KENNEWICK – The boys of the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Rec Gymnastics Club had a banner year.
The Bainbridge team went to the Washington State Men’s Gymnastics Championships (held in Kennewick the weekend of the March 17-18) and came home with a team gold and enough hardware to fill a trunk.
The Bainbridge Island Gymnastics Club’s men’s team sent only eight competitors of all levels and ages, to compete against teams from around the state – some teams number in the dozens of members.
Yet, the BIGC team, under the steady and outstanding leadership of coaches Bryan Garoutte and Bryan “Wilbur” Peterson, showcased the quality of the Bainbridge club in across each of the six competition events; floor, pommel, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar.
As a testament to their individual strength, five of the eight Bainbridge club gymnasts qualified to compete at 2018 Region 2 Men’s Championships.
At the Washington state meet, the BIGC Junior Development team led the Bainbridge charge, competing March 17.
Aidan Cretarolo rocked the house, earning all-around gold for the 12-14 year age group, with a combined score of 64.600, setting the bar for the competition.
Cretarolo dominated in the individual events, scoring gold on floor (11.400), rings (11.500), vault (11.100), high bar (10.400) and tying with teammate Jacob Hall for gold on the parallel bars (11.000).
Jacob Hall, also in the 12-14-year group, tumbled, flipped and swung his way into a silver in the all-around.
Hall, in addition to tying with Cretarolo on parallel bars, scored silver on pommel (9.300) and high bar (9.800), and bronze on vault (10.300), floor (11.100), rings (10.700) and tying with teammate Owen Scheer on vault (10.400).
Owen Scheer, after returning from an injury at the 2017 Washington State Men’s Gymnastics Championship, returned to form, competed in four of the six events and scored a gold on pommel (10.100), silver on floor (11.300) and bronze on parallel bars (9.700).
Jonah Frago, in only his first year of competition and the sole Bainbridge club member competing in the 15-19-year age group, rounded out the BIGC medal winners with a gold on rings (11.400) and a bronze on high bar (9.600).
The following day brought the BIGC Level 4s and 5s to the championship. Connor Ziemba was the sole Division 1, Level 4 representative, and competed in the 7-year-old group. He landed sixth in vault, only .150 short of the podium.
Kian Guiliano was BIGC’s only competitor in the Division 1, Level 4, 10-year-old group. He won silver medals on the rings (9.900) and parallel bars (9.300).
Leo Koch was BIGC’s single Level 5, Division 1 age 7-8 competitor, winning bronze medals on the pommel horse (9.700) and parallel bars (9.500).
In Level 5, Division 2, Charlie Phillips took bronze in pommel horse (8.8), vault (8.7) and high bar (8.3) and finished up with fourth in all-around, scoring a grand total of 49.0.
The group of Cretarolo, Hall, Scheer and Frago cruised to a Junior Development team gold with a dominant team score of 190.5, topping both Metropolitan and Mount Baker Gymnastics by more than 20 points. Metropolitan (a much larger team from Kent), took silver with a team score of 169.300, and Mount Baker took home the team bronze with a team score of 156.500.
Cretarolo, Hall, Scheer, Frago and Koch each qualified for Men’s Region 2 Championships 2018, which was held the weekend of April 6-8 in Eugene, Oregon. There, the Bainbridge men competed against the best gymnasts from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The rain in Eugene did nothing to dampen the spirits and intensity of the Bainbridge team.
At Regionals, against the best that the five states offered, Cretarolo continued his outstanding season, competing in the Junior Development Division 1, age 12-14, group and winning gold in the All-Around, with a score of 65.650.
Cretarolo took home gold on vault (11.350), high bar (11.200), tied for silver on rings (11.150) and bronze on parallel bars (11.200).
Scheer completed his successful season with a silver on floor (11.500), bronze on pommel (10.200), fourth on vault, sixth on parallel bars and a seventh place (62.550) in the all-around.
Hall, always steady and consistent, finished fourth on pommel horse, fifth on high bar and ninth overall (61.000).
Frago was the only BIGC competitor in the Men’s Junior Development, Division 1 age 15-19 group.
For his first year of competition and first regionals meet, Frago finished his season strongly and consistently, averaging more than 10 points in every event, and placing eighth on pommel horse and the all-around with a score of 61.800.
Leo Koch, also in his first Level 5 regional competition, Division 1, 7-8 year old group and finished seventh on high bar and in the all-around with a score of 56.500, besting 24 other competitors from around the region.
The Regionals competition concluded the BIGC 2017-18 competition season on a very high note. Under the leadership of the fine coaching and strength of the returning team, the Bainbridge club expects another strong team next season.