Sports

Welsh earns state title on bars, third overall

Marie Welsh performs on the floor event on Friday. She went second and scored a 9.35.  - JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo
Marie Welsh performs on the floor event on Friday. She went second and scored a 9.35.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo

Despite a cold, she wins a share of a title with Anissa Madrid.

TACOMA – Marie Welsh was a bit under the weather on Friday.

“I was a little sick, but I pulled through it,” Welsh said Friday of her all-around performance.

Somewhere between the bitterly cold weather, the travel between Bainbridge, Tacoma and Bellevue, eating out at different places and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed from Thursday through Saturday, her cold got worse.

But the sophomore still went out and won a state title on the bars during the individual portion at the 2A/3A state gymnastic championships at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall.

“It’s hard to come back from a cold like that,” head coach Cindy Guy said. “I’m real proud of her. It really shows she’s driven and focused.”

Welsh tied with Kennedy’s Anissa Madrid for first when both girls scored a 9.475.

She could have had another on the vault after hitting an extremely difficult vault for a 9.6, a vault that she hasn’t done in over four years, but placed third to West Seattle’s Nina Fogle and the champ Madrid.

“I’m really proud of her vault,” Guy said. “She’s done it sometimes in practice, but never in a meet.

“I think she could have been a champion (in vault.) The coaches and even some judges came by and said, ‘Boy, that was a good vault!’”

Welsh was fifth on the beam with an 8.95, but during the floor exercise she missed on her connection and fell, resulting in an 11th place finish with an 8.95.

During Friday’s performance for the all-around title, she did well, but finished third with a 37.125.

Fogle took second with a total score of 37.275 and Newport’s Kendra Miller was first with a 37.35.

“It’s always tough to start out on floor,” Welsh said. “But you can’t let it get to you.”

She placed third on the bars with a 9.225 and fifth on the beam with a 9.075. She also tied for fifth on floor exercises with Sammamish’s Alexis Osborn with a 9.35 and tied for first on vault with Mercer Island’s Kelsey Ingram with a 9.475.

“I knew I had to stick the beam to win at that point, but I fell,” Welsh said. “Once I fell, I knew it was over.”

During Friday’s all-around competition, Sophie Wenzlau was 12th on the bars with an 8.575, 17th on the beam with an 8.15 and 23rd on the floor with an 8.875.

As a team, Bainbridge finished seventh.

Elizabeth Annis didn’t make it to the second day, but she didn’t leave empty handed. The senior was named to the 3A All-Academic team with a 4.0 GPA.

“It was really different from last year,” she said about not being able to defend the Spartans’ 2005 team title. “It’s kinda sad, but this is fun too.”

While Annis waits to hear back from several schools including USC, Guy and the rest of the squad are planning for next year, with top talent Welsh, Wenzlau, Katherine Samstag and Kathleen Callahan.

“They’re really driven,” she said. “Sophie and Lauren (Fleming) want to work in the off-season. We all want to go back. The 3A classifications could change, but it could all work out.”

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