HS Gymnastics: Rodal qualifies for state all around

DES MOINES - Highline area and Federal Way gymnasts displayed high level skills at the West Central District III Class 2A/3A state qualifying gymnastics meet held at Mount Rainier High School on Saturday, Feb. 11.

In the allocation formula, the top two teams plus the top 12 additional non-state team members on each event qualified for the state meet at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall beginning Feb. 17.

The top four performers not on state teams in the all around competition also earned state berths.

Enumclaw dominated the meet with a team score of 175.75 while Auburn Mountainview secured the second team spot at 158.425. Seamount League champion Highline High School placed fifth in the 13-team field and sent a superb gymnast to the Dome.

"We did very well," said Pirate head coach Dawn Tessandore. "This was one of our top three scores and we just missed with a few girls. The team really pulled it together."

Pulling it together very well was Highline's Kristen Rodal, who finished a close second in the full field all arounds with a point total of 37.05, just behind Enumclaw's Olivia Bannerot (37.2).

Rodal sprung strongly to a 9.6 first place on the vault. She also swung to a 9.05 second place on the uneven parallel bars and tumbled to a 9.65 runner up on the floor exercise. Rodal rounded out her action with an 8.75 fifth place on the balance beam.

"This was one of my best floors," she said. "I normally struggle a little on the bars, but with my layout half dismount, I was sticking my bar routine."

John F. Kennedy will be represented at state by Charlotte Dittmar with a seventh place tie of 9.3 on floor. Dittmar was the No. 2 individual event qualifier in this event. Dittmar also qualified for state on the beam and bars.

"I performed my regular routine on the floor well," she said.

Lancer head coach Kim Katzenberger clarified the routine more while beaming with pride about her new assistant coach.

"Charlotte's routine was very clean," Katzenberger said. "My new assistant (former JFK gymnastic standout Julianne Greco from the Class of 2004) has been invaluable to me. She's usually two steps ahead in planning and setting up."

Leading the Decatur Lady Gators was all arounder Anna Paradee, whose overall fourth place of 34.8 in the 3A easily posted her as the No. 2 individual qualifier. Her good execution of a pike tsukahara in place of a tuck tsuk sailed her to a 9.55 second place on vault. A pike gives more opening point value than a tuck.

"I did a pike last year," she said. "I just had to get comfortable with it, again."

Shawntel Bali qualified for state as an individual on each event and junior Victoria Braun earned state competition places on the vault, balance beam and floor. Her 9.5 on the floor placed the Gator in third against the entire field.

"I did better than last week with a stronger floor," Braun said.

Bannerot of Enumclaw won the bars (9.35) and the floor (9.675). Kourtney Belarde of Timberline took the beam at 9.075.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.