BELLEVUE – The Mt. Spokane gymnastics team picked a good night to post its best score of the season.
The Wildcats, paced by junior Gina Twenge, finished fourth Thursday night at the 1A/2A/3A State gymnastics meet as Lake Washington posted the highest team score since separate 4A and 1A/2A/3A state meets were established 24 years ago, racking up 185.725 points at Sammamish High School.
Mt. Spokane posted a season-best 171.9, coming in behind second-place Sammamish (180.95) and Kamiakin (176.425).
“I’m super proud of the girls,” said co-head coach Dana Trantum. “They could not have done better.”
Twenge posted the second-best beam score in the meet, a 9.65, and finished 14th in all-around with a 36.75.
The Wildcats racked up the second-highest team total on floor, 46.375, trailing on Lake Washington’s eye-popping 47.925. Twenge posted the fifth-best score in the event (9.6) and junior teammate Sami Zandt tied for 11th (9.425).
Trantum said the outcome was even more impressive because, due to injuries, she employed a roster she described as “bare bones.”
“We lost three of our varsity girls,” she said. “But everyone did well when we needed them to. Gina, Sami, Lauren Hunter all had great nights.”
Twenge competed as a level 10 club competitor before making the switch to high school gymnastics. “It was a good decision,” she said. “I like the team aspect. It’s fun. There’s a lot less stress, a lot less hours, a lot less body pain in general. So it was good.”
What made her beam routine, which included a back-handspring/back-handspring series, so successful? “My whole team did really good the whole time, so that energy helped me perform well,” she said. “I tried to stay calm and composed, not get too shaky, and that helped. No falls.
“I’ve tried to stay more relaxed this year and let myself do what I know how to do and let things play out how they’re supposed to play out,” Twenge said.
Trantum, in her seventh season at Mt. Spokane, was knocked out by how well her gymnasts performed on floor. “Who didn’t have a good night on floor?” she said when asked to point out standout performers. “That’s our highest team score since I’ve been coaching here,” she said. “They just came together as a team and supported each other. They were loud and super-aggressive.”
Hunter, a sophomore, posted a 9.25, junior Ashlyn Ovincek notched a 9.2 and sophomore Maddie Warner recorded an 8.9. “Even our senior, Angie Turner, had her best score of the year (8.85), so it was good for her to finish strong like that,” said Trantum.
Kathryn Lawrence from North Central competed on vault and beam, and Lauren O’Callaghan of Cheney competed on vault, bars and floor. Danielle Santerno of Shadle Park performed on beam and floor, and Taryn Dacosta competed on floor.
Lake Washington’s winning total is the second-highest state total ever at a state meet, regardless of classification, trailing only a 187.375 posted by 4A Woodinville in 2016.