Issaquah, Liberty gymnasts come up short in openers

December 10, 2010

NEW — 11 a.m. Dec. 10, 2010

The Issaquah High School and Liberty gymnastics teams took on some perennial powers Thursday as they opened their KingCo Conference seasons.

Issaquah placed third in a 4A KingCo meet with heavyweights Newport and Woodinville, both who usually rank among the state’s top teams. Newport, which won 3A state titles 2008,2007 and 2006 before moving to the 4A level, finished first in the meet with 168.65 points. The Knights just edged out Woodinville, which has won the last four 4A state titles.The Falcons were second with 165.2 points. Issaquah, the 3A state champion from 2002-04, was third with 161.6 points.

“We did better than we expected. We opened the season with our toughest meet of the season. I was really pleased with the way our team performed,” Issaquah coach Ryan Fleisher said.

Olivia Goree, of Issaquah, took third all-around with a 34.8. She also placed first on the balance beam with a 9.5. Teammate AJ Bowers took first on the vault with a 9.0.

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Gymnast springs to finish second at national trampoline championships

August 10, 2010

Ashleigh Thomas, an incoming Issaquah High School senior, performs at a nationally competitive level on the double-mini trampoline. Contributed

Ashleigh Thomas, an Issaquah High School senior, jumped, flipped, twisted and turned her way into second place on the double-mini trampoline at the USA Gymnastics Trampoline and Tumbling 2010 U.S. Elite Challenge at Virginia Beach in June.

Thomas finished her first meet as a senior-elite on the double-mini trampoline with 130.4 points and an invitation to the U.S. Nationals VISA Cup next month in Hartford, Conn., according to her mother Cathie Richardson. She has also earned points toward selection for the 2010 Senior National team that competes at the world championships.

Thomas began her gymnastics career at age 3, doing the traditional artistic gymnastics with bars, beams and floor routines. She decided to use trampolines to help her improve her floor skills, and ended up loving the trampoline and continued with it.

While trampoline is an Olympic event, double mini trampoline has yet to gain that status.

“It’s really a pretty good little sport,” Richardson said. “It’s really growing in popularity.”

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Issaquah sends three gymnasts to state

February 16, 2010

Risa Fukuda, of Issaquah vaults to a state-qualifying 9.2 during the 4A Sea-King District gymnastics meet at Sammamish High School, under a ‘Girls Gymnastics’ banner hanging from the ceiling. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School gymnastics team has something to cheer about. Three of its standout gymnasts are headed to state after strong performances at the Class 4A Sea-King District 1 and 2 Gymnastics Championships Feb. 13 at Sammamish High School.

Olivia Goree took fourth place in the all-around competition, qualifying for state with a total score of 36.25 points. She scored an 8.65 on bars, 9.125 on vault, 9.225 on beam and 9.25 on the floor routine, according to coach Ryan Fleisher.

Teammate Risa Fukuda qualified for state in the vault and floor events, placing fifth and eighth, respectively.

Eva Perry also heads to state Feb. 19-20 after she tied for 11th in the floor event, according to Fleisher.

Skyline sent a pair of athletes to the district meet, but neither will move on to state. Read more

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Short-handed gymnasts tumble to second behind Mount Si

January 19, 2010

Olivia Goree, Issaquah junior, sticks a solid dismount somersault from the balance beam Jan. 14 during a meet against host Mount Si, Newport and Olympia, earning 9.8 on the apparatus. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School gymnastics team came up just short against Mount Si on Jan. 14, but beat Newport and Olympia in a four-team meet.

It didn’t help that Issaquah’s best gymnast, Risa Fukuda, was out sick and another top performer, Taryn Chin, was competing with a minor injury.

“It was a little bit of a rough meet,” Issaquah coach Ryan Fleisher said.

Still, the Eagles finished only a few points behind the Wildcats, 164.9-161.75.

Issaquah has a younger team this year, with Chin being the only senior on the varsity squad. Last year, the team had four seniors on the squad it sent to the Class 4A state tournament.

Younger and competing in all road meets while the high school undergoes renovations, the Eagles face a difficult road to get back to state.

“This year, we’re not as deep as we’ve been,” Fleisher said. Read more

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Liberty gymnasts fall to Skyline

January 12, 2010

Hannah Bergam, Liberty sophomore, vaults Jan. 7 in a gymnastics meet against Skyline. She took third overall with 30.6 points and won second place on the balance beam. By Greg Farrar

Hannah Bergam, Liberty sophomore, vaults Jan. 7 in a gymnastics meet against Skyline. She took third overall with 30.6 points and won second place on the balance beam. By Greg Farrar

Although the Jan. 7 KingCo Conference gymnastics meet at Liberty High School marked Liberty’s senior night, the Patriots fell to the Skyline Spartans, 149.3 to 146.15.

Redmond also attended the meet, competing against Skyline, but Redmond racked up 162.2 points for the win.

Skyline’s Amy Bearman took first overall in the match against Liberty, scoring 33.8 points. She scored first on the floor, beam and bars, and second on the vault.

“I think we made a lot of progress over winter break learning new skills,” Bearman said. “We had a lot of positive energy tonight.”

Liberty’s Cortney Schirman took second overall with 31.1 points, and Hannah Bergam took third with 30.6 points. Bergam took second on beam, and Schirman took first on the vault and second on the floor.

Schirman said she particularly enjoyed performing her floor routine. Read more

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Patriot gymnasts stumble against Mount Si Wildcats

December 22, 2009

Miranda Jones, Liberty senior gymnast, performs her routine on the uneven bars Dec. 17 during the Patriots’ meet against Mount Si. By Greg Farrar

Miranda Jones, Liberty senior gymnast, performs her routine on the uneven bars Dec. 17 during the Patriots’ meet against Mount Si. By Greg Farrar

Liberty High School gymnasts came home for their first home meet this season to face Mount Si, last year’s 3A KingCo Conference champion. With a young team and new assistant coach, the Patriots were overmatched by the Wildcats, who took the Dec. 17 meet 160.05-145.5.

Despite the loss, which dropped the Patriots record to 1-1, it was a good night for the program, said Shannon Van Selus, the team’s new assistant coach.

The Liberty team has a core of experienced older girls, but is mostly made up of girls with only a few years in competitive gymnastics. None of the new girls compete in club gymnastics during the off-season. But head coach Lori Copenhaver said she sees potential.

“For what they’re coming in with and their motivation to work, I feel really good about the program,” she said.

She and Van Selus have focused on building the girls’ fundamentals, while expanding their repertoire. Read more

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Eagles fail to qualify for finals

February 23, 2009

Miranda Jones, of Liberty, performs her floor exercise routine Feb. 20 in 3A individual competition, collecting an 8.575 in the event. By Greg Farrar

Miranda Jones, of Liberty, performs her floor exercise routine Feb. 20 in 3A individual competition, collecting an 8.575 in the event. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah gymnastics team placed several athletes in the top 20, yet wasn’t able to advance anyone to the finals at the Class 4A championships Feb. 20 at the Tacoma Dome.

Several Eagles just missed moving on to the finals at the event, won by fellow KingCo foe Woodinville.

“I’m happy. I think they all did pretty well,” Issaquah head coach Ryan Fleisher said. “We had a couple of girls right there on the edge and they just missed qualifying. But everybody was in the top 20, so I’m pleased.”

Risa Fukuda and Olivia Goree were the Eagles who came closest to qualifying for the finals. Goree placed 12th on the bars with an 8.65, 1.25 off the last finals qualifying score. Fukuda placed 12th on the beam with a 9.125, less than a point off the last finals qualifying score.

Woodinville won the team competition with a score of 182.975. Kentlake’s Kayla Shira was the all-around champ, scoring a 38.05.

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Middle schools to replace gymnastics with soccer programs

February 16, 2009

Beginning in September, girls soccer will replace gymnastics at all Issaquah School District middle schools. Operational, financial and participation considerations led the district to switch to soccer, said Ron Thiele, district associate superintendent.

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Eagle tumblers take third at KingCo

February 9, 2009

Olivia Goree performs her floor routine during the 4A KingCo Championships, tying for first in the event with 9.45 points. By Ryan Piersol

Olivia Goree performs her floor routine during the 4A KingCo Championships, tying for first in the event with 9.45 points. By Ryan Piersol

A pair of top-10 all-around performances weren’t enough to keep the Issaquah High School gymnastics team from stopping a Woodinville squad intent on dominating the newly revamped KingCo 4A championships.

Issaquah, which competed in 3A last season, picked up top-10 all-around finishes from both Olivia Goree and Risa Fukuda on Feb. 7 at Ballard High School. That push helped the Eagles finish with 172.7 points, good enough for third place. Woodinville was first with 181.6, while Bothell was runner-up with 177.

It was the first time this season for Issaquah to face Woodinville and Bothell in a 4A league that has four new teams.

The top three teams qualified for this weekend’s district meet.

“We went in knowing there would be six teams vying for three spots. And we knew that Woodinville would be the given and Bothell would be right behind them, so there were going to be a lot of teams going after that third spot,” Eagles coach Ryan Fleisher said. “We’re happy. It was a pretty good weekend.”

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Eagle Olivia Goree leads Issaquah to win at gymnastics tri-meet

January 19, 2009

Olivia Goree, of Issaquah, works on her uneven bar routine for a 8.8 score and a win on the apparatus Jan. 15. By Greg Farrar

Olivia Goree, of Issaquah, works on her uneven bar routine for a 8.8 score and a win on the apparatus Jan. 15. By Greg Farrar

Thanks to a jumbled season, gymnastics coaches in the KingCo Crest League may have still been wondering exactly what to expect of Issaquah High School.

On Jan. 15, they received their answer.

Led by a phenomenal night from Olivia Goree, the Eagles toppled league foes Newport and Mount Si at a meet in Newport.
Issaquah won with 171.75 points, followed by Newport’s 167.5 and Mount Si’s 159.5.

The win was proof that the Eagles, who missed three weeks of competition due to weather complications at one point this season, may have a stranglehold on their division.

“Newport is our biggest rivalry, so it’s good to see us go out and perform well,” Issaquah head coach Ryan Fleisher said. “We’ve had a strange season, but the girls are doing great.”

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