Mount Rainier qualifies athletes to state gymnastics

By Gerardo Bolong

In a strong throng of excellent athletes, a pair of Ram gymnasts bounded their way to the state gymnastics meet in the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall (Feb. 21-22) after qualifying action at the 4A West Central / Greater Spokane Bi-District state qualifying meet held on Feb. 15th at the Mount Rainier High School gym.

Ava Welch led the way for the Rams with a fifth place 34.95 in the all around which made her a No. 3 state qualifier after members of the state qualifying teams were factored out of the equation. The Ram gymnast was a tie for second place winner on the vault (9.35), a seventh place winner on the balance beam (8.8), 14th on the uneven parallel bars (7.825) and 22nd on the floor exercise (8.975).

"It was super exciting for me to qualify on the all-around," said a happy Welch. "I've never competed on more than two events at state. I had a lot of adrenaline on the vault and had a lot of block (height) off the vault table. On the bars I was able to cast higher. I'll add some things to my different routines."

For Regan Hunt, it was also a special day. She qualified as an individual on the bars with a 7.725 which tied her for ninth after the qualifying formula was applied.

"It was a pretty good routine," she said. "There was such high energy out there. The team was so supportive of each other and I was glad to see them celebrate."

Although she did not earn a state berth, Haley Hendrick soaked in the experience after scoring 7.225 on the beam.

"I was glad to compete here and enjoyed the experience," she stated.
State team qualifiers were Mead (170.025) and Puyallup (169.850).

Jenna Schlosser of Mead captured the gold in all-around competition at 37.575 with top spots on the bars (9.275), beam (9.4) and floor (9.65). Summer Barrett of Puyallup captured the top prize on the vault at 9.45.

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