Thursday, May 23, 2024

Four Cascade School District gymnasts excel in State Championship

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PASCO—Four Leavenworth gymnasts competed at the state level in the Washington State Excel Gymnastics Championships in Pasco on Apr. 6 and 7, and some of them walked away State Champions.

The four gymnasts were Willa McIntyre, a sixth-grade gymnast from Icicle River Middle School, and three first-graders from Peshastin Dryden Elementary, Kinzly Waunch, Grace Burlingame, and Isla Fritz, competing on the SPORT Gymnastics team out of Wenatchee.

McIntyre walked away from the weekend a State Champion, placing first in her age and division for the All-Around category, with two first-place finishes in individual events and two second-place finishes in individual events. McIntyre’s All-Around score placed her sixth in the top 10 of all 1,700 competitors from the weekend, which included all divisions and levels for the category. McIntyre said she was proudest of her first-place ranking and being able to contribute to the team score. Her Silver Team placed first in the state.

“The most challenging part of the competition was to stay focused and only focus on my routine,” said McIntyre. “We have a break from competitions for a while now and will work on increasing my skills and have consistent sticks [landings]!"

McIntyre went into the championship with two years of experience at SPORT Gymnastics under her belt. She earned 1st place for the All-Around category, or all-events, for her age and division at every competition this season and earned 1st and 2nd place titles in individual events. Her performances ranked her in the “Top 100 nationally: All-Around” category for her age and division.

The three first-graders competed on the Bronze Team, which placed sixth in the state for the Bronze division, which is the largest division in the competition. 

Burlingame, nicknamed  “Beam Queen” for her skill and showmanship on the balance beam, earned the Bronze All-Around State Champion title for her age and division, and placed first in two individual events. This was Burlingame’s first year competing, yet she placed top three in every meet leading up to State. Her coaches awarded her a Gold Star award this season for her outstanding sportsmanship.

Waunch had a third-place win for All-Around. She started recreational gymnastics at 18 months old, but this was also her first year of competing. Leading up to State, Waunch placed first and third in individual events and All-Around in every meet this season. Her top events are the bars and the floors. Waunch finished her first competitive season with a passion for the sport and is excited to build on her skills for next year.

Fritz, also in her first year of competing, secured a first-place finish for her floor routine and placed twelfth for All-Around at State. Fritz showed hard work and determination to perfect her routines and excel in each competition throughout the season, paying off with a first-place finish in an All-Around and consistently high rankings in individual events. Fritz is also looking forward to improving her skills and is grateful for the support she has received from her coaches, teammates, and family.

The gymnasts compete through SPORT Gymnastics in Wenatchee, practicing for three to four hours, three to four days a week, year-round. They plan to work hard on their skills in the “off-season” to excel again at next year’s state championship.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media




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