`Cats expand on experience

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The Mount Si gymnastics program was in an infantile state last year,

developing gymnasts and understanding the league with its

powerhouse schools. But this year, with that one year under their belts, the

gymnastics team is hoping to add a few more meet wins to their total and send a few

of their top gymnasts to state.

Leading the team in her second year is coach Renee Tredo. Her

excitement is obvious as she helps gymnasts on the mat. "I had lots of

kids asking since day one, asking when does it start, what do I have to

do," said Tredo. The numbers have doubled for this year, up from ten last year

to 20 this year. The numbers include eight freshman, and two

seniors, Lyndsay Ray and Cortney Schuller. Both are team captains as well,

showing leadership skills that will help the team score a few more wins.

Another bright spot for the team will be the ability to have a team

score. "This year we will get our first team score because we have enough

people to have a team score," said Tredo.

"We didn't have enough people last year for full team scores," she added.

With the additional gymnasts, there will also be chances for

improving the teams one win, seven loss record of last year. "I think our

record will go up with a couple more wins, we have a potential to get two or

three people into district with maybe two going to state," touted Tredo.

When looking at chances at state, two gymnasts come to mind. Ray,

who is strong in floors and bar, and Lauren Paulus who is strong in floor

and beam.

Helping Tredo will be assistant coach Jennifer Batton. Batton has

experience coaching in clubs and should do a lot to add to the team's abilities.

Another excited aspect of this year's season will be home meets.

Last year, due to late confirmation that there would even be a team, the

Wildcat gymnasts had to travel for all their meets. This year they will host four

at home.

Gymnastics consists of four events, floor, beam, bars and vaults. Each

team starts on one specific event like floor, and has all their athletes compete

in that event. The team then moves to the next event. Three schools are

represented at each meet.

Each event has a judge that scores each participant. After the teams

compete in all four events, the judges add up the top four scorers from each

event and that becomes the team score. There is a team score at every

meet and the top six places for each event are tallied for individual scores.

Leading the pack of competitors will be Newport High School,

who won the state championship last year. "They had only a few graduate so

they will be strong," said Tredo.

"Issaquah should also be strong. Those two

will be battling it out for the top spots," added Tredo.

"Gymnastics is a huge confidence builder, for kids. You go out in

front of people, by yourselves and you get judged with all these people

watching," said Tredo. "The beam is a

huge feat for kids, four feet off the ground and four inches wide. It's a

confidence builder. Kids come out of their shyness," she added.

The Wildcats will have their first meet at home, Nov. 30, starting at

7:30 p.m.

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