Emerald Ridge gymnastics coach Bobbi Jones led her team out of the main gym before the final round Saturday at the Class 4A West Central District 3 meet. Following a strong 45.425-point performance in the floor exercise, she had something to tell her athletes.
“We’re going (to state),” Jones said. “Relax. Go have fun.”
With 166.025 points, Emerald Ridge finished second to earn a state berth, and the opportunity to compete for its second state title in three years.
“Once they get a taste of it, they want to go back,” said assistant coach Brianna Howe, who brought home the school’s first state title — gymnastics or otherwise — in 2008.
gymnasts — including six seniors who competed on the championship team in 2013 — could reflect instead on the memory of competing at high school gymnastics’ highest level.
“Once we got there, we kind of just zoned in,” senior Mandi Hovde said. “That will probably end up happening again, because when we get there it will be real, and we won’t want to go home with last place. We want to go for it.”
Freshman Kelly Richardson led Emerald Ridge with 35.05 points, senior Kiersten Smith had 33 and senior Alyssa Armstrong had 32.
“I think it actually means a lot more to us this year,” Armstrong said. “It’s our last shot, so it’s all on us and we have to do it.”
Added Jones: “The fact that we get to have a crescendo, a whole ending, is a lot of fun.”
Mead, led by all-around champion Jenna Schlosser, won the team title.
Mt. Rainier, which entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed, claimed the third and final team slot, with 165.3 points, led by senior Ava Welch, who was second in the all-around (36.55). The Rams edged Olympia and Kentlake by less than a pointints.
“We knew we had to knock out a couple teams, but we had a lot of energy,” Welch said. “We haven’t gone to state since I was a freshman, so it’s been awhile.”
CLASS 4A WRESTLING
Defending 4A champion Lake Stevens advanced 11 wrestlers to next weekend’s Mat Classic, the state championships in the Tacoma Dome. The Vikings won the regional title with 219.5 points, followed by Curtis (154.5) and Graham-Kapowsin (131).
With 283 points, Yelm ran away from South Kitsap (153.5) for the regional team crown
CLASS 1A WRESTLING
Magalei won a close 5-2 decision over Sultan’s Matt Baller in the 182 finals, and Davis dominated Sultan’s Morgan Yates, 7-1, in the 220 finals.
Four Vashon wrestlers, led by reigning state champion Chase Wickman at 113, also won regional championships at Meridian High School.