The more things change, the more they stay the same. Legendary Falcons Alli McManus and Paige Hirata may have graduated last spring, but the returning gymnasts are up to their usual winning ways.
Woodinville hosted its home opener last Wednesday night and didn’t disappoint. The four-time defending State Champions defeated Eastlake 173-126 to run their season record to 2-0.
“Home meets are always fun, always a blast,” Woodinville’s Kylie Mosset said. “I live for home meets. We were trying to stress that to the new kids. We were super loud and it was super fun.”
“I’m super proud of everybody, especially with it being the beginning of the season,” Woodinville’s Ellie Mann said. “Sometimes we will be a little nervous. But we really pulled through and were strong. Everyone is working super hard in practice, and we’re starting to see it pay off, which is super cool to see.”
Kathie Koch, now entering her third season as Falcon head coach, cited the top performers and newcomers on this night.
“Kylie Mosset, it was her first meet where she competed all-around and she won,” Koch said. “Sofia Fulkerson was new to us last year, but had an injury so she couldn’t compete. So this was her first meet, I think she did three events. We hope to get her in the all-around next week. And Holland Pilukas is the new freshman who had a great night. She’s also a great high jumper and a great little soccer player, she’s a goalie. And Hana Roberto is another kiddo who had a great night tonight.”
While Woodinville and Eastlake dueled for supremacy, Sammamish and Liberty shared the gym for their own meet as well. To that end, Sydney Griswold of Sammamish put on a show during her floor routine. Performing to a song that featured more of a hip-hop rhythmic structure, the lively sophomore spun and danced in a confident manner that galvanized the crowd into applause.
“Sydney is a great dancer and she pulls in the entire crowd,” Koch said. “She’s just a delight to watch and a great little gymnast for sure.”
As the night came to a close, girls from all four teams helped roll up mats and put away equipment. Ellie Mann, now a junior for Woodinville, took note of how each year feels different.
“It has been very interesting to see the different atmosphere that has come in with this year’s team,” Mann said. “These freshmen, I think there are six of them, plus a sophomore as well, it’s fun to see our attitudes shift from team-to-team. This year it’s just a hard-working team that is so motivated to do well in this season. It’s super cool to see these girls new to this scene do well under pressure and work their tails off to do well.”