Spartan gymnasts extend win streak to 114

Hosting their second meet of the season, the Spartans were prepared to coast to their 114th consecutive regular season win – until Holy Names arrived.

“It was a comedy of errors,” coach Cindy Guy said of the Spartans’ closest match in several years. “I had no idea Holy Names was coming. I didn’t know how good they were.”

Despite having only practiced once since their Dec. 11 home opener, the Spartans edged Holy Names 161 to 159.2, preserving their win streak. West Seattle placed third (112.05) and Chief Sealth fourth (68.35).

The Cougars were led by sophomore Katie Rock’s four-event sweep and first-place finish in the all-around.

“We knew that (Rock) was good, but we didn’t know anything about the other kids,” Guy said. “At least we know how good our competition is.”

Even though the Spartans didn’t place first in an event, their depth made the difference in the team score.

“What really helps us out is we matched up Katie Mathews pretty well,” Guy said. “She was similar in the all around score, and then with Adrienne (Palay), Anne (Schwartz) and Talia (Weiss), they could match up or beat some of (Holy Names’) kids.”

Palay placed fifth all-around, and Schwartz sixth.

“I was really proud of the girls because they really adjusted and we didn’t even have time for a team meeting,” Guy said. “Senior leadership really paid off. Katie (Mathews) really rallied the kids, and seniors just really stepped up.”

Mathews, a senior captain, posted Bainbridge’s best all-around performance with a third-place finish and overall score of 33.25.

“It was a lot more nerve-wracking because we’re not used to – this early in the season – having that much competition,” Mathews said. “I think it was really good to be able to see what other teams are coming up with.”

The Spartans’ beam performance was a match highlight.

“I think we got a 43, and last week we got a 38, and the week before a 36,” Guy said. “We had five girls that stuck their beam routines and cut down a lot on the falls.”

Mathews scored 9.15 on the beam, tying for second with Holy Names’ Korlyn Loftus.

“I’m kind of inconsistent on beam, and it was the first beam routine I stayed on the beam the whole time,” Mathews said.

Palay and Schwartz scored 9.0 and 8.95, respectively.

“We stayed focused on our routines,” Mathews said. “We did better on beam than we did all year – we stayed on the beam, which was good.”

The Spartans excelled in their floor routines, taking second and third behind Rock’s 9.3 first-place finish.

“Our strongest event is definitely floor because we have depth and different kinds of routines and styles,” Mathews said. “Floor is definitely my favorite – I’m just big on dance.”

Mathews scored 9.2, and sophomore Rachael Kaminer scored 8.8.

After Friday’s home meet against Mercer Island, Sehome, Bellingham and Squalicum, the Spartans have four road competitions before finishing the season with their senior day meet against North Kitsap.

“We always like our North Kitsap meet because they’re so close,” Mathews said. “It’s always fun to see them, but they’re also still pretty good so it’s one of the meets that you’re not sure about.”

The Spartans will also match up with Holy Names a second time at Nathan Hale on Jan. 8.

“I think in the scheme of things that our depth is going to help us out,” Guy said. “But it’s a tough competition because we have to go against them on wrestling mats at Nathan Hale.”

With only one Metro team earning a berth at the district meet, Guy predicts Holy Names will be the Spartans’ toughest competition for the playoff spot.

“I’m sure they’re shooting to get us,” Guy said.

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