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Four Spartans advance to state gymnastics championships

By BRIAN KELLY
Bainbridge Island Review Editor
February 23, 2014 · 2:20 PM
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The Spartans gather for a group photo before the start of the regionals competition in Snoqualmie. In front, Elise Cassella, Miller Shor, Julia Cassella and Willa Jones Irwin. In back, Sarah Rice, Dominique D’Onoforio, Juliana Hinkley, Mila Lesh and Maddy Mikami. / Seth Truscott | Snoqualmie Valley Record

The Spartans shined at the SeaKing District gymnastics championships in Snoqualmie last week, though the spotlight unexpectedly dimmed for the team with a shocking twist at the end of the meet.

The top three teams at the district meet advance as teams to the Washington Gymnastics Championships at the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall Friday.

At the end of the SeaKing meet, hosted for the first time by Mount Si High, the Spartans were named as the third-place winner and the final state-bound squad.

Moments later, however, came the stunning announcement: There was a mixup in tabulating the scores for Holy Names Academy, and the Spartans finished fourth, and not third.

“We were one point away from making it,” said Bainbridge Coach Cindy Guy.

Mount Si won the meet with a score of 164.125. Holy Names claimed second with a team total of 157.125, and Lake Washington was third with 149.975.

Bainbridge finished with 148.975 for fourth place.

But with the composure the team has shown all season, the Spartan athletes took the news in stride, something noted by many of the coaches and spectators in Snoqualmie.

“The girls handled it with a lot of grace,” Guy said. “They handled it so well.”

Guy said she was pleased with the team’s performance at the highly competitive district meet.

“I had a lot of young kids that never competed in that big of an event,” the coach noted.

“The pressure to get from district to state is really great, and I had a lot of kids that had very little experience but did a really, really nice job,” she said.

Overall, four Spartans on the squad — three of them juniors — will compete as individuals at the state championships.

Spartan standout Sarah Rice tied for fourth place in all around with a score of 34.425, and qualified for the state championships this weekend in Tacoma in four events.

She placed fifth on bars with a 7.8.

Fellow Spartans Miller Shor and Juliana Hinkley also qualified for state on bars, finishing with scores of 7.375 and 6.95, respectively.

On beam, Rice finished fifth with a score of 8.525. Shor also qualified to compete at state in the event, tallying a 7.525.

Rice and Shor also excelled on the floor exercise, with Rice scoring 9.075, good enough for sixth place, and Shor finishing with a state-qualifying mark of 8.775.

Finally, in vault, Rice tallied a 9.025 and Shor coming in at 8.55 — both scores that put them into the state championship competition.

Mila Lesh, a senior at Bainbridge, also qualified with an 8.15.

After a Monday off from practice, the Spartan gymnasts returned to the gym Tuesday to prepare for the state competition.

“They’re motivated,” Guy said.

 

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