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State gymnastics: Ferris’ Jessica Harpel completes strong weekend showing at 4A championships

TACOMA – It was a good weekend for Jessica Harpel at 4A state gymnastics meet.

The senior from Ferris placed third in Friday night’s all-around competition with a score of 37.6 and qualified for three individual event finals. In Saturday’s finals at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall, Harpel tied for ninth on bars (9.05) and took 10th on vault (9.425) and beam (8.5).

“I think my vault went pretty well today,” Harpel said. “But I’m happy with yesterday. Today was a little rough. I think I was just tired.”

Senior Zella Conley of Mead, the defending state 4A individual champion on vault and floor, placed third on this year’s vault (9.6) and earned the eighth-place medal on bars (9.15). Hampered by a sore right ankle that she seriously dislocated in late December, Conley finished 14th on both beam and floor.

“I could have been better, but I’m really proud of myself after the injuries I’ve had this year,” Conley said. “I’m just glad I even placed on everything when I think back to the beginning of the season and how things weren’t going that well.”

Was pain in her ankle a factor on Saturday? “It got pretty bad,” said Conley, who finished sixth in all-around Friday. “I notice it on floor and vault. Getting to the vault is the hardest part, just to finish the skill.”

Ali Tate of Auburn won three of the four individual championships, taking first on vault (9.725), bars (9.625) and floor (9.65). She became the first 4A gymnast to place first in three events since 2008, when Brianne Howe from Emerald Ridge of Puyallup did so. Kylie Mosset of Woodinville won the beam title (9.35).

Pam Styborski of University placed 11th on beam (8.5). Sophia Shawen of Mead was 16th (7.5). Lexi Weller of Mead took 11th on floor (9.425).

Harpel will also turn to track for her spring sport. She holds the Ferris girls record for pole vault (11-feet, 1-inch).