Finney leads OGC charge

Greg Mutchler was pretty happy when 9-year-old Taylor Finney won the Level 5 North Sectionals.

He was even happier when five of his seven level-5 gymnasts advanced with Finney to the state meet yesterday and today in Bellevue.

“We’ve got a good little bunch,” Mutchler, Olympic Gymnastics Center owner and coach, said of his crew, which ranges in age from 8 to 11. “I did tell the kids they have to have a pretty good meet if they wanted to make it to state.”

Finney took first place in the all-around competition with a score of 36.375, winning her age group. She was first in the floor, second on beams and third on both the vault and bars. Teammate Ladiah Daves, third overall for 9-year-olds, tied Finney for first on the floor and took first on the bars, rounding out the day with a fourth-place finish on the beams and seventh on the vault.

10-year-old Ivy Mow was third overall for her age, while MaryJane Thompson and Hannah Everman (both 8) took fourth and sixth respectively. Mow took first in the vault.

For 11-year-olds, Morgan Anderson finished fifth and Lucy Dougall was 18th. The top five finishers at each age group advance to state.

Mutchler said he also encouraged his girls by saying if there was a team title, OGC Level 5 would have won it.

“They were the best team out there,” Mutchler said. “That was sort of a fun game we played. We said, ‘Hey, we won that competition.’”

The kids did a good job of saving their best performances for the postseason, he added.

“The hard work showed that it paid off,” Mutchler said. “And that’s a good thing for everybody. They’ve been a good bunch all year long.”

15-year-old Tori Smeija qualified for the Level 8 regional meet in Boise, taking third in the floor and seventh on the beam. McKenna Eleves, 13, was the Level 7 state champ in the floor exercise.

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