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Looking toward state, BHS gymnasts aim high
Long-time BHS gymnastics coach Cindy Guy has lofty goals for her team this year, including:
Go undefeated in dual meet competition; win the Metro championship; place in the top two at the district championships; place in the top four at the state championships and thereby bring home a trophy
Along the way, Guy fully expects the Spartans to achieve a milestone. The team hasn’t lost a regular meet in seven years, compiling a 96-0 record during that time. She feels confident that the team will reach the century mark a week from Tuesday, when it hosts longtime rivals Mercer Island along with West Seattle and Chief Sealth.
And the Spartans will do it with depth as Guy and assistant coach Bryan Garoutte work with more than 30 gymnasts, one of the largest teams she’s had in her 28 years. When she began her tenure in 1979, she had a turnout of only nine gymnasts.
“We don’t have any superstars this year,” Guy said. “But our strength is that we have nine or 10 solid gymnasts. They’re all very competitive and they all will score between 32 to 35 points in the all-around.”
This depth should also help the team overcome the memory of a disappointing outing at state last year. The Spartans were third until the beam competition, traditionally their strongest event. Generally sub-par performances in the event dropped the team to sixth.
“It was a good meet up to that point,” Guy said. “It was just one of those days.”
It was also “one of those days” in another respect: For the first time in many years, Bainbridge didn’t place anyone in the top 10 in all-around or any of the four individual events: bars, beam, floor and vault.
This year’s team is headed by seven returnees from the state tournament: senior co-captains and three-year letter winners Kathleen Callahan and Annie Zuckerman, juniors Eva Fazzini, Katie Mathews and Talia Weiss, and sophomores Adrienne Palay and Anne Schwartz. All will compete in all-around (Palay was the team’s top placer at state last year, with 32.475 points), along with freshmen Grace Allen and Rachel Kaminer.
Others who have previous varsity experience or whom Guy expects to compete at the varsity level this year include seniors Elly Angell, Kalise Ball, Chelsea Mahnke and Teddy McKenzie, junior Laura Bricklin, sophomore Tessa Leachman and freshmen Meghan Duncan and Laurel Hilst.
Additional team members include seniors Ally Guy, Lacy Kuhn, Kate McKenzie, Emmy Perez and Emily Pisano, juniors Haley Heater and Rocio Pena-Nahle, sophomores Brigitte Blocker and Elizabeth Furman, and freshmen Rosalie Bigongiari, Rachel Brown, Kore Busath-Haedt, Nicole Conde, Morgan Greenwood, Sarah Muir and Elisabeth Nason.
The Spartans were originally scheduled to open the season last night against Sehome, but the Mariners were unable to field a team. As a result, the opener – and likely wins numbers 97, 98 and 99 – will come this Friday when Bainbridge hosts Nathan Hale, Shorecrest and Shorewood.