Bainbridge gymnastics' 115-meet win streak ends with loss to Holy Names

After winning 115 consecutive Metro League meets, the Bainbridge gymnastics team lost its first regular-season contest since 2002 – 162.75-159.3 – to Holy Names on Jan. 8.

The Metro League championship will likely come down to the two teams, and only one team from the Metro will advance to the district championship.

“It’s going to be a dogfight,” head coach Cindy Guy said. “We can match them and improve.”

In their first meeting in December, the Spartans edged Holy Names 161-159.2 at home.

But at last week’s meet, hosted by Nathan Hale, Holy Names’ Katie Rock took first in every event but the floor routine.

“We went to wrestling mats and I thought the kids performed really well,” Guy said. “They gave it their best and they were tumbling. We were basically tied with vault and bars with them and we’re hanging in there – I really have confidence.”

Junior Anne Schwartz tied for third in the vault with a score of 8.4, and the Spartans were in third place after the first event with 40.45 points.

Bainbridge made up ground on the bars, with senior Talia Weiss and Schwartz taking fourth and fifth, respectively. Sophomore Rachel Kaminer and junior Adrienne Palay tied for sixth with scores of 7.3.

In the floor event, Katie Mathews earned the Spartans their only first-place finish of the evening with an 8.85.

“When the scores were flashed, Adrienne got 7.25 and last time we went against them she had an 8.7,” Guy said. “It was a little disheartening because floor is one of our better events.”

Going into the last event, the beam, Bainbridge trailed by three points, but Rock extended the Cougar lead with a 9.35 beam performance. Even though Schwartz and Palay placed second and fifth with scores of 8.9 and 8.5, respectively, Bainbridge couldn’t overcome Holy Names’ lead.

“I guess we didn’t get the connections in some of the things,” Guy said. “It’s a judgment sport and the chips don’t always lay where they should.”

Rock took first place in the all-around with 36.35 points, while Schwartz placed third with 33.2 and Mathews fifth with 31.95 points.

“Katie Mathews gave us the best speech,” Guy said of the team meeting. “She said she was proud of them, and everybody tried and we beat our goal – 158.”

Bainbridge will face Shorewood, North Kitsap, Shorecrest and Kingston at the Cascade Elite Gym in Lynnwood Saturday.

“The kids have scored really well there,” Guy said. “They like to tumble on it. It’s on Saturday so we don’t have to worry about the school thing. We’re going to have a good time. We’ll see some more Seattle judges. They need to see us, and vice versa.”

The Spartans have two road meets before hosting West Seattle at 6 p.m. Jan. 22, then face North Kitsap and Kingston Jan. 29 on Senior Night.

“We never look past anybody,” Guy said. “We’re just going to work on staying on the beam and work on our next meet.”

The Spartans will strive to enhance their bar routines in preparation for the Metro meet.

“We’re going to try to get more kids to go optional,” Guy said. “Once we get that, we have the potential of getting three or four kids that can score in the eights, then we’d really be competitive.”

While Holy Names has been the toughest competition Bainbridge has seen in the Metro in several years, the Spartans’ successful experiences at state provide a big advantage.

“I’m just thinking that our kids have been under pressure with the state meet and everything,” Guy said.

With strong senior leadership from Mathews, Talia Weiss, Eva Fazzini and Laura Brickin, the Spartans have a good shot at their eighth state appearance in nine years.

“We’re a team,” Guy said. “Even though gymnastics is an individual sport, when you have a team bond – that connection and that support – when you’re up there it feels like you’re on a relay. Hopefully that team unity can help us.”

Road to 115 wins

Top team score: 178.8, 2005

Undefeated seasons: 2002-2009

League champions: 2001-2005, 2007-2009

State champions: 2005

Third place: 2007, 2009

Sixth place: 2008

Academic champions: 2003, 2007

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