The way that University gymnastics coach Tracy Duncan sees it, the Greater Spokane League should be well represented at the state meets, beginning Friday and concluding Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Mead will be in the hunt for the State 4A championship and University hopes to duplicate or improve upon its fourth-place 3A finish in 2008.
Shadle Park senior Alana Norman will be favored to repeat as state champ in the 3A vault.
“The GSL should do very well at state,” Duncan said. “Our goal is to place higher than fourth. We want to do better than we’ve done before.”
Duncan said she has a team that was youthful to begin the season but has grown leaps and bounds throughout.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Duncan said. “We’re putting a little pressure on them. It’s definitely been one of my most challenging coaching years. They were so inexperienced, but they’ve exceeded everything we expected them to do.”
Senior Tarah Chess, junior Katelyn Nemitz and sophomore Amy House have led the Titans.
Mead is led by senior Victoria Moyer and junior Cadie Pratt.
“Mead has an amazing talented group of kids,” Duncan said.
Mead’s highest finish at state has been second.
This regular season, the Panthers posted the highest team score of all of the four state-qualifying teams.
“It was a magical meet,” Mead coach Laurie Chadwick said. “You don’t get those every meet.”
Chadwick wouldn’t be surprised if Mead captured state.
“It’s going to have to be pretty dang good,” Chadwick said of her team’s effort. “They have it in them. They’ve had a couple of great meets this season.”
Team championships are decided on Friday. The top eight individuals in each event in 4A and the top 16 individuals in each event in 3A advance to individual finals on Saturday.