Moments after practicing her floor routine, Jenn Rogers did it again, for a special audience—the much younger athletes at Mount Si Gymnastics Academy.
"They wanted to watch, so the kids can see my energy," said the junior, who has worked here for the past two years, coaching 6- and 7-year-olds.
"It's awesome to be able to pass my passion on to the little kids," Rogers says. They in turn watch her at high school meets.
Rogers was giving her routine the final go-over before heading to the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall last weekend for state gymnastics finals.
Mount Si's strongest competitor, Rogers is far beyond where she was as a sophomore last season. Mount Si's squad, indeed, is far beyond where they were in 2013, with all returners improving their scores.
Mount Si finished third as team by score, behind winner Kamiakin and Enumclaw. On vault, junior state returner Hailey Johnson finished 10th with a 9.1 Rogers was 25th.
On floor, Rogers tied for third with Sammamish's Nykaela Dodson, with a 9.6. senior Carissa Castagno tied for 21st and Maggie Kenow tied for 25th. Rogers tied for sixth on beam with a 9.25. Senior Mackenzie Brown was 23rd. Rogers tied for 10th on bars.
On Day 1, Rogers finished ninth in all-around scores with 36.125. Hailey Johnson and Castagno were 32nd and 33rd, respectively. Kenow and Brown were at 45 and 46, and Holmes was ranked 54.
On Day 2, individual events, Rogers finished fourth on bars with a 9.3, tied for eighth on floor with a 9.4, tied for 15th on beam. Johnson finished 16th on vault with an 8.7.
Freshman Samantha Holmes was part of Mount Si's six state competitors. Freshmen Maddie McGavern and Riley Baltazar went as alternates.
Rogers is peaking.
"I worked really hard to get the skills I have now," said Rogers. "My vault is completely different." Besides a consistent workout and practice regimen, she upgraded the routine and went to a higher start value, helping her to place at state.
"Some girls go out there to win," she says. "I go out there to have fun, because it's something I've done all my life."
She enjoys the dual team/individual nature of this sport.
"We're all super close," Rogers says. "It's really awesome to see my fellow gymnasts do well themselves and have personal bests."
"I'm going to make the most of it," said Brown, before making her last trip to state. "We have a good team, so I'm excited top see what we can do."
Castagno's best event is floor, "because I'm powerful… on flips and stuff."
Competing at state was exciting, but leavened with the sense that a season is over.
"This year, I got to know Jenn at lot, and all of the girls," said Castagno. "I'm going to miss how we all got close."
Brown and Castagno graduate this spring. Next year, Rogers and Johnson return as seniors, with Kenow, and Holmes and the other freshmen, bring their state experience.