Eagles take season’s final meet from Spartans

February 1, 2011

By Christopher Huber

Amanda ‘A.J.’ Bowers, of Issaquah, performs a backflip on the balance beam while earning a 7.4. By Greg Farrar

When the judges announced Skyline High School’s score at the end of the gymnastics meet Jan. 27, the team celebrated, coach Debbie Gliner said.

The team had worked all season to hit the 140-point mark and it made it.

“When we heard the final team score, I think that was a really exciting moment for us,” Gliner said. “We knew it would be a year of rebuilding and growth, and it’s exciting to see how far they’ve come.”

Skyline hit a team milestone, but ultimately Issaquah beat the Spartans, 166.130-141.8, in the final meet of the regular season. Overall, Newport did best, finishing the meet with a score of 173.8. Redmond took third overall with 158.675.

“To finish out the regular season knowing everybody’s trying new things, it’s fun to see all those new things come together,” Issaquah coach Ryan Fleisher said. “I’m pleased with where everybody finished.”

Issaquah standout Olivia Goree took second in the all around, tallying a combined score of 36.55 points. Newport’s Kristine Wong won the all around with 37.35 points.

Issaquah’s A.J. Bowers came in sixth overall after she scored 33.8 points. Skyline junior Amy Bearman placed eighth in the all around (33.2), ahead of Issaquah’s Rebecca Chinn (32.65) and Anna Fairhart (32.35).

“Issaquah just has a lot of depth,” Gliner said. “Their 1-10 (lineup) is just really strong.”

In the vault event, Bowers outdid Goree, scoring a 9.1 and placing second to Newport’s Candice Ho (9.4 points). Goree scored a 9 to take third in that event. It was her first time this season scoring well on both tries on the vault, she said.

Goree then took third place overall in the floor competition, posting a 9.45, which impressed Fleisher.

“Her floor routine was great,” Fleisher said.

Fairhart placed sixth in that event, scoring a 9.25. Bowers’ 9.2 and Rebecca Chinn’s 9.05 provided some consistency for the Eagles.

“Anna Fairhart shined on floor,” Fleisher said.

Skyline’s Bearman placed in all but the floor routine, but she said her floor performance was her best so far this year. She scored a 7 — tied for ninth place — in the bars routine, behind teammate Alyssa Holt, who scored a 7.3 and earned eighth place. Wong, of Newport, earned first with a 9.3. For Issaquah, Goree took second in the bars, garnering an 8.7 from the judges.

“I think we had a solid meet,” Goree said. “I was impressed with how it went.”

Bearman also upped her game in the beam routine. She scored an 8.8 and tied for fifth among the four schools at the meet.

“Overall, it was a really great meet for me,” Bearman said.

Gliner, impressed with Skyline’s overall performance, said the team showed improvement in every meet throughout the regular season.

“We’ve really grown and improved as a team,” Gliner said. “This is probably one of the first meets where everybody has been healthy. To put a whole team out there … that was helpful.”

While Issaquah beat Skyline head-to-head, both teams are preparing for the post season. They will assemble their best squads to compete in the KingCo meet Feb. 5 at Ballard High School and could move on to districts Feb. 12 at Sammamish High School.

Christopher Huber: 92-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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