TACOMA – Mt. Spokane senior Jade Anderson arrived here Thursday with an unexpected illness. She left Saturday with a medal and a state title.
At the state gymnastics individual event championships at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall, Anderson topped a tight, competitive field to become the State 3A/2A floor exercise champion, winning with a score of 9.625 points.
Anderson, still harboring some symptoms from her ailment, was feeling better after receiving her first-place medal and standing on the top step of the award podium.
“I’m on cloud nine,” she said. “I’m still sick, but after winning, I just can’t feel anything. This was a great way to end my senior year.”
Anderson was the top finisher among Spokane-area gymnasts who qualified to compete Saturday. Her junior teammate, Reigan Kampmann, placed fifth on vault (9.5) and tied for ninth on floor (9.425).
Mt. Spokane’s Brooke Fraser took seventh on blance beam (9.225) and Carly Hattenburg was 12th (8.9). Anderson finished 11th on vault (9.2) and 12th on uneven bars (8.9).
In 4A competition, Zella Conley of Mead placed fourth on vault (9.625) and seventh on bars (8.7). Bethany Gehrett of Central Valley was sixth on beam (9.325).
Anderson was pleasantly surprised by the outcome on floor.
“I actually thought I didn’t do as good as I normally do,” she said. “But I felt I accomplished something because I was debating whether I should throw the harder tumbling pass or the easier one, and I went with the harder one, and obviously it worked out.”
Anderson had to choose between a single- or double-twisting layout. She took the tougher route.
“I felt it was one of the better ones that I’ve done,” she said.
Her coach, Dana Hunt, coaxed Anderson to try the harder skill.
“She was really nervous about throwing that pass, but we talked about it, and she made the right choice,” Hunt said. “I had to let her know that I believe in her, and she should believe in herself, and she did. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
One thought nudged Anderson to make the decision that she did.
“I knew if I didn’t throw the pass, I would regret it.” Anderson said. “In your senior year, you can’t leave with any regrets.”
Anderson competed in the first of four groups on floor and had to watch more than a dozen other gymnasts take aim at her score.
“It was really nerve-wracking to watch each score go up,” she said. “It’s more nerve-wracking than going last.”
Anderson won’t have much time to rest. On Sunday she will train with her competitive cheer team.
Conley, a sophomore who finished fifth in 100-meter hurdles in last year’s State 4A track and field meet, was pleased with her vault.
“I’ve been working on the height and distance for a long time, and I finally got it right this time,” the former Level 9 club gymnast said. “It made me feel really good.”
Woodinville, the 4A team champion, had three individual champions: Marisa Savage, bars, 9.8; Kylie Mosset, beam, 9.7; and Alli McManus, floor, 9.775. Makayla Waggoner of Olympia won vault (9.85).
In 3A/2A, Kayla Porter of Auburn Mountainview won bars (9.375) and beam (9.525). Elena Fowler of Holy Names and Kamiakin’s Saige Polanki tied for the vault title (9.575).
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