A showdown for the state team championship looms for Woodinville and Emerald Ridge after each had strong performances in their district meets.
The Class 4A state gymnastics team championship may come down to the final tumbling pass on Friday in Tacoma.
In winning their district meets Saturday, Woodinville posted a season high of 177.3 points in the District 2/4 Championships at Sammamish High School while Emerald Ridge of Puyallup nearly equaled its season-best with 176.375 in District 3/8 competition at Mount Rainier.
Woodinville, which relies on a roster that runs six-deep in scoring talent, will aim for its first 4A state title since winning four straight from 2007 to 2010. The Falcons will duel at state with the one-two punch of Emerald Ridge seniors CaroLyne Schmidt and Elizabeth Clemens.
Schmidt won the District 3/8 all-around title with 37.425 points while Clemens took third (36.65).
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Woodinville senior Madison Engel and sophomore teammate Emily Paratore tied for fourth in the District 2/4 all-around (36.65) while five other Falcons — Tessa King (second on beam), Katherine Smith, Sam Jensen, Sabrina Nelson and Candace Nelson — contributed top-10 scores.
What will it take on Friday for Woodinville to win a fifth 4A state team title in seven seasons?
“Have a meet like today,” coach Kim Smothermon said. “The girls just hit every event. We hit six for six (in) beam routines. We haven’t done that this season. No falls at all. That was huge for us (on Woodinville’s first rotation of the meet) and the girls just carried it on through.”
Woodinville and Emerald Ridge will be joined at the 4A state meet by Newport, which posted a season-high 170.4 at Sammamish, and Jefferson, which edged 2012 4A champion Mead 169.7 to 169.2. Jefferson senior Monica Church tied for fifth in the all-around (35.5) to help put the Raiders back in the team state finals after a one-year absence.
Newport junior Candace Ho was sensational in winning the 4A all-around at Sammamish by a full point (37.975) while taking first in three events: floor (9.65), a sensational bars routine (9.55) and beam (9.325).
“Candace just nailed it,” Newport coach Melissa Baker said. “She was in tears after her bars today. She had mascara all running down her face. Those are the fun moments, when someone is just so happy.
“She does a clear-hips-to-handstand move, which is a C skill, the highest level, and it’s difficult. You have to really hit or you could fall. She hit — bam! Everyone started jumping when she did.”
Ho, who placed third in all-around at state last year, is happy she’ll have her whole team with her in Tacoma.
“No one really wants to go alone (as an individual qualifier),” she said. “It’s so good to know our season isn’t ending yet; we still have another meet.”
• In the 3A/2A Districts 1/2 meet at Sammamish, Mount Si (169.175), Sammamish (155.95) and Holy Names (152.825) took the top three team spots and advanced to state. Sophomore Nykaela Dodson of Sammamish won the all-around with 36.25 points, followed by Sarah Rice of Bainbridge (35.225) and Bellevue’s Ayane Rossano (35.2).
• At Mount Rainier, defending 3A champ Enumclaw ran away with the district title with 179.425 points and advanced to state along with Decatur (168.65) and Highline (158.3). Highline’s Kristen Rodal took the all-around title (38.2) and teammate Mia Alvarez (36.0) was third. Enumclaw’s Olivia Bannerot (37.525) placed second.