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A Spartan surprise: Metro League championship in gymnastics

By BRIAN KELLY
Bainbridge Island Review Editor
February 8, 2013 · Updated 6:06 PM
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The Spartans share a laugh over a gag portrait on somebody’s iPhone during a break in competition during their final home meet. Bainbridge bounced back from the home meet loss — its first since 2000 — to win the Metro League championship. / Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review

The Spartans won the Metro League championship in girls gymnastics, slipping past powerhouse Holy Names to take the team title at Roosevelt High late last week.

Bainbridge finished with 151.8 points, while Holy Names totaled 150.475.

West Seattle placed third with 146.575, while host Nathan Hale was fourth with 143.325.

Ingraham placed sixth (139.9) and Chief Sealth was seventh (106.5).

The top two teams advance to districts, coming Saturday at Sammamish High. The top three teams at districts go to state.

Winning the Metro crown was something of a surprise for the Spartans. Some on the team admitted they were worried at even placing second, given the top talent that was lost to graduation last year.

“We’re super happy,” said Spartan Coach Cindy Guy.

The competition was close until the end, she recalled. Bainbridge started out on bars, but Spartan standout Sarah Rice fell on her dismount and finished fifth. She tied, with a score of 7.1, with Teresa Wang of Nathan Hale.

Rice rallied and won the beam event, and the Spartans cleaned up on floor, despite a low score for Rice.

Rice placed fourth with her floor routine, a performance that netted a score of 8.95.

Miller Shor was close behind, with an 8.8, and claimed fifth place.

“I thought Sarah got underscored but there’s not much you can do about that,” Guy said.

Summers, however, had her best performance of the year on floor, and scored a 9.025. It was the first time this year she cracked the 9 mark.

“I was like, incredulous and disbelieving,” Shor said. “But also really ecstatic. Because it was really starting to feel like I was having a good meet at that point.”

Rice took first place on beam with an 8.6.

Shor was second with a score of 8.55.

The Spartans excelled in vault, and Rice won second place with a score of 8.65.

Marielle Summers was sixth for BHS with 8.25.

In all-around competition, Rice finished second (33.3), Shore was fourth (32.55) and Summers claimed fifth (32.5).

Rice said her routines came out the best of the season, but the judging was noticeably tougher.

“I had the best meet of my season, but I didn’t get the best scores,” she said.

It was a nervous night all around, the Spartans said.

“The whole meet was really close. I was stressing that we wouldn’t be in the top two,” Shor said.

The coach agreed.

“It was really, really tight. We tried not to watch the others,” Guy said. “I see Holy Names getting pretty good bar scores and I’m just going, ‘Crud.’”

And the Spartans really began to wonder when the final team score for third-place West Seattle was announced, and the score for number two blared across the gym.

“It was so close, and we didn’t really expect it,” Rice said.

“It was awesome, it felt really good.”

“It definitely was very cool,” said Summers, a senior team captain for Bainbridge.

“We were all pretty impressed with how well we came together as a team. We definitely had worked all week on making our whole team as best as we could, and not just certain individuals,” she explained. “And I think that really paid off. We needed a lot of the new varsity girls to bring it, and they definitely brought it.”

The Spartans now face an even greater challenge: district competition, against strong teams from Mount Si and the host, Sammamish.

“We’re really cleaning up every single routine, especially on bars,” Summers said.

She added the team will have to show up with the same determination that they had to win the Metro title.

“We’re going to have to bring it again,” Summers said.

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