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Greater Spokane League powerhouses lead way to state gymnastics

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 20, 2019, 10:11 p.m.

Mead gymnast Lexi Weller, right, and teammates address the judges before competing on the balance beam on Dec. 13, 2018, at North Central High. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Mead gymnast Lexi Weller, right, and teammates address the judges before competing on the balance beam on Dec. 13, 2018, at North Central High. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

After an exciting regular-season schedule and an abbreviated postseason because of the winter weather across the state, Mead and Mt. Spokane lead hopefuls at the state gymnastics tournament, Thursday through Saturday at Sammamish High School in Bellevue.

The traditional Greater Spokane League powerhouses qualified to compete in the team competitions.

Mead won the 4A regional meet on Saturday while Mt. Spokane placed second at the 3A/2A qualifying meet in Mukilteo, Washington.

Mt. Spokane completed a 24-0 regular season at the Jan. 30 meet. Mead finished second in the GSL with a record of 21-3.

Mt. Spokane sophomores Gina Twenge, Hana Hill and Maddi Bughi, and freshmen Samantha Mason and Lauren Hunter have combined with senior captains Carly Hattenburg, Jocelyn Carper and Kate Roth to form a deep, dynamic squad of high school gymnasts.

Hill was second all-around at the qualifying meet, with Twenge in third.

Hill tied for first in uneven bars and was third on vault. Twenge placed in balance beam (first), bars (third) and floor exercise (third).

“I really just have a very strong team of 10, and without all 10 of them we wouldn’t be as successful as we are,” Wildcats coach Dana Trantum said.

In 4A, University’s Alina Helbling won the all-around title, but Sophia Shawen led a Mead sweep of the floor exercise as the Panthers claimed the team title at the 4A regional championship at the Mead Gymnastics Center.

Lexi Weller and Annalise Thaxton finished second and third, respectively, in the floor exercise for the Panthers, who edged U-Hi for the team title 170.1-168.1.

Shawen, Weller, Kiyanna Nguyen (vault), Lauren Morse (vault, bars and beam) and Hannah Ford (floor) helped Mead place fifth in state last season.

Ferris teammates Alexandra Thomas and Maile Rocha came in second and third in the all-around and qualified in all four events.

Central Valley qualified Rebekah Ross in vault, bars and beam and will be joined by teammate Victoria Axtell on Beam.

U-Hi’s Stacey McNeeley qualified in vault, bars and floor. Fellow Titan Autumn Gallagher made it in floor.

Lewis and Clark qualified Isabel Ferney in vault.

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