By Taunya Koch.
On Sunday, May 3rd, 2015, Pierce College in Lakewood, WA, was filled with young hopeful level five gymnasts. Teams from all over the state were putting forth their best qualifiers in an effort to win a state championship.
Each girl must compete on all four events; vault, bars, beam, and floor. There are ten levels in gymnastics, and a level five gymnast must be able to do skills such as a round off back handspring back tuck on floor, clear hips on bars, and back walkover on beam.
A group of local girls, who train at Cascade Elite Gymnastics in Mountlake Terrace, took home the state title with a team score of 114.325.
Team members include Lindsey Koch and Ella Henry of Mill Creek, Ava Troupe and Kate Kasteler of Snohomish, Madeleine Henningsen of North Bothell, Erika Kim of Woodinville, and Tia Lara, May Si, Iswinderjit Natt, and Vianca Quinones of greater Snohomish County. The girls are coached by Sarina Wright and Tasya Talbot.
Individually, Erika Kim earned first place all around in the Junior C age group, with first place in vault, bars and floor. Lindsey Koch was the vault champion in the Junior A age group and second place all around. Tia Lara was beam champion in the Junior A age group. And, Ish Natt was the beam champion in the Junior B age group.
All of the girls on the team, whose ages range from nine to twelve, go to school full time then train sixteen hours a week in the gym.
They worked very hard all year, and the result was a spectacular season topped off by winning the state championship.