Sports

Gymnastics: Giammalva competes at her first state tourney

No gymnastics program? No problem.

Sequim High School junior Emily Giammalva used a little cooperation between two school districts and plenty of all-around talent to vault to the state prep gymnastics finals last weekend.

Giammalva scored 7.100 points in the bars to tie for 37th and 8.075 points in the vault to tie for 62nd place at the state 1A/2A/3A finals in Tacoma from Feb. 17-18.

“I did OK; it was more fun than anything,” the Sequim athlete said.

Since Sequim High doesn’t have a gymnastics program, Giammalva, Sequim’s Brooke Parsinen and other athletes like them are allowed to compete during the regular season with teams at neighboring school districts.

The Sequim pair competed under Port Angeles’ eligibility rules and athletic code requirements and had to provide her own transportation to practices and meets.

Both Sequim athletes qualified for districts.

Though Giammalva competed with the Roughriders during the season, she competed as a Sequim High athlete at state.

Though she generally scores highest on vault, the Sequim athlete says she likes the floor routine best.

“I love to tumble,” she said. “It’s thrilling to learn new skills.”

With one season remaining, Giammalva said she hopes to vault her way back to state. That is, if she can stay healthy. She gave a quick list of her injuries in 2011-2012: shin splints in both legs, a pulled hip muscle and a chronically-pained back.

Twelve years of gymnastics does that to a body, Giammalva finds.

The Sequim junior said that despite the injuries she enjoyed the season — even if most of it was spent with athletes from a rival school.

“It was fun because I got to meet a lot of new people,” she said.

Not that she’d turn down a chance to have a gymnastics team closer to home — like in an SHS gym.

“I think it’d be fun to start a gymnastics team for Sequim,” Giammalva said.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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