Eagle gymnasts earn high marks at state

February 22, 2011

By Sebastian Moraga

Coach Ryan Fleisher (back to camera) and Olivia Goree, Issaquah senior, embrace as Goree finishes her high school gymnastics career with a floor routine Feb. 19 during the 4A state gymnastics tournament at the Tacoma Dome. By Sebastian Moraga

Issaquah High School gymnasts A.J. Bowers and Olivia Goree both came away with high places Feb. 19 at the 4A state gymnastics tournament in the Tacoma Dome.

Bowers, in her first year of varsity gymnastics, finished fourth in vault. Goree, a senior, capped her varsity career by finishing fifth on the balance beam and tying for eighth in floor exercise.

While Bowers beamed from the Tacoma Dome podium, Goree wept at the end of her floor performance in the arms of head coach Ryan Fleisher.

Fleisher, the 2011 4A Washington State Gymnastics Coach of the Year, had high praise for both.

“I thought she did really well,” Fleisher said of Bowers. “To make it to state in your first year on the team, in the toughest league and not let the intimidation factor get to you, she did great.”

Bowers earned a 9.4 on vault. Her performance, Fleisher said, “looked awesome.”

Goree had been a crucial part of the school’s gymnastics program for the last four years, said Fleisher.

As a gymnast, Fleisher ended her high school career the same way Goree did, so she said she understood her tears.

“I finished my program in the same room,” she said. “It was a good cry.”

Goree’s score on beam suffered after she fell.

“It was a little disappointing,” Goree said. “It’s one of my strongest events. It was really hard, since it’s the last time I compete in beam, but I’m still really happy with how I finished.”

Goree earned an 8.825 on beam and a 9.5 on floor. After her performance on beam, she called being at state “an amazing experience.”

“I’m just trying to take everything in and kind of say, ‘This is my last time to show it all off,’ and try to embrace every moment.”

Odds are, her gymnastic career ended with the state tournament, she said.

“I’m not going to move on to do gymnastics in college,” she said. “But I’ll certainly practice for fun in the summer, just because.”

In the 3A competition, Liberty had four qualifiers for the Feb. 18 first session. However, none made it to the Feb. 19 finals.

Hannah Bergam finished 53rd on the balance beam, 27th on floor exercise and 74th in the vault. Miranda Jones finished 82nd on the beam and tied for 70th on the floor exercise.

Tia Riley and Shauna Sarrett finished 63rd and 73rd on the uneven parallel bars and 58th and 68th on the beam respectively. Riley finished 54th on the floor exercise and tied for 40th in the vault.

Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or smoraga@snovalleystar.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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