With as many as 20 gymnasts filling the Klahhane Gymnastics Center most seasons, this year’s combined Sequim-Port Angeles prep squad has just 10 — five Wolves and five PA Roughriders — and several of them new to the team.
Second-year head coach Rachel Sharp said that the lingering effects of COVID may have taken its toll on turnout. Despite the lower turnout, Sharp said she’s seeing good things from the team early on.
“[It’s] just challenging … it’s a fairly new team that’s showing lots of excitement and potential,” Sharp said in early January.
This year’s squad has two seniors — Sharp’s daughter Susannah and Kori Miller, both of Sequim — along with seven juniors and a freshman.
While some are new to high school gymnastics, they do have some youth gymnastics experience.
“It’s helpful to have the background, to learn new routines,” Sharp said.
The team has a handful of regular meets against league foes Bainbridge, Kingston and North Kitsap, as well as meets such as the WOWI invitational (Jan. 7), but with such low numbers Sharp said it’ll be difficult for Sequim and Port Angeles to advance as teams through sub-districts and districts on to state, as each team, needs five athletes competing in all four event disciplines. (While the schools compete as a team during the regular season, they represent their own schools in the postseason.)
“[We’re] going to have a pretty hard time getting into the postseason,” Sharp said.
“We’re shooting for individual [berths].”
Sharp, who saw her oldest daughter Emma graduate two years ago and middle daughter Gracie graduate last year, sees youngest Susannah seek another state meet berth after qualifying in the vault last season; she finished 24th with a top vault of 8.5.
Junior Amara Brown of Sequim returns this year after as a sophomore competed in two events at the 2A/3A West Central District meet this past season, earning her top individual mark in the floor exercise (5.9).
The team lost to graduation its top gymnast from 2021-22 in Alex Schmadeke of Sequim, who placed 10th in all-around scoring at the state meet.
The Sequim-Port Angeles squad’s remaining meets include a Jan. 21 meet against North Kitsap and Kingston, and a Jan. 25 league meet at Bainbridge, followed by a Feb. 9 sub-district meet.
Rachel Sharp, who has been with the high school program for eight years, has help from assistants Rose Reandeau and Julie Haguewood.
Sequim-PA gymnasts host league meet
A deep Bainbridge squad took top team honors at the combined Sequim-Port Angeles gymnastics squad’s first home meet of the season at the Klahhane Gymnastics Center on Jan. 11.
Sequim’s Kori Miller and Lucy Spelker took fourth place in all-around scoring while SHS’s Susannah Sharpe was fifth and Port Angeles’ Waverly Mead was 10th.
Miller took first place on the vault with an 8.6, followed by Sharp in second with an 8.55. Brown was 10th (7.9).
In the floor exercise, Miller was second (8.95 points), with Spelker fourth (8.8), Sharp fifth (8.2), Brown eighth (6.9) and Port Angeles’ Faith Carr in 10th.
On the balance beam, Brown was the top local finisher with 8.6, good for third place. Spelker was sixth (8.2), Port Angeles’ Maddie Adams was ninth, and Sharp was 10th (7.5). On the bars, Sharp took third (6.4 points) while Miller was fourth (6.3) and Spelker was sixth (5.9).
Bainbridge scored 155.7 team points to out-pace Sequim-Port Angeles, with 146.1.
Medals at WOWI Invitational
The Sequim and Port Angeles gymnasts combined to take home 10 medals from the WOWI Invitational, held at Ballard High School on Jan. 7. The meet featured 100 high school gymnasts from 14 teams from schools across Washington state.
Sharp placed 10th on the vault with a 8.2 points. Port Angeles’ Chloe Notari placed second in the state category bars with a 4.3, while Maddie Adams placed eighth with a 3.9.
In the sectional category, Miller came in first in the bars with a 6.5 and Sharp was third with a 6.3. Brown was fourth in the beam with a 6.3 and Faith Carr was seventh with a 5.9.
In the sectional floor event, Carr and Adams tied for seventh, each with 5.1.
In the national category, Spelker was 10th in the beam with a 7.15.
Winters Sports Preview: SHS/PA gymnastics
Head coach: Rachel Sharp (2nd season)
2021-2022 record: 1-1; Sequim fourth place at sub-district tourney; two Sequim athletes to state
Returners: Susannah Sharp, Kori Miller, Amara Brown, Maddie Abrams, Faith Carr
Newcomers: Lucy Spelker, Chloe Notari, Waverly Mead, Summer Hirst-Lowe, Madisyn Ripley