Lake Washington High’s gymnastics team came so close to standing at the top of the state victory podium. They were hoping for first, said Kang Laly Noriega, but second will have to do.
“I’m just proud of our whole team for just cheering each other on, doing what we could and getting second,” said Noriega, adding that training hard and wanting the best for each other were hallmarks to the team’s success.
At the 1A/2A/3A championships on Feb. 21 at Sammamish High, Holy Names Academy took first with 181.325 points and the Kangs followed with 180.275 points. Noriega took sixth in the all around with 37.375 points and Juanita’s Allison Lofquist placed eighth with a 37.100.
“I think I did pretty well, I came in and accomplished what I wanted to,” said Lofquist. “I really liked floor a lot, making it to day two and getting third (tie) was really nice.”
On floor during the day two finals, Lofquist scored a 9.550 and enjoyed showing off her skills, having fun and dancing for the crowd.
Lofquist summed up her state experience: “It was pretty exciting, nerves, but I think there’s a lot of good girls and a lot of competition.”
Noriega enjoyed her time at state and was especially proud of notching a season-high 9.675 on beam on day one, placing in the all around and taking second in the finals on vault (9.425).
In the finals on beam, LW’s Ellery Gilmer tied for second (9.550), Juanita’s Emma Harrington tied for fifth (9.425) and LW’s Courteney Hori tied for eighth (9.375). Lofquist and Noriega also competed on the event.
On vault, Lofquist took fifth (9.325). Hori and Gilmer also competed on the event.
On bars, Juanita’s Gloria Wang tied for eighth (9.175).
Also competing on floor were LW’s Noriega, Gilmer, Peyton Yoshida and Joeli Pence.
While standing next to Noriega following the conclusion of the competition, Lofquist noted that the tight-knit Kirkland teams were rooting for each other the whole way.
“Just knowing that even though Juanita didn’t come as a team, we’re just proud of LW for them getting so far,” Lofquist said with a smile as Noriega returned a grin.