|Falcon gymnasts still fired up and ready to roll|
|Written by Don Mann|
|Monday, 27 December 2010 11:00|
It was a most unusual interview — with a most unusual coach on a most unusual team.
Kim Fleming had laryngitis and couldn’t even utter a whisper.
It’s a chronic ailment for the 13-year Woodinville gymnastics coach and it happens maybe twice a year, she indicated by producing two fingers and mouthing the words.
The malady does not prevent Fleming from coaching up her stellar squad of high-flyers in mime fashion, play-acting and doling out the high fives and the hugs — and even delivering the raz — known as the Bronx cheer in other parts — when one of her pupils misses their mark.
But that doesn’t happen often.
Woodinville gymnastics — for those who don’t know — have won four straight state 4A championships, an accomplishment that has no peer in recent Washington high school history in any sport.
When the Lady Falcons take the floor, the competition wilts. They’ve been that good for that long. The Lady Falcons have not lost a KingCo meet in five years.
So the obvious question to Fleming — with an obvious answer — was what does Woodinville do for an encore?
The coach put up five fingers, but waggled her hand — as if to say you-never-know.
Speaking through assistant coach Nichole Boyd, who giggled through the entire process, Fleming said she loved her new team — but they were young — and you never know. State titles do not come easily.
Indeed, Woodinville has six freshmen and only two seniors on its roster — but poses an uber-talented lineup that is the envy and bulls-eye of every 4A team in the state.
"What I like the most is that the girls are really excited," Boyd deciphered through her mentor. "They’re excited about the little things."
Woodinville did most of the little things right — and all of the big things — while sporting flashy new sequined leotards on Thursday at WHS, as the Lady Falcons dusted Inglemoor, Garfield and Eastlake and posted a score of 171 points — its highest in the three meets they’ve participated in thus far.
Senior Jaci Wolff, after slipping in a violent collision in warmups and bashing her hip, took first place in the vault.
Sophomore Madison Engel earned top scores on bars.
Junior Julie Tollifson captured the beam and senior Jenna Morrison tied with Inglemoor’s Katie Thoma for top score on the floor.
Most revealing about this Falcon dynasty is that sophomore Madi McManus, who did not win any event, earned the All-Around at 34.85: really good at everything.
So what does this Woodinville crew have to do to hoist another state trophy in Tacoma in March?
Fleming and Boyd, with furrowed brows, exchanged complicated hand signals, and then the answer was clear: They just have to believe in themselves.