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‘I feel like I can only go up from here’: Mount Si gymnasts breaking boundaries on floor, beam | Slideshow

“She’s dancing out there!”

Jenn Rogers watched Hailey Johnson’s bouncy, upbeat routine. Like Rogers, Johnson’s sophomore year has been marked with great strides.

It all came together, out on the floor, where confident moves and calm, smiling faces showed Mount Si gymnasts are hitting their stride this season.

Rogers, Johnson, Carissa Castagno and Pauline Kaczmarek had career highs in their floor routines last Thursday, Jan. 17, at home with Bellevue, with the Wildcats winning team-wise, 171.05 to the Wolverines’ 146.

“I am really happy,” said Rogers, in between a slew of five hugs from teammates and girls from the other team, after hitting 9.75 on floor. “That’s the best routine I’ve done in my two years of gymnastics at Mount Si.”

She has the confidence to go out there and have fun, just like other Mount Si leaders. After a strong start, Rogers sees herself progressing even more this season.

“I can only go up from here. There’s a couple of things to work on. I’m going to get back in the gym and work on them.”

“I know I can hit it in practice,” Rogers says. “I know I’ve done it before in competition. If I go out there and do what I need to do, I know I’m going to be all right.”

“This is the best team we’ve ever had,” says Johnson, who, like other Mount Si gymnasts, is eager for state.

“All my tumbling is coming together,” said Johnson. She’s Mount Si’s best vaulter, scoring 9.4 on Thursday.

When she’s flying through the air, “I’ve just got to tell myself to stick it,” Johnson says. “It’s working for me.”

Castagno, a junior, scored a 9.65 on her floor routine, her best yet. The dance-like, acrobatic floor is her favorite.

Shouting out to her family and friends, Castagno’s goal is “to make it to the second day of state, do good and go hard.”

Kaczmarek had Mount Si’s top all-around score, and swung her bar set with two bar changes, flipping from bar to bar to the loud cheers from the team when she nailed a transition called a “shoot-over.”

“It was a big thing for me to do it,” Kaczmarek said. It was the first time she had put all these moves together before.

“I really love bars,” the senior French exchange student said. “I love to perform these events, even if it’s really hard and asks for a lot of physical endurance.”

Coach Jessica Easthope was impressed that Mount Si brought out 14 gymnasts who wanted to compete on beam that night. Rogers had the best beam score with a nine.

“All the girls’ hard work is paying, getting us to the top right now,” Kaczmarek said.

• Mount Si hosts Senior Night at home this Thursday, Jan. 24, with Mercer Island. Varsity competition begins at 7 p.m. Follow Mount Si gymnastics at http://mshsgymnastics.weebly.com/index.html.

 

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