Gymnastics team remains unbeaten

  • Written by Don Mann
Staff Photo/Don Mann.  Woodinville junior Tessa King gets vertical — then horizontal — on the vault.
Sophomore Emily Paratore won the all-around and bars, and senior Madison (Mad Dog) Engel earned top honors on the beam as Woodinville won its third straight gymnastics meet of the season Thursday at Bothell.

The Lady Falcons’ team score of 169.1 outdistanced Bothell (161.85), Ballard (153.85) and Issaquah (136.45).

Bothell’s Julia Winters was tops in vault and Ballard’s Clara Yardley won the floor competition.

Prior to the meet, 16-year Woodinville coach Kimberly Smothermon (formerly Fleming) took a few moments to talk about her squad.

“This team is a lot stronger than I was anticipating,” she said. “We started the season with a 171 (team score) which was way higher than I was expecting. They work really well together as a unit. It’s a young team but a good young.”

Engel, a co-captain, is the only senior.

“Mad Dog’s looking great,” Smothermon said. “She scored 9.5 on the floor last week which is her all-time high.”

Junior Katherine Smith is the other co-captain. “She’s great, a real cheerleader for the girls, gets excited for all of them, always has a fun comment for them. She’s also really strong on bars and beam.”

Other juniors include Kate Bailey, Tessa King, Candace Nelson and Abby Webb.

“They’re all strong. Candace’s best event right now is probably bars but she excels both on floor and beam as well.”

Six sophomores suit up, including Paratore, who finished second at state on beam as a freshman.

Staff Photo/Don Mann Woodinville senior co-captain Madison “Mad Dog” Engel won the balance beam event with a score of 9.25 at Bothell Thursday. See Don Mann’s gymnastics story on page 11.
Maddie Thoma is the team’s only freshman.

Having won state four years in a row from 2007 to 2010, and finishing second last season, Woodinville is a bona fide gymnastics powerhouse and expectations run high.The highly decorated coach was asked for this season’s forecast.

“I’d like to say we’re going back to state and the girls would like to take first, for sure.

“They have it in them. They’re really building. It’s not just about hitting (marks). They’re really putting more skills into their routines. What I like a lot is that they’re willing to try new things.”

Smothermon, who got married last season and is eight and a half months pregnant — with her first child due on New Year’s Eve, she said — was asked what keeps her motivated.

“What brings me back every year?” she asked with a laugh. “Honestly it’s just the excitement of the girls … Watching them achieve and helping them conquer fears that they have … to reach their potential.”

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