Gymnasts come together for one final league meet
January 31, 2013
Eastlake and Skyline faced off against Garfield and Newport in their second to last league meet Jan 24. With the flu helping to diminish both teams’ numbers, Skyline finished the evening in second place with 130.77 points and Eastlake took fourth with 54.55.
The Eastlake Wolves were the hardest hit by flu season and only brought six of their 18 girls to the competition.
“We, kind of, on the bus were like, ‘oh man, this is going to be interesting.’ So, we had the goal to just come in and do the best we could,” said Eastlake coach Meghan Delaney. The top five individual scores in each event are added to make up the total team score. But Eastlake didn’t have five girls in any event, which meant the Wolves had several zeros working against them. “But we’re OK with that. The fact that these girls came out and represented Eastlake, to me, I think it’s incredible. That even with sickness, even with finals that they said ‘you know what, I am going to come support my team and do what I do.’”
The most competitors Eastlake had in an event was four in floor, where Marie Bentler scored a 5.15; Mariah Hebenthal got a 4.9 and Vanessa Hernandez earned a 4.4. The Wolves only senior that night, Lisa Sheehan, scored the highest with a 6.05. Aside from dabbling in gymnastics when she was five, Sheehan is new to the sport.
“I just wanted to pick it up my senior year and have fun,” she said. “I love it. It’s my favorite sport actually. I wish I had started it earlier…You can always get better. You can always progress.”
Sheehan’s floor song “Requiem for a Dream” is a nod to her favorite movie “The Lord of the Rings.” When it finished playing Jan. 24, Sheehan said she knew she had done well, but didn’t know she had made a two-point improvement over her previous performance.
“It was amazing. I teared up, and I usually don’t cry so. It just meant a lot to me that I put in all the hard work and it paid off,” she said. “The last time that I did my floor routine I didn’t have the score that I wanted to, so I added a front flip and I also cleaned up my routine.”
On beam Sheehan earned a 5.95. Her teammates Natalie Ross scored 4.4 and Hernandez got a 4.2. Bentler was Eastlake’s highest scoring in the vault, with a 6.2. Sheehan was close behind with a 5.9. On bars, Bentler earned a 3.9 while Anna Lovin got a 3.5.
Even with a few of its top performers missing Jan. 24, the Skyline Spartans had 10 girls in each event.
“They did great. I thought they did fantastic tonight,” said Skyline coach Michelle McCombs. “We were trying to reach 145, but because we were down a couple of our key players, we knew that it wasn’t going to happen. But we still got close to 130, which is good.”
After it was all said and done, Skyline had 12 top 10 scores. In vault Rikki Uhrich took third place with a score of 8.1; Kelly Lin finished in sixth at 7.7; right behind her was Alyssa Holt with 7.5 and Kamryn Brandt, with a score of 7.4, tied with Newport for ninth place. On bars, Lin took seventh place after earning a 6.15 and finished in sixth again, this time in beam, with a score of 7.7. Also in beam, Ayse Raymond, with a 7.35, took ninth place. In the floor competition, Holt placed seventh with a score of 7.95, and Lin, who had just added a front semi the day before, earned a 7.05 to take ninth.
“I was pretty happy with her,” said McCombs, explaining the difficulty of a front semi. “I thought we did very well on floor, and we did very well on beam. We had a lot more girls this meet not fall…we had four girls not fall at all on the beam, and we are usually around one or two.”
With all those top 10 finishes, Lin earned third in the All Around competition, in which a gymnast has to compete in all four events. Daniela Batiz placed fifth and Raymond took sixth.
“I think all of us did a pretty good job today, especially on beam. There’s obviously places to improve, but I’m proud of us as a whole,” said Lin. Her highlight of the night, she added, was completing her beam routine without falling. “That was only the second time I have done that this season. Seeing my teammates go up there and stick their routines really inspired me to go up there and fight for every move and try to stick it too.”
Both teams have one more league meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 31when Eastlake heads to Woodinville and Skyline hosts Issaquah and Newport at home. Everyone will come together the next day for the KingCo Championships at Roosevelt High School.