Junior Rikki Ulrich shines despite Spartan gymnasts’ last-place finish

December 18, 2012

Rikki Ulrich, Skyline High School junior, goes heels over head in the dismount during her winning balance beam routine for a score of 8.75, on the way to her winning all-around score Dec. 13 against Eastlake. By Greg Farrar

The Skyline High School gymnastics team may have finished fourth behind Eastlake, Redmond and Roosevelt on Dec. 13, but it had the top-place finisher in four of the five categories.

Rikki Ulrich, a junior at Skyline, cartwheeled down the line to the springboard before flipping up and off the vault to score 8.9 points and earn the win. On the uneven bars, Ulrich started out on the upper bar, so she could complete two bar changes by the end of her routine, which she ended with a giant fly away for 7 points and a two-way tie for sixth.

“I kind of just close my eyes and go,” she said about bar. “I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just second nature.”

Beam brought Ulrich another win with an 8.75. She strung together several jumps and flips in the floor competition before winning with a score of 9.6. In the end, she racked up 34.25 points to win the all-around.

The 16-year-old did all this while working through back pain, which she has been dealing with for three years.

“I think it’s just overuse mainly,” Ulrich said. “It definitely impacts me, but I try to work through it because if it’s already lasted for three years then it is staying there … It makes me work harder. I don’t think it makes me better, but it gives me more drive.”

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Issaquah High School coach sees potential in gymnasts’ loss

December 18, 2012

Due to circumstances beyond their control (holiday band concerts and illnesses depleting the Eagles’ varsity roster) the Issaquah High School gymnastics squad posted one of the lowest totals Dec. 13 at Bothell High School with a 136.45 effort, losing to Woodinville, Bothell and Ballard.

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Eagle gymnasts earn high marks at state

February 22, 2011

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.”

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Eagles take season’s final meet from Spartans

February 1, 2011

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.”

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Graduating gymnast continues to captivate with power, grace

February 1, 2011

Olivia Goree, Issaquah senior, works her balance beam routine to earn a score of 9.05 Jan. 13 against Eastlake, Roosevelt and Bothell. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School senior Olivia Goree has been competing in gymnastics since she was 6. But it’s been in the past four years, during her time on the high school team, that she developed a true passion for the sport.

Goree, who decided to leave her competitive club team upon entering high school, said, “Coming to high school is more of a team aspect. Club is more individual.”

She said she found club to be much more stressful.

“I was kind of a perfectionist, but I think high school gymnastics has allowed me to let go of all of that stress and really enjoy the sport for what it is,” she said.

Goree has furthered her talents and gained recognition for her success. Last year, she finished seventh in all-around competition and third on the balance beam at the 4A state championships. This year, The Seattle Times mentioned her in its “Gymnastics preview: 5 Things to Watch” under the category of “Who looks strong individually in 4A.”

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Eagles finally return to home floor

January 18, 2011

Olivia Goree leads Issaquah to second-place on senior night

 Olivia Goree, Issaquah High School senior, is way high and upside down while earning 9.8 on her floor routine Jan. 13 as teammates look on. By Greg Farrar

Olivia Goree capped off Issaquah High School’s first home gymnastics meet in a couple of years Jan. 13 by winning the floor competition.

Not only did her score of 9.8 help her garner a fourth-place finish in the all around rankings, but it put a nice little highlight on the team’s senior night of recognition, coach Ryan Fleisher said.

“It was a nice little neat and tidy bow at the end of the meet,” Fleisher said.

Bothell won the meet with 168.4 points, Issaquah took second with 167.85, Roosevelt scored 160.55 and Eastlake was fourth with its highest score of the year at 135.1. Read more

Issaquah looks to re-assume the mantle of gymnastics powerhouse

December 14, 2010

Olivia Goree performs to a third-place finish at state on the balance beam in February during the 4A Gymnastics Championships in the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Center. By Don Borin/Stop Action Photography/www.donborin.com

The Issaquah High School girls team took on two perennial powers Dec. 8 as the Eagles opened their 4A KingCo Conference season.

Issaquah placed third in the meet against longtime heavyweights Newport and Woodinville, both who have ranked among the state’s top teams over the years. Newport won 3A state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008 before moving up to the 4A level. Woodinville entered this season having won four straight 4A state titles.

Thus, the Eagles were not competing against Sisters of the Poor.

Newport won the meet with 168.65 points to just edge out Woodinville, which was second with 165.2. Issaquah, which won 3A state titles from 2002-04, was third with a respectable total of 161.6 points. Read more

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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