The Enumclaw High School girls gymnastics team in its first season has made its presence felt on the state gymnastics scene after garnering several dual meet wins thanks to strong leadership and the precise performances of freshman all-around gymnast Olivia Bannerot. Enumclaw is primed and ready for the post season journey ahead starting this Saturday in the 2A/3A/4A Sub-District meet at Mount Rainier High School.
Building a program and getting it off the ground is a time-consuming task but one that gymnast Sarah Lurry took head on last spring. "It took a lot to get the program started," Lurry said. "I had to go BOC meetings at the high school and push for starting the program. I'm glad it actually worked."
Coach Ben Skipworth had the challenging task of building a team from scratch and getting everything from an administrative perspective up and going in a quick and timely fashion.
"Starting the program was hectic at first," he said. "We didn't know what was going on."
The program started to fall into place when Skipworth had 28 girls come out for the first day of practice. "A lot of the girls took gymnastics classes when they were little and decided to come out again this year," he said.
Enumclaw has seen some impressive results in its initial season, and team captains Lurry, Kelsey Messer , and Bannerot are pleased with the team's performance so far and proud of being part of building a legacy for Hornets gymnastics.
"I think it's really cool to be part of the first gymnastics team at Enumclaw," Messer said. "It's fun to compete for your school. ... we have shocked a lot of people."
Lurry said, "It's been really fun -- we made history for our school."
Bannerot said, "It's been fun in my first year of high school gymnastics -- the people you are with on the team and getting to meet other people too."
Skipworth lauded the progress of his first year squad. "The girls have really come together," he said. "They always try to help each other out. Everyone works really hard."
The first-year Enumclaw squad has been led this season by Bannerot, who has won multiple all-around titles this season. The unassuming freshman has left a strong impression on her coach as well as her father, Enumclaw diving coach Steve Bannerot.
"Olivia has done awesome -- she doesn't miss on any events." Skipworth said. "She is also adding a pike-tsuk on vault and a backflip on her beam routine coming up for postseason."
"The team is really supportive of Olivia," Steve Bannerot said. " We (her mother and I) are so proud of her. She balances everything from school to club soccer and gymnastics really well."
With sub-districts on Saturday, the team is ready for the challenges that await. "All the meets so far have been preparation for post season," Olivia Bannerot said. "We are going to show up do very well."
Messer also expects the team to step up on the postseason stage."We had a tough injury to Michelle (McKinlay) this week so other girls are going to have step up and do other events," she said. "This weekend will be the test for us to get through it before districts."
Skipworth expects his team to come ready Saturday. "I think we will do really well," he said. "We have a set a score goal of the 170s for Saturday and we will have some new girls on bars so that should help us as well."
The Hornets will compete in the 2A/3A/4A sub-district meet on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Mount Rainier High School. Start time is 8 a.m.