Gymnastics takes first in league, again, steps up at districts

Mount Si gymnasts and coaches at Districts, Saturday, Feb. 9, at Sammamish High School. - Photo by Christy Trotto
Mount Si gymnasts and coaches at Districts, Saturday, Feb. 9, at Sammamish High School.
— image credit: Photo by Christy Trotto

In the gym practicing before districts, the Mount Si gymnasts were doing their best to up their game.

Hannah Richmond was pushing a bars routine, while McKenzie Brown was working on a new floor routine—a tumbling pass with a long name, the round off back whip back tuck.

"It's kind of like a backhand spring with no hands," said Brown, a sophomore. She'd tried it earlier in the season, so "I should get there pretty quickly."

Richmond was adding "giants," more complex moves, and a different mount.

"If I hit it, I'll have our team score go up by two points—a lot."

Struggling to get the giants, Richmond is starting to get them now.

"Putting them in takes a lot of endurance," she said. "But I think I can do it. I've got to mentally tell myself that I can."

Postseason is the time to do their best. There just isn't much time left.

"But if we want to make a run for the first place, we've got to improve on a few things," said gymnastics head coach Jessica Easthope. "The girls are really trying."

On Saturday, Mount Si performed well, coming in first at the SeaKing District meet at Sammamish High School.

Mount Si once again dominated league in team scores, finishing first in KingCo for the fifth year in a row during the league championships held Saturday, Feb. 2, at Roosevelt High School in Seattle.

Mount Si was tops in point totals, dominating on vault, bars and beam. Sammamish, no 2, had a higher floor total.

In all-around scores, Mount Si's Jenn Rogers took third, followed by sophomore Hailey Johnson at fifth, Hannah Richmond at sixth and Pauline Kaczmarek at 13th.

On vault, Johnson was second to Sammamish's Nykaela Dodson; Dodson had a 9.6, and Johnson had an 8.95. Kaczmarek was fourth with 8.65.

On bars, Richmond was second, Rogers was seventh, Abby Weber was eighth and Johnson was ninth.

On beam, Rogers was third, Elizabeth Holmes was fourth, Richmond was fifth, Johnson was eighth. Carissa Castagno was tied for 17th.

Rogers was sixth on floor, followed by Castagno at seventh.

Now, Mount Si begins to see tougher competition at districts and state.

Besides Richmond and Brown, other athletes are stepping up. Castagno and Rogers are coming with stronger and bigger vaults, and Kaczmarek is working to reach her peak on bars and vault.

"It's easy to be confident," says Brown. The Wildcats are good, and they're also a family.

"We try to have the most fun we can at meets," Brown said. "It calms all of us."

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Above, Jenn Rogers was proud and confident after nailing a 9.5 on the floor. For her, it was about consistency: Hitting her routine without any flaws.

Below, junior Carissa Castagno leaps on her beam routine.



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