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Tumblers rise up to the challenge, win Metro
Before every event at the Metro League gymnastics tournament, Bainbridge head coach Cindy Guy would wave a small stuffed tiger at the team.
She later explained it was her motivation ploy to the team to keep the “eye of the tiger,” a reference to Survivor’s hit song and to maintain their focus during every performance.
“They didn’t know anything about it (the song),” she said. “I had to have a little history lesson about it.”
The motivation, along with the Spartans’ depth, helped the team collect another league title Feb. 4 at Bainbridge High School. It is the ninth time they have won a Metro title while in the league.
The Spartans scored 159.75 points, outscoring second place finisher Nathan Hale by 3.825 points and just missing their goal score of 160 points. Both teams qualified for the district meet Saturday. Holy Names took third with a score of 146.05 while West Seattle placed fourth with a score of 130.95.
Bainbridge took first in the floor exercise with a team score of 45.125 and first in the uneven parallel bars event with a team score of 34.275.
“I’m very happy,” Guy said. “Our bars scores, I thought, were a little low but I thought we had a really good recovery (from the low score). We really rocked floor – I’m really impressed with everyone’s scores. I’m really happy.”
No Bainbridge gymnast took home an individual title. Anne Schwartz came close as she tied for second in the floor exercise with Ingraham’s Lancy Huang with a 9.3 and tied for third with Huang in the vault with a score of 8.5.
Katie Rock of Holy Names won the all-around title with a score of 35.65. She took first in the uneven parallel bars with a score of 8.225 and first in the floor exercise with a score of 9.55. Rock was beaten by Nathan Hale’s Naivasha Sophusson-Smith by .025 of a point for the vault title.
Her teammate Javiera Sobarzo beat out Sydney Matsuca-Fong of Nathan Hale by a .5 of a point for the beam title.
Other top finishers for Bainbridge include Palay, who tied for fifth with West Seattle’s Della Norton on the floor with a score of 9.2 and placed fifth on the vault with a score of 8.35 and fifth on the balance beam with a score of 8.625. Rachel Kaminer took fifth in the bars with a score of 7.075 and sixth in the vault with a score of 8.275.
Grace Allen was sixth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.15 while Megan Duncan tied for seventh with Holy Names’ Natalie Mostello with a score of 9.075.
“We had a really good floor (performance) – the best we’ve had all season, I think,” Palay said. “(Our) beam (performance) could have been a lot better – we still have trouble with falling – but it’s a lot better than it has been recently.”
Guy gave credit to her two co-captains in Palay and Schwartz and the leadership they provided and the younger gymnasts for contributing to the win.
In the JV meet, Brenna Boone took second in the all-around. She placed third in the floor exercise and in the bars.
Susanne Cairns took third in the vault with a 9.0 while Leah Nordberg took fourth with a 8.925.
Julia Cassella took second in the bars while Annalise Ricco placed second on the beam.
Bainbridge heads to Sammamish High School Saturday for the District 1/2 meet.