Gymnastics: Kamiakin, Lawrence win state titles

February 21, 2014 

TACOMA — The Kamiakin gymnastics team came to the Tacoma Dome with a statement to make.

Then the Braves got down to the business of racking up the highest team score ever with a total of 181.7 points to win the Class 1A/2A/3A state championship Friday.

Kamiakin’s gymnasts — Danielle Brandon, Christy Craigo, Kelsey Jaquish, Alexis Lawrence, Saige Polanik and Ellie Winstead — were simply dominant, recording the top score in every event but one during compulsories.

“This is what we worked for. We had a couple of mess ups, but all in all, we gave it 100 percent,” Braves coach Sarah Garrett said.

Kamiakin edged out Enumclaw (178.425), last year’s state champ, by more than three full points. The Braves lost the team title by 1.450 points last season.

Enumclaw set the Class 1A/2A/3A mark for team points last year with 181.050.

Kamiakin junior Alexis Lawrence earned her first All-Around championship, scoring a season high of 38.3 to edge Southridge junior Kiya Bjorge by .25 points. Bjorge won the 2012 All-Around championship before taking a year off to recover from a foot injury.

Turns out, the two are close friends. The fact that they were competing against each other for the state’s top high school honor didn’t rub either of them the wrong way.

“I think it was fun. We were talking to each other during the meet,” Bjorge said. “I thought I did all I could do. She had a great meet. She just scored a little higher than me.”

Lawrence also qualified for today’s individual finals in all four events, which would give her a chance to earn a few more medals.

“I’m really proud we could come out today and be recognized for what we can do,” Lawrence said. “I’m going to go out there and do my best (today) and be confident.”

Garrett said Lawrence has put up some impressive scores this season, but she truly put together her best meet at the right time.

“She’s always had (the ability), but there was always someting a little off,” Garrett said. At the District 5/8 regional meet last Saturday in Spokane, Lawrence lost the All-Around title to Bjorge by five-tenths of a point.

But Friday, it was Lawrence’s day.

She wasn’t the only one, though. Braves senior Danielle Brandon finished fifth in the All-Around (36.775) and qualified for three individual finals — the vault, beam and floor exercise. Brandon has competed in at least one individual final in each of her four years at Kamiakin. Polanuk will compete in all but the beam.

Braves senior Kelsey Jaquish will also cap her high school career in fine fashion. She finished seventh in the All-Around (36.65) and qualified for all four individual finals.

Bjorge will get a chance to come home with a state championship, too, qualifying for all four individual finals.

Hanford’s Kayla Lasater and Kamiakin’s Alaine Pier will also compete in today’s bars finals.

Southridge coach Heather Bjorge, Kiya’s mother, said the performance was a strong indicator of the talent level of eastern Washington gymnasts.

“It’s so nice to see Tri-City teams come out. The girls did awesome today,” she said.

Class 3A

Team scores—1. Kamiakin, 181.700; 2. Enumclaw, 178.425; 3. Mount Si, 168.600; 4. Decatur, 164.000; 5. Columbia RIver, 159.500; 6. Lake Washington, 157.550; 7. Holy Names, 157.375; 8. North Kitsap, 154.825.

Individual results (top 5 and locals)

All-around—1. Alexis Lawrence, Kamiakin, 38.3 2. Kiya Bjorge, Southridge, 38.050; 3. Oliva Bannerot, Enumclaw, 37.950; 4. Nykaela Dodson, Sammamish, 37.175; 5. Danielle Brandon, Kamiakin, 36.775; 7. Kelsey Jaquish, Kamiakin, 36.400; 15. Ellie Winstead, Kamiakin, 35.300; 16. Alaina Pier, Southridge, 35.250; 20. Saige Polanik, Kamiakin, 34.850; 21. Kayla Lasater, Hanford, 34.675; 40. Christy Craigo, Kamiakin, 32.975. Vault—1. Lawrence, Kamiakin, 9.675; 2. Bannerot, Enumclaw, 9.55; 3. Bjorge, Southridge, 9.525; 4. Elena Fowler, Holy Names, 9.375; 5. Victoria Hernandez, Enumclaw, 9.35; 7. Brandon, Kamiakin, 9.25; 9. Jaquish, Kamiakin, 9.175; 15. Polanik, Kamiakin, 8.875; 27. Winstead, Kamiakin, 8.5; 43. Craigo, Kamiakin, 8.25; t62. Lasater, Hanford, 8.05; t67. Pier, Southridge, 8.0. Bars—1. Lawrence, Kamiakin, 9.5; 2. Bjorge, Southridge, 9.45; 3. Dodson, Sammamish, 9.35; 4. Bannerot, Enumclaw, 9.325; 5. Pier, Southridge, 9.225; 7. Polanik, Kamiakin, 8.975; 8. Jaquish, Kamiakin, 8.925; 9. Lasater, Hanford, 8.9; 12. Winstead, Kamiakin, 8.65; 19. Brandon, Kamiakin, 8.45; 23. Craigo, Kamiakin, 8.3. Beam—1. Brandon, Kamiakin, 9.575; 2. Bjorge, Southridge, 9.525; 3. Emily Berte, Enumclaw, 9.45; 4. Lawrence, Kamiakin, 9.4; and Bannerot, Enumclaw, 9.4; t15. Jaquish, Kamiakin, 8.9; t17. Winstead, Kamiakin, 8.85; 30. Pier, Southridge, 8.6; 33. Lasater, Hanford, 8.525; t57. Craigo, Kamiakin, 7.625; t60. Polanik, Kamiakin, 7.55. Floor—1. Lawrence, Kamiakin, 9.725; 2. Bannerot, Enumclaw, 9.675; 3. Dodson, Sammamish, 9.6; and Jen Rogers, Mount Si, 9.6; 5. Bjorge, Southridge, 9.55; 6. Brandon, Kamiakin, 9.5; t8. Polanik, Kamiakin, 9.45; t11. Pier, Southridge, 9.425; t15. Jaquish, Kamiakin, 9.4; t19. Winstead, Kamiakin, 9.3; 31. Lasater, Hanford, 9.2.

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