Tumblers come home without a trophy

A bad performance on the beam seals the Spartans’ fate at state.

TACOMA – Everything was going just fine for the Bainbridge gymnastics team – until the beam event.

That was ultimately the Spartans’ downfall, as four tumblers had one fall or more on their performance that put them out of a team trophy at the 2A/3A state gymnastics tournament.

Their final score of 162.1 was just .3 away from fifth-place finisher Columbia River and 3.65 away from fourth place finisher Kamiakin.

“We were really hoping for third or fourth,” head coach Cindy Guy said. “But these were the lowest scores” they’ve had this season.

“They were tough judges,” she continued. “Each year is harder than last year.”

Eva Fazzini, Anne Schwartz and Sophie Wenzlau all fell once, with Annie Zuckerman falling three times.

Adrienne Palay and Katie Mathews had no-fall routines, with Mathews posting the high score of 8.1.

The meet started well for the Spartans as they scored 43 points on the vault.

Everyone scored an 8.3 or higher, with Mathews posting the high score of 8.725.

She tied for 29th overall with five other gymnasts.

“I thought our vaults were awesome,” Guy said.

“(The) vaults were good,” Wenzlau said. “Those were some of the highest scores we’ve gotten all season.”

“Then Talia steps up and gets an 8.675 – that was such a great start.”

Bainbridge kept things going with a solid performance on the uneven bars.

Lauren Fleming scored a 7.6 while Schwartz and Palay had scores of 7.5 and Zuckerman posting a score of 7.575.

“Our bars performance was the best of the season,” Guy said. “I thought they were all so clean. They were great.”

But then came the beam, an event that threw a lot of teams off.

Bainbridge was no different.

“Last year I think we fell on bars, and bars killed us,” Guy said. “So this year it was beam.

“You gotta get them all (the events) lined up and you gotta hit ‘em all perfect,” she continued. “That’s gymnastics for you.”

With any chance at a trophy out the window, the Spartans rebounded to notch their highest score of the season on the floor exercise.

All six scored an 8.725 or higher, with Wenzlau, Mathews and Zuckerman posting scores of 9.175, 9.275 and 9.25 respectively.

“I was really proud of them on floor,” Guy said. “That’s the highest score we’ve gotten all year.

“It was nice to end on the floor,” Wenzlau said. “That’s what we’re used to ending on. Overall, I think it’s our strongest event as a team.

Despite the solid scores at the end, it wasn’t enough to get them in the top four for a team trophy, nor did it put them high enough in the top ten for the all-around or the individual events.

Palay was the highest finisher in the all-around score with a 32.475 for 34th place.

Zuckerman tied for 38th with a 31.925 while Wenzlau and Schwartz were 41st and 42nd respectively.

Guy estimates it’s the first time since 2001 that the Spartans haven’t advanced anyone to the second day.

It’s also the last time that four seniors – Wenzlau, Fleming, Stella Wilson and Marie Welsh – will appear at a state meet.

Wenzlau, Wilson and Welsh are also the last link to the 2005 state championship team when they were freshmen.

“It’s hard for them,” Guy said. “It would have been nice for some of them to make it to the second day.

“There’s a bond there that you can’t take away and that we’ll always have.”

Wenzlau agreed.

“We’ve definitely built a strong team and a strong team mentality with the Bainbridge program that’s hopefully been passed down to the younger girls,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll keep that feeling alive.

“It’s this strong bond that everyone develops,” Wenzlau continued. “I think it’s different than a lot of teams that we see here (at state) and just even at our own high school.

“I don’t think anyone else has the same bond that we do.”

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