The Falcons posted a season-best 174.175 points and dominated the KingCo 4A Championships.
It’s good to be peaking when the postseason arrives.
The Woodinville gymnastics team, featuring a lineup that runs deep with talent, posted a season-best 174.175 points Saturday and dominated the KingCo 4A Championships at Roosevelt High School.
Gunning for their first state title since winning four straight 4A crowns 2007-10, the Falcons looked sharp with sophomore Emily Paratore (36.325) and senior Madison Engel (35.575) finishing second and third in the all-around behind Candace Ho of Newport (36.525).
“We’re really shooting for first at state,” said Woodinville coach Kim Smothermon, whose squad finished second to Mead of Spokane last year. “I think we’ve got a good chance as long as we keep fighting and work together as a team.”
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The Falcons, 2011 state champion Newport (166.85) and Bothell (163.4) had the top three team scores and qualified for Saturday’s district meet at Sammamish.
Paratore posted the meet’s top score, 9.8, for a glittering floor routine that included a high-flying one-and-a-half (a backflip with a twist and a half).
“I was really confident going in because I had a good warm-up,” the 5-foot-1 Paratore said. “I just went out and did it.”
Smothermon praised Paratore’s entire routine, particularly her front pike. “She’s struggled with that this year, and today it was outstanding, she said. “She’s worked so hard. I couldn’t have asked for a better meet from her.”
Engel, Woodinville’s only senior, placed first on bars (Paratore was second), and three other Falcons contributed top-five scores: Samantha Jensen and Maddy Thoma (tied for fifth on bars) and Katherine Smith (second on beam).
“We’ve always been known for our depth,” Smothermon said. “It has always been there in the fifth- and sixth-place spots. It’s difficult for us as coaches to figure out who we’re going to give that sixth spot to because we’re so strong all the way down.”
Ho, third in 4A all-around at state last year, placed in the top three in all four events Saturday. She survived a poorly positioned springboard at the start of her bars routine that cost her most of her momentum.
“She still made it to the low bar on her mount,” Newport coach Melissa Baker said. “We were all impressed. That girl’s got something special.”
Ho also managed to cling to the beam after wobbling badly following consecutive backflips. “Whew,” Ho said, wiping a finger across her forehead. “It wasn’t the best, but I definitely feel like I gave it my all today. I fought for every landing,”
In the KingCo 3A/2A meet Saturday night, Sammamish sophomore Nykaela Dodson, a former level-10 gymnast, won all four individual events and ran away with the all-around title (38.075).
Mount Si (167.05) and Sammamish (160.575) advance to next Saturday’s district meet. Ayane Rossano of Bellevue placed second in beam, floor and all-around (35.075). Jenn Rogers of Mount Si took third in all-around. Two of her teammate took second in two events, Hailey Johnson on vault and Hannah Richmond on bars.