Strengths, depth shine for Wildcat gymnasts; Team is tough to beat in season’s third week | Slideshow

Pauline Kaczmarek came all the way from France to study at Mount Si High School this year. She’s found a new family in the ranks of the Mount Si gymnastics team, where the senior has been making a name for herself on a squad that’s already packing serious talent.

Kaczmarek was among team members who broke into the nines last Thursday, Dec. 13, in a home meet with Sammamish that also featured competition by Bellevue and Newport. Increasingly deep, Mount Si had the highest team score despite some absences, which included Jenn Rogers, the up-and-coming sophomore who was singing in a school concert a few doors down.

No matter, as the Wildcats had the talent to dominate. While Sammamish’s Mykaela Davis had the top all-around score, 34.9—the athletic Davis was cheered on by everyone, including the Wildcats—Mount Si athletes filled out much of the top ranks in all four events.

Wildcat Hailey Johnson was second overall with 32.9, and had a 9.45 in vault. Things are rapidly coming together for this team, says the sophomore.

“Everyone has hit everything,” she said Thursday. “It’s been one of the best meets we’ve had this year.”

Newcomers to varsity are proving themselves among the best, says Johnson. She praised Kaczmarek, and believes in her skills.

“Pauline is awesome,” Johnson said. “She has become one of my best friends.”

Kaczmarek got a 9.4 on vault. Experienced at gymnastics for a decade, she had a break from training this past year to make the U.S. trip. But she’s got her eye on state, and also on long-term education prospects stateside. She’s very pleased with how the team has taken her in.

Everyone on this team brings experience, says senior Hannah Richmond. She’s hitting her stride, working on bigger skills with the end of the season in mind. Richmond had to sit it out with a knee injury for half of last year, so she’s making up for lost time, getting a 9.05 on floor.

Against Sammamish, “We all needed to bring our A game,” Richmond said. “We definitely did.”

"I think we pulled it out nicely," said freshman Maggie Kenow, who was proud of her work on bars: "I stuck it.:

A gymnast for 13 years, she'll build her floor and beam routine going forward.

Junior Carissa Castagno had her high point of the meet on the floor, scoring a 9.15.

“I was really pumped and excited,” she said. “It was a good day.”


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