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Gymnasts good to go
Marie Welsh is going for all-around; Hallett, Olson are favorites as well.
The rotation at the 2A/3A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome floor, vault, bars and beam is the same one the Spartans followed last year en route to a state title.
But their loss to West Seattle at the Metro tournament negates any chance of Bainbridge defending its crown.
Coach Cindy Guy said the Spartans wont be down about it.
Theyre all motivated and upbeat, she said. They know how they want to do. They dont seem tired. Theyre happy to be going. Other than the fact that we dont have a team going, it feels pretty good having four kids at State.
Marie Welsh qualified for the all-around title and will be ready to go. She finished third overall as a freshman last year, but has competition in West Seattles Nina Fogle and Chelsea Wirchem, along with Mercer Islands Kelsey Ingram, Issaquahs Kara Chin and Newports Kendra Miller.
Its the icing on the cake, Welsh said. Thats what my club coach always says (about the state tournament). Youve made it this far. States just what you can prove. Theres nothing you have to qualify for.
Metros and Districts are more nerve-wracking for me, said Sophie Wenzlau, who is making her second straight appearance at State by qualifying for the floor, bars and beam. Its either you can keep going or you can stop. At State, its just go out and do your best.
But there is pressure, as Wenzlau and Welsh compared it to club gymnastics.
Its a more intense atmosphere, said Wenzlau. But its really fun. Its exciting.
Welsh and Wenzlau, both on the Spartan cheer squad, will head from the tournament straight to Bellevue to cheer at the boys and girls tournament basketball games.
Lauren Fleming, who is making her first appearance at State in the vault and beam events, said she is nervous, but excited as well.
Im a little bit nervous on beam, but theres really nothing to it, she said.
Liz Annis, a senior, qualified for the vault. Last year, she made her first trip by qualifying on the floor.
Im very excited, she said of her last go-round. Im not nervous at all.
Neither is Guy.
Im really excited about it, she said, adding that she is friends with many of the coaches and judges at the event. From what Ive heard from them, they know what its like to get to State and they want to go back next year.
The team and all-around scores were decided yesterday. The individual finals start at 12:20 p.m. today.