NK gymnasts eye state

In their final two meets of the regular season, the Viking gymnasts went from a hardcore competitive meet with Bainbridge Friday night, to a fun-centered affair Saturday, in which team scores weren’t even kept. Though it wasn’t a perfectly happy ending — with a two-point loss to the Spartans — coach Kris Goodfellow hopes Saturday’s contrast will help the team see two sides of the competition.

In their final two meets of the regular season, the Viking gymnasts went from a hardcore competitive meet with Bainbridge Friday night, to a fun-centered affair Saturday, in which team scores weren’t even kept.

Though it wasn’t a perfectly happy ending — with a two-point loss to the Spartans — coach Kris Goodfellow hopes Saturday’s contrast will help the team see two sides of the competition.

“For gymnastics … it’s more about building confidence and self esteem,” Goodfellow said, noting the Saturday meet with Port Angeles and Capital. “I want it to be fun and about good sportsmanship and cheering on the other team when they do something good.”

Because in two weeks at the West Central District meet, it will be bluntly win or go home.

Even more so this year.

“The real unfortunate thing in the whole puzzle is how the state meet will be allocated this year,” Goodfellow said.

Along with the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association’s league realignments for the 2006-2007 school year, there was also a shake up in the allocations for 4A gymnasts to the state tournament.

The 3A/2A circuit, which has typically been smaller than the 4A crowd, grew with the realignments, therefore it’s state tournament will now be the bigger of the two.

What that means for North is out of 16 schools in its district only two full teams and seven individuals will move onto the state tournament.

Last year — when North sent four individuals to state — the WCD was allocated 13 individual spots.

“I think we’re always a long shot to get to state as a team because there are so many really good teams in our district,” Goodfellow said. “The only good news for North is in two years we’ll be 3A and then there will be more opportunities.”

On the subject of opportunities, North traveled to Bainbridge Jan. 26 with its annual opportunity to knock off the perennial powerhouse.

But Spartans Marie Welsh and Sophie Wenzlau spoiled the purple hopes with domination. Welsh took first on the beam, floor and vault events as well as in all-around scores, while Wenzlau racked up second place all-around and second on the beam and floor.

Bainbridge finished with a total 157.7 points, North came in just shy at 155.75.

“One of my goals overall is always to see the team score increase,” Goodfellow said, noting NK’s total of 143 in its first meet. “That means the girls are working hard … we’re (also) real excited to have Kai (Morrow) back in the line up, that’s made a huge difference in our team scores.”

Against Bainbridge, Morrow finished fourth all around with 31.5 points, while freshman Melissa Kunold finished third (32.8) and seniors Whitney Glebe (31.35) and Alice Pittack (30.05) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Kunold also earned a third place in each event with her strongest score being a nine-point floor routine as she eyes her first high school postseason — beginning at the WCD meet Feb. 10 at Federal Way High School.

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