Gymnasts take Kingco title

Mount Si’s Lexi Swanson performs her routine on the floor during Kingco championship competition last Saturday. The Wildcats made history when they took first in competition. - Mark Lowry / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Mount Si’s Lexi Swanson performs her routine on the floor during Kingco championship competition last Saturday. The Wildcats made history when they took first in competition.
— image credit: Mark Lowry / Snoqualmie Valley Record

This year’s Mount Si gymnastics season has been memorable in so many ways. Great performances, along with school records and team victories, have made this season special. Now the run has become truly historic.

Despite a very rough start, Mount Si came up big on beam and floor and took home the 2009 Kingco 3A gymnastics championship, their first in the 10-year history of the Wildcat gymnastics program. Mount Si scored 161.95, beating Sammamish and Mercer Island among others to take the crown.

Wildcat coach Jessica Easthope was elated.

“We started off rough on the first two events, but we pulled it around on beam and floor, and we had a couple of nine’s that carried us,” Easthope said. “I’m extremely proud of them. They did really well today.”

Things did not start out well. On the vault, Mount Si star junior Georgia Reynolds failed to hit her dismount on both attempts ending with a score of 8.1. What became the most remarkable part of Mount Si’s victory was how the junior overcame that adversity and scored high on bars, beam and floor.

Reynolds, when her team needed it, scored a 9.2 on the bars and won the event. Her routine there was very crisp, and her score helped Mount Si immensely. It rendered moot two low scores by Rachel Karavias and Brittany Cragin in bars, which both came as a result of missed dismounts.

“It took a lot of hard work,” Reynolds said. “I practiced it a lot during the week.”

A solid beam effort by Reynolds resulted in a score of 9.2, and she tied for the top spot with Karavias, who also scored a 9.2. Both routines were excellent, and Reynolds had a solid tumbling sequence which helped her score.

Mount Si swept the top three spots in floor routines. Kennedy Richmond (9.375) took the top spot, followed by Reynolds (9.3) and Karavias (9.05). Huge tumbling sequences in all three girls’ routines helped their efforts tremendously, and the team as a whole had a solid effort in this event.

For Reynolds, her stunning comeback after her tough vault event was made more remarkable by the fact that she tweaked her ankle.

“She landed short” on vault, Easthope said. “Actually, her ankle has been bothering her all throughout this meet. For her to come back strong with nines on all three events, floor which is such hard impact, she was phenomenal.”

Reynolds said the key to success in spite of her injury was staying focused.

“Just focus on your skills, and you’ll be able to forget about it,” she said.

In addition to Reynolds, Karavias, Cragin and Richmond, McKinna Little, Lexi Swanson and Shanna Howland made up this year’s championship team. Howland, who fared well in both bars and beam, was happy about her team winning the title.

“I [haven’t] really been in gymnastics very long, so winning league is really exciting,” she said.

Mount Si now advances to the district meet, Saturday, Jan. 14, at Sammamish High School. Competition is in the afternoon, starting at 4 p.m. and going most of the evening.

“We’ll be ready,” Easthope said.

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