It’s another round of state for gymnasts

It’s going to be another busy week for Olympic Gymnastics Center coach Greg Mutchler.

Mutchler’s Level 7 and 8 teams began competing Monday at the Region 2 Championships in Yakima, while the Level 5s just wrapped up sectionals, with state to follow this weekend.

While results were unavailable at press time, the team was waiting to find out if alternate Tori Smieja would be able to join her Level 8 teammates Katie Haggard and Thunder Braun.

“We have to wait until we get there,” Mutchler said. “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed.”

At Level 5, MaryJane Thompson, Hannah Everman and Kayleigh Johnson anchored a third-place team finish overall with all three advancing to state.

“To do well, we knew we had to hit,” Mutchler said of last weekend’s sectional meet. “It’s just nice to get three qualified. At state I know we can do well.”

Thompson won the all-around crown at the 9-year-old age group with a score of 37.125, thanks to a first in the vault (9.40) and second-place finishes on the bars (9.45) and beam (9.375). Her vault score was second highest at the competition regardless of age among 91 gymnasts. She also scored sixth on the floor (8.90).

It didn’t come as easy as it may seem, Mutchler joked.

“She was so pumped,” he said. “She just ran and ran right up the vault horse. She just gives me this look. I’m just looking at her like, ‘OK. If she does that again, we’re done already.’”

Teammate Hannah Everman was right behind Thompson on the vault with a score of 9.35. She won the bar event with a 9.575 however en route to a third-place finish all-around (36.30).

In the 11-year-old age group, Johnson took second on the vault with a 9.30 before getting fifth in the bars (9.20) and sixth on the floor (9.125). She was fourth all-around (35.925).

“It was pretty dramatic,” Mutchler said.

In the 7-8 age range, Samantha Wallace and Nicole Hansen both performed admirably, with Wallace getting fifth on the bars (8.55) and sixth on the vault (8.45). Hansen was ninth all-around with a score of 30.05 while Wallace was eighth with 32.225. Danessa Blandford also competed for the 9-year-olds.

One thing Mutchler said makes the team’s third-place finish more special was the fact it came against some much larger teams. Bellevue’s Gymnastics East won the meet with 114.125 thanks to the efforts of 24 gymnasts, Mutchler said. In contrast, OGC was third with just six athletes.

That should bode well as OGC prepares for Level 5 state this weekend at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.

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