With the Sumner gymnastics team taking their first meet win since 2013 last Wednesday, the girls are looking forward to an exciting season.
The team is mostly new this year, with only two returning gymnasts; senior Emi Bacha and junior Emma Potts.
New to the team this year is senior Kasey Larson, juniors Kaili Rodriguez, Ashley Tillett and Amy Wedvik, and sophomores Madison Blanco, Shaneese Clark, Morgan Devine, Jenna Eagle, Taylor Ford, Lindsay Hatch, Baily Kasinger, Abbie Parton and Mandi Redmond.
Junior Stella Brown is also on the team, but does not compete. This year’s manager is junior Trinity Kovalick, who is also not competing.
Although many gymnasts are new to the team, coach Kathryn Shimer expects Bacha, Potts, Larson, Blanco and Devine to be this year’s top bunch. All five are all-around gymnasts, meaning they compete in vault, bars, beam and floor events.
Potts has competed at the 3A state level in every event for the last two years. Bacha also qualified for state last year, taking away 8th in vault.
Overall, Shimer says the team excels at floor and vault, regularly beating teams in this category in league meets. The team is working on consistancy, especially on the beam, she continued.
“I also want us to practice safe so we aren’t worrying about injuries towards the end of the season,” she said.
The 155 – 129 win over Bonney Lake last Wednesday was the highest team total since coach Kathryn Shimer filled the position in two years ago, giving her and the team optimism for the rest of the year.
“My goal is that we improve on our team score every meet by being coachable in practice and performing having clean routines,” Shimer said.
The Spartans are hosting the next meet with Olympia and Rogers today, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Auburn Gymnastics Center.
The Spartans are returning six state wrestlers to the mat this year to hopefully top their league and finish in the top five in state.
Returning to the boys team are seniors Nate James and Lucas Leonard, junior Kalel Salcedo and sophomores CJ Richmond, Austin Cleland and Marcus Peterson.
Returning to the girls team is junior Nicole Clark.
New to the girls team are seniors Courtney Cassell and Penine Tuilaepa, junior Alicia Sjoden and sophomore Ku’ulei Lentz.
New to the boys team are seniors Trace Fischlin, Noah Wilson, and Brandon Francis, juniors Ben Ehli, Lance Ruiz, Cavan Weber, Gabe Gross, Jonah Bruce, Jonah Brumbaugh, Spencer Monroe and Nolan Pysher, sophomores Griffin Klockeman, Jon Williams, Blacke Vanderberg, Bryan Billings, Will Whidby, Nate Carnicle, Zack Chavez and Alex Berringer, and freshmen Griffin Zetterberg, Dylan McLean, Michael Piette, Aiden Hopper, Juan Rodriguez, Augustine Devon, Caleb Fielding, Sebastian Snitly, James Sellers, Tripp Fisclin, Jaime Carrillo, Don Rodriguez and Harrison Brown.
Richmond and Peterson all placed sixth at state in 2016. Salcedo placed sixth in 2015, and James placed sixth in 2014.
Clark, Cleland and Leonard were state qualifiers last year as well.
The Spartans started their season strong by taking a strong win against Olympia, 54-18.
The next match against Rogers and Graham Kapowsin is today, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. Dec. at Rogers High School.
The Spartan swim team has a handful of strong returning swimmers and divers this year.
Top returners to the team include Seniors Levi Anderson, Chase Davis, James Lee, Caden Retzlaff and Steve Yoon, and juniors Erick Johns and Rafael Rodriguez.
Also on the team this year is senior Owen Silver, juniors Jeremiah Friend, Braydon Hutchinson, Parker Moran and Jerren Ray, sophomores Tyler Blaesi, Benjamin Maylor, Tyler Ouimet, Zack Stockdale-Pederson and Ethan Talley, and freshmen Alex Joy, Blake Lewis, Dalton McLeod, Dylan McLeod, Carson Moran, Riley Ruziska, Corbin Terrell, Ryan Wike and Nicholas Yochum.
Coach Maari Bennett said the nine incoming freshmen are showing a lot of talent, and Rodriguez is expected to place in the top five in state this year.
The season started off with a 62-124 loss against South Kitsap.
The next meet is tomorrow, Dec. 15 against Puyallup.
The team is also hosting a flapjack fundraiser this Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Bonney Lake Applebee’s from 8 to 10 a.m.