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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

February 20, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Woodinville, Shira win 4A gymnastics championships

This report is from Blylthe Lawrence, who covered the Class 4A gymnastics today:

They didn’t break the state record, but the Woodinville gymnastics team did claim its third consecutive state class 4A title Friday at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. The Falcons posted 182.975 points to best second-place Kentlake (173.025) and Puyallup (169.5). Mead of Spokane rounded out the four-team final with a 163.775.

Going into the meet, Woodinville had hopes of besting 185.4 points, a record set by Sehome of Bellingham in 1993. Those dissolved after the first two rotations, when Woodinville was forced to count six falls in 12 routines on balance beam and uneven bars, an event that has been the team’s nemesis.

But the Falcons came roaring back on floor, where everybody recorded a whopping 9.6 or better. They sealed the championship on vault, where nobody scored less than 9.225.

So why did Woodinville win by such a large margin, despite a few mistakes? The devil’s in the difficulty. The Falcons are successful partly because their routines contain harder skills, and more of them, than almost everybody else’s. Generally that means a gymnast can make a mistake and still score better than competitors who hit easier routines with lower start scores (the maximum score a gymnast can receive if she does everything perfectly). That gives the team wiggle room when things go wrong.

Kentlake, of Covington, edged out SPSL rival Puyallup for second place with a solid performance on its last event, the floor exercise, where Kentlake senior Kayla Shira scored a meet-high 9.825 to seal the all-around title (38.050). Shira, undefeated all season in overall competition, placed ahead of Woodinville’s Hailey Wells (37.85) and Mary McIntosh (37.275). Kentwood’s Jamie Larsen (37.025) and Auburn Riverside’s Rebecca Turnbow (37.0) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Next up: individual event finals, happening tomorrow (Saturday) at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall beginning at 12:20 p.m. Shira, Wells and McIntosh have qualified for every event final. Also exciting should be Emerald Ridge’s Brianna Howe, who won multiple events last year and will perform on vault and bars.

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