The Juanita gymnastics team was well represented on the competition floor and the stands at the 1A/2A/3A state meet on Feb. 20-21 at Sammamish High School.
Four Juanita gymnasts qualified for state; senior Emma Harrington, senior Alli Lofquist, senior Daphanie Chan and sophomore Gloria Wang. The gymnasts were cheered on by their teammates who came to support from the stands. Chan said having support from teammates helped with the stress of competing at state.
“I made eye contact with them during my floor routine and they were dancing with me and it was really fun,” Chan said.
While competing at big competitions isn’t new to Lofquist, she said there is added pressure because it is state.
“I came from doing club, so I’m used to it,” Lofquist said. “But there is that extra pressure of it being state and with the competition this year in 3A being so hard and our district being so hard. There is a little added pressure to get to event finals, but I think we all felt pretty confident out there.”
On the first day of competition during the all-around competition and individual qualifiers, all four gymnasts qualified for event finals in at least one event. In the all-around competition, Lofquist finished 12th (36.800) and Harrington finished 13th (36.775).
Harrington said that with the high level of competition in 3A gymnastics, making it to state is something to be proud of. Wang also was impressed with how tough the competition was at state.
“You don’t really realize how competitive 3A high school gymnastics has become,” Wang said. “Seeing all these people from different backgrounds competing interesting things is cool.”
For the three seniors, it meant one final opportunity to compete at state.
“Since it’s our senior year, it’s the final time to show all the skills we’ve gotten this season,” Harrington said.
For Wang, a sophomore, this was her second time competing at state. Wang said the biggest thing she has learned about competing at state the last two years is the importance of confidence.
The top 16 from the qualifying competition competed in the event finals on Feb. 21. All four Juanita gymnasts qualified for the event finals in at least one event. On bars, Harrington and Chan tied for eighth (9.225). On floor, Lofquist was eighth (9.550) and Wang was 16th (9.125). On vault, Harrington was fourth (9.650) and Lofquist tied for 12th (9.200).