WOODINVILLE — Aiming for a fifth 4A state title in seven seasons, the Woodinville gymnastics squad launched its postseason quest in impressive fashion with a season-best outing Saturday night in its home gym at the KingCo 4A championships.
The Falcons, who won four straight state crowns from 2007 to 2010 and finished second last year, posted a 181.675 to dominate.
“Our goal tonight was to get a 180,” said coach Kim Smothermon, “so we’re very happy.”
Woodinville, Bothell (174.375) and Newport (173.55) advance to a district meet next Saturday at Mount Si, where they will duel for just two berths to the state meet.
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Sophomore Marisa Savage claimed the all-around crown with a score of 37.95, followed by Newport senior Candace Ho (37.675) and Jenna Hayes of Eastlake (36.4). Breanne Buren of Garfield (36.10 took fourth and Woodinville’s Emily Paratore (35.8) placed fifth.
What are the chances Woodinville can win another state championship in what will be Smothermon’s final season as the Falcons coach?
“I feel really confident because each week we’re climbing,” Smothermon, coping with a nearly inaudible voice, said through assistant Nicole Boyd. “Our scores haven’t dropped at all. We’ve gotten a higher score every week.”
Meanwhile, a threepeat could be looming in Enumclaw’s future.
Senior Olivia Bannerot placed first in all four events to lead the Enumclaw gymnastics team to a runaway win in the South Puget Sound League 3A/2A championships Saturday morning at Mount Rainier High School.
Enumclaw (171.075) and Decatur (158.95) advance to a district meet in the same gym next Saturday. Enumclaw, in its fourth season of offering gymnastics as a varsity sport, has won the last two 3A/2A state titles after finishing second in its first year.
Bannerot, a senior, has been an anchor performer for Enumclaw since the school introduced gymnastics in 2010-11. Saturday she cruised to the all-around crown with a score of 37.85, topping sophomore teammate Victoria Hernandez (36.125) and Decatur senior Anna Paradee (35.375). Another Hornet, Emily Berte, placed fourth (35.275).
Bannerot was particularly strong on vault (9.625) and solid everywhere else, posting 9.4 on bars, 9.15 on beam and 9.675 on floor. Berte, despite injuring an ankle during the dismount of her second event (bars), bounced back and tied Bannerot for first on beam and finished the meet with a second-place performance on floor. She earlier took second on vault.
Bannerot’s most clutch performance might have come during bars when teammate Maddison Ward fell during her dismount and banger her head, forcing her to leave the meet.
“That was hard emotionally on our team,” Bannerot said. “I tried to get everyone to come together and keep going – do it for Madi.”
In the SPSL 4A meet Saturday night at Mount Rainier, defending 4A state champion Emerald Ridge placed first with a team score of 171.15, followed by Puyallup (169.325) and Kentlake (166.2).
Kentlake’s Ashley Pernell won the all-around with a score of 37.025, followed by Kate Jacobsen of Puyallup (36.625).
Pernell took first on floor (9.55), Jacobsen was first on bars (9.55), Welch took the top spot on vault (9.4) and Avalyne Peters of Kentlake was first on beam (9.15).