 and was on crutches for weeks, Jones said.
“To have her back was so important,” the coach said. “When she landed her vault, it was absolutely amazing to see her be able to do that. It was important for our entire team.”
Jones said it will difficult to say goodbye to seven seniors — Elisabeth Abbott, Michaela Didier, Marte Voldsund, Celia Peacock, Schmidt, Clemens and Newby.
“We had a great core group of seniors this year,” Jones said. “Their personalities and leadership qualities and gymnastics skills were all top-notch. It is going to be hard to lose them, but I’m super excited to see what next adventure they have in life.”
The Jaguars will return eight sophomores and one junior from this year’s team.