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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Season looks bright for GSL gymnasts

Mead gymnast Zella Conley, seen here during a practice last year, is considered one of the top prep gymnasts in the northwest. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Mead gymnast Zella Conley, seen here during a practice last year, is considered one of the top prep gymnasts in the northwest. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Early indications are this could be one of the best years for gymnastics in the Greater Spokane League.

Mead and University return their lineups intact and will contend with Mt. Spokane, the league champ the last two years, for league honors.

University and Mead hope to do well beyond league, though.

“We’re hoping that everybody will be a little better than last year and we’ll be a stronger team,” said Mead coach Laurie Chadwick, who coached the Panthers to a State 4A title in 2011.

U-Hi coach Tracy Duncan also has big goals.

“We have a really, really good team this year,” Duncan said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had nine kids on varsity. We have a lot of work to do, but I think these girls can do it.”

The top all-around athlete returns in junior Zella Conley. An injury at regionals kept her from having a shot at state titles in all-around and the individual events.

“She’s made some changes in some of her routines,” Chadwick said. “It seems to be going well in practice and we’ll see how it plays out in competition. She’s added at least one skill that is a higher level of difficulty. So she’s having to change her routines to make it fit correctly and show off her strengths in those events.”

Also back for Mead is senior Taylor Britz, an all-league pick in the bars.

“We don’t have as much depth, so we definitely have to stay healthy,” Chadwick said.

Back for U-Hi is senior Demri Oglesbee, an all-league selection in floor, and senior Shaunay Garcia.

Mt. Spokane returns all-league honorees Reigan Kampmann (all-around), Brooke Fraser (vault) and Rylee Anderson (beam), all seniors, along with sophomore Carly Hattenburg.

Ferris brings back all-league junior Jessica Harpel (vault).

Central Valley has junior Anna Lamoreaux, an all-league pick (beam), and junior Chloe Robbins back.

Duncan can’t wait to see how her girls stack up in meets.

“There’s a huge upside to this team,” Duncan said. “They’re really close. That makes it so much easier in practice.”

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