The Rams edged Puyallup, 171.725-171.05 on Saturday at the Class 4A, Districts 3 and 8 Championships at Des Moines High School to place second and claim one of two state berths up for grabs.

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DES MOINES — It was close, but Mount Rainier gymnastics coach Alison Kestle isn’t complaining.

The Rams edged Puyallup, 171.725-171.05 on Saturday at the Class 4A, Districts 3 and 8 Championships at Des Moines High School to place second and claim one of two state berths up for grabs.

Olympia (173.85), led by junior Makayla Waggoner and her second-place finish in all-around, took first.

Following Mount Rainier and Puyallup were Kentlake (169.7), two Spokane schools, Central Valley (169.65) and Mead (169.0), Emerald Ridge (167.425) and Tahoma (153.85).

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“It was a little too close for my liking,” Kestle said, smiling. “Our girls worked hard, and they deserved it, but it was tight.”

Two Mount Rainier gymnasts placed in the top 10 in the all-around competition. Naleia Gomes finished third with a score of 37.225 and Hailey Sagmoen came in ninth with 35.575 points,. Regan Hunt finished 14th with 34.8 points.

A solid showing on floor was critical for the Rams, whose top five gymnasts posted a collective 47.05 in the event, the only team score to rise above 46 in any rotation during the meet. Gomes, a sophomore and former level 9 club gymnast, won the event with a 9.725.

“I hit my tumbling and had fun,” she said.

Gomes also placed second on beam with a season-high total (9.55) and was fourth on vault (9.35). Sagmoen placed third on floor (9.55).

“We had depth,” said Kestle, whose squad finished fourth at last year’s state 4A meet. Like other 4A coaches, Kestle has conceded this year’s 4A team title, to be decided in Tacoma next Friday, to perennial power Woodinville.

“We know we can go up at least five points,” she said. “I think we can break 180, but I don’t think we can get a 186 (the total Woodinville posted last week while winning the KingCo 4A league meet). Realistically, I think we can get second.”

Tenley Mjelde of Tahoma placed fourth in all-around (36.7) and finished third on both vault (9.4) and bars (8.9).

The junior competes despite bad ankles (she had both wrapped Saturday) and a back disease, Schmorl’s nodes, that she says mimics the effects of arthritis.

“I can’t wake up in the morning and put my socks and shoes on,” Mjelde, a junior and former level 9 club gymnast, said. “It’s when the discs get inflamed between your vertebrae and they push on your vertebrae. So I’m not an early riser. On a bad day my mom has to help me with my socks and shoes. But I know it’s worth it to do gymnastics because I love it.”

Cassie Padilla of Kentlake took fifth in all-around (36.525), placing fourth on vault (9.35) and fifth on beam (9.25). Jacobsen, a senior and past level 9 club gymnast, posted the top scores on bars (9.5) and beam (9.7).

“Last week in practice I worked on improving all my events,” said Jacobsen. “I knew I was ready for the meet today.”

Notes

• At Ballard, Holy Names (169.825), Ballard (164.675) and Bainbridge (161.75) earned berths in this week’s 3A/2A state meet by taking the top three spots in a 10-team field at the District 2 Championships

Elena Fowler of Holy Names won the all-around title with a score of 37.0, followed by Ballard’s Clara Yardley (35.725), Siqi Talley of Bainbridge (35.4), Jessica Chin of Holy Names (34.075) and Remi Rosencrans of Bainbridge (34.05).

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