Gymnastics vaults through the KingCo ranks

Jacqueline Rayfield, Editor-in-chief

After developing the team and gaining some fresh talent, girls gymnastics is enjoying a successful season with a 3-3 record—their best in years.
“After winning our first meet, the energy was just really crazy,” senior and co-captain Lauren Coate said. “Michelle Pan came up and hugged me and we were all screaming because it’s just been so long.”
Coate attributes some of the team’s success to stand-out freshmen Kendal Boston, a dancer, and Ting Pan who has participated in gymnastics since age eight.
“I love gymnastics because I quit a long time ago, but this gave me an opportunity to come back,” Pan said.
Boston has also enjoyed her time in gymnastics, placing third at KingCo in vault and moving on to districts.
While these freshmen came to the team with experience, returning members have also contributed to the team’s improvement. Coate moved on from KingCo in vault and beam, junior Sophie Wartena moved on in vault, Pan in floor, and junior Briana Fisher in vault and bar.
“Briana Fisher got her round off back tuck and her round off back handstand this year and that’s been really fun to watch,” Coate said.
Earlier this season, the team faced off against the reigning KingCo champions, Sammamish, and won the meet, fostering high hopes for the post-season. At KingCo, the girls compete both individually and as a team, with the top two teams and top individuals moving on to districts.
“We’ve lost KingCo the past few years, and I think we could get fourth this year out of seven,” Coate said. “We just want to place higher there and then some of us want to go to districts or State.”
Many of Liberty’s gymnasts in the past started freshman year as beginners, but came to love the sport through their four years participating.
“I remember coming in as a freshman and looking up to all the seniors. And now I’m in that place as a captain,” Coate said. “I’m going to miss gymnastics after the season is over.”