Nearly 400 competitors from across Washington descended on Bainbridge for the Washington State men’s gymnastics championship.
The competition, held March 16-17 at Bainbridge High, was hosted by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District and the Bainbridge Island Gymnastics Club, coached by head coach Bryan Garoutte and assistant coaches Sierra Carughi and Bryan “Wilbur” Peterson. It was a weekend of intense competition, supported by cheering friends and family.
Owen Ausmeier, Alex Broderick, Aidan Cretarolo, Kian Giuliano, Jacob Hall, Leo Koch, Charlie Phillips, Grant Soltes, Lafe Weighall, Jayden Wood-Johnson, and Connor Ziemba competed for the Bainbridge Island Gymnastics Club. Jonah Frago and Owen Scheer were recovering from injury and unable to compete but supported their teammates, with Scheer playing the national anthem.
BIGC trains year-round for their competitive season starting in December, with competitions as far away as San Diego in preparation for state and regional championships. When the state championships came to town, they were ready.
Cretarolo continued his dominance in the sport, and for the third straight year won gold in the all-around, cementing himself as a top gymnast in Washington with a combined score of 66.900 at Level 9, age 15 and above.
On individual events, Cretarolo tumbled, twisted and flew to gold on floor (scoring 12.300), rings (11.300), and vault (11.400); silver on high bar (10.100); and bronze on pommel horse (8.5000) and parallel bars (10.900).
In the men’s Junior Development, age 15 and over division, Bainbridge’s Jacob Hall and Alex Broderick shined.
Hall landed fourth with an all-around score of 63.700, and took home silver medals on rings (11.000) and high bar (9.900).
Broderick tied for a silver medal on parallel bars, scoring a stellar 11.300.
Leo Koch highlighted his sixth-place all-around finish (49.700) in the Level 6, Division 1, ages 8-9 group, with a fourth-place performance on pommel horse (8.900). He also flew into fifth place on high bar with a score of 8.400.
In the Level 5, Division 1, ages 12 and over group, Wood-Johnson had his best-ever showing at a state championship, tumbling, swinging, and flipping to a tie for the gold medal on the floor exercise (10.100). He also took home a gold medal on the parallel bars with a score of 9.700.
Charlie Phillips competed at Level 5, Division 2, ages 11 and over and took two medals home. Phillips tumbled and twisted into a tie for gold on floor (8.800), and followed that with a silver medal on parallel bars, scoring 7.900.
Connor Ziemba took home three medals in the Level 5, Division 2, ages 7-8 group. Ziemba flipped to a tie for gold on the vault, scoring 8.900, and earned bronze medals on pommel horse (8.500) and high bar (7.000).
Owen Ausmeier, Grant Soltes, and Lafe Weighall rocked the Level 4, Division 2 group.
In the age 7 group, Ausmeier swung to a silver medal on high bar (8.400) and stuck a fourth-place finish on floor (8.500) placing sixth all-around with a 47.600. Soltes competed in the 11 and over age group and won silver medals on pommel horse (8.900), parallel bars (8.700), and in the all-around (50.600). He also wrapped up a bronze medal on the high bar, scoring 7.600.
Weighall won the all-around gold in the age 9 group, with a scoring 51.400 and finishing first on pommel horse (8.800) and high bar (8.400). Weighall took home silvers on rings (8.400), vault (9.000), and parallel bars (8.600).
The 2019 Washington State Championships were a great success for the BIGC boys’ team, but the hard work and hospitality of the parent volunteers really wowed the crowd. The BHS venue is fast becoming a fan favorite, event organizers said, with the BIGC Booster Club successfully hosting outstanding state championships three out of the last five seasons.
But the BIGC boys’ team was not done yet. Aidan Cretarolo, Kian Giuliano, Jacob Hall, Leo Koch, Charlie Phillips, and Jayden Wood-Johnson qualified for the 2019 Men’s Regional Championships and travelled to Everett to compete against the best gymnasts from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
The championships were held April 5-7.
Cretarolo earned a silver medal with a combined score of 65.850. Cretarolo’s sure-footed performance landed him ties for gold on floor (scoring 12.350) and on high bar (11.100), as well as a tie for silver on vault (11.400).
Hall rounded out a consistently strong season with a silver medal on high bar (10.500) and a fourth-place finish in the all-around with a 63.600.
Koch’s season was capped by a seventh-place finish on parallel bars (9.550), sixth place on high bar (8.800), and 13th place in the all-around (47.950).
Wood-Johnson followed his standout showing at a state championship with four medals at Regionals, improving on his impressive parallel bars performance from State and taking first place on the event with a 10.200. He also earned bronze medals on floor (10.600), high bar (10.100), and in all-around (58.100).
In his first Region 2 Championship competition, Giuliano’s excellent floor exercise performance tied for him silver on floor (10.100). Giuliano also spun to sixth place on pommel horse (9.100) and sixth place all-around (55.400).
Coaches for the team said the 2018-2019 season was good for the little team that keeps punching above its weight class, showing larger teams from around the state and region that it remains a strong program, producing top athletes that can compete with the region’s best.
Fresh off of Spring Break, the club team is already back in the gym, training three to four times each week year-round to prepare for the next competition season in December.