Tumblers take control, repeat as champs

Spartans score 160 points, earn lone team berth to district meet.

It’s never easy watching a teammate go down with an injury.

But that’s what happened when Laura Bricklin injured her knee on her second vault pass during the Metro League championship meet Thursday at Bainbridge High School.

Despite the loss of Bricklin (she was scheduled to perform on the floor as well, so Eva Fazzini took her place) the Spartans made sure her effort was not in vain, scoring 160.15 points to win the Metro title and take the lone team berth to the district meet.

It’s their second straight team title and their sixth title in seven years since becoming an official member of the Metro League.

“It’s really good,” Stella Wilson said of repeating as champs. “It’s been so hard (this season) with everybody getting hurt, so this is nice.”

Nathan Hale took second with 126.85 points while rival West Seattle was third with 120.25 points.

Wilson said with the loss of many performers by both teams made things “a little bit less stressful than in past years.

“But we still have to go to districts and districts is a really, really tough competition as usual,” the senior co-captain continued.

Repeating, however wasn’t on the team’s mind as it waited to see if Bricklin was OK after landing awkwardly after her vault and going down in pain.

“How are you not going to be scared when someone goes down?” Wilson said. “Laura’s the toughest girl I’ve ever met in my life, so to see her in pain was really hard (to see).”

She was able to walk on it a bit with crutches afterwards and stuck it out to support her team.

Bricklin also scored an 8.3 to place sixth in the event.

Talia Weiss and Adrienne Palay were the top scorers for the vault, with each scoring a 8.4 – good enough to take second and third place in the event.

Katie Mathews was fourth while Sophie Wenzlau placed fifth.

West Seattle’s Jana Oliver won the Metro vault title with a score of 8.575.

The bars were another story, with the team posting lower scores than usual.

Head coach Cindy Guy felt it was due to some tough judging.

“They cleaned them (their routines) up and got them to work on a new skill,” she said. “They (the scores) were almost to our goal, which was 37.

“But as long as they get them in order, that’s what counts,” Guy continued. “I thought the judges did a very nice job of placing.”

Despite the increased marshaling, the Spartans swept the top six spots in the event.

Wenzlau won the event with a score of 7.425 while Palay, Lauren Fleming, Annie Zuckerman, Kathleen Callahan and Anne Schwartz took second through sixth.

Bainbridge also scored high on the beam with three gymnasts – Wilson, Palay and Mathews – falling just once on their performances.

Schwartz, Wenzlau and Zuckerman had zero falls during their perfomance, with Zuckerman scoring a 9.15 for first place.

Palay, Wenzlau and Schwartz took second through fourth.

The Spartans kept it up on the floor with four tumblers scoring 8.45 or better.

Mathews led the way with an 8.75 for first place while Schwartz, Zuckerman, Palay and Wenzlau took second through fifth.

In the all-around, Zuckerman was the big winner with a score of 32.9.

Palay placed second with a score of 32.65 while Wenzlau was third with a score of 31.725.

The senior co-captain hadn’t been able to compete in the all-around due to various injuries.

“It’s tough,” she said. “I don’t have the endurance that I would have if I had been competing all season, but I’m going to try to build it up by districts.”

In the junior varsity competition, Kalise Ball won the all-around with a score of 22.675.

She won on the vault with a score of 8.125, took third on the bars with a score of 3.95, fifth on the beam with a score of 5.05 and sixth on the floor with a score of 5.55.

Mackenzie Teddy was third in the all-around while Chelsea Mahnke was fourth.

Mahnke was first on the floor with a score of 6.95 and second on the beam with a score of 6.4.

Elly Angel won the bars title with a score of 4.3.

With Metros now out of the way (and holding the meet earlier than usual) Bainbridge will have some time to practice.

Wilson feels they’re on the right path but they need to be more consistent.

“All our girls can hit their routines,” she said. “Everyone has a great routine. We just need to make sure that we hit it when it matters.

“Sometimes we have some silly falls that are a result of nerves so we just need to work on stuff like that,” Wilson continued.

“(We’re) glad and we’re looking forward to districts,” Guy said. “It’ll be fun to say we achieved that and know where we’re going.”

The Spartans move onto the District 1-2 gymnastics meet next Saturday at Sammamish High School.

They’ll be performing in the evening session, which starts at 6:40 p.m.

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