They had nothing to lose – and ended up gaining everything.
A year after wrapping up its inaugural season with a second-place finish in the team standings, Enumclaw dominated all four events at the state 3A gymnastics meet to capture its first championship over the weekend at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall.
“Going in, we were thinking that our team is solid, and we have nothing to lose,” said sophomore Olivia Bannerot, who finished second in the all-around competition behind Kiya Bjorge of Southridge (Richland). “Last year, to finish second, was mind-blowing.”
So what does that make this year?
“Oh my gosh,” she said. “I can’t even explain it.”
Hornets coach Skip Worth said that his team was “awesome” and that it was by far the best meet of the season.
“Coming in, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” he said. “But the bars were up, and everything in general.”
Worth said Bannerot played a key role for the team, which scored 177.60 points and also netted a third-place all-around performance in Maddison Ward and a 10th-place finish for Molly Mattheis.
“Her performance was pretty much perfect,” he said of Bannerot, who he referred to as “a performer.” “She couldn’t have asked for a more perfect meet.”
Columbia River took second place, and Bainbridge, third, in the team standings.
On Saturday, Bannerot earned a pair of medals by finishing second on the beam and fourth on the vault in the individual-events finals. Ward placed eighth on the bars and Mattheis tied for sixth on the floor routine with teammate Emily Berte and Ellie Jajewki of Holy Names.
“It’s kind of nice, being the finals,” Bannerot said. “You have nothing to lose, and you get to show off what you’ve been working on all year.”
Worth admitted that competing on back-to-back days made things challenging.
“When you go 110 percent the day before, you’re like eh,” he said. “(The girls) were sort of dragging.”
Bannerot said that adding to the stress of returning to the Dome for a second day was that she did not expect to be called for the floor routine as soon as she was. Her performance placed 10th.
“I didn’t know where I was supposed to be,” she said with a rueful laugh. “My mind was on the beam.”
Ward, a freshman, said that she was a little tired and had hoped to do better in the individual-event finals. But she added that she loved competing in her first state meet after more than a decade as a club gymnast.
“It’s so much less stressful than club,” she said. “I love it, and I think I’m going to do it again next year.”
And the Hornets winning the state title was just icing on the cake.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I’m so happy about our team winning.”