Disruptions caused by the pandemic has made the Woodinville High School girls gymnastics team even more hungry for another victorious season, according to head coach Kathryn Koch.
“We're looking forward to getting back out and competing with everybody. We're just looking forward to an exciting year,” Koch said, entering her eighth year as the coach.
The season begins for the Lady Falcons at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, against North Creek High School during a league meet at the away team’s main gym, 3613 191st Place SE, Bothell.
WHS is comprised of 16 student athletes this year, including many underclassmen. Koch said the team’s size has maintained similar numbers throughout the past few seasons.
She said the size of the team isn’t a huge factor because only 10 athletes are allowed to compete during any given event.
“Gymnastics is a sport where a couple of key athletes make a big difference when we count our scores,” Koch said.
She said several of the sophomores and freshmen on the team have yet to compete outside of the Northshore School District. During the pandemic last season, Koch said, schools within NSD only faced each other.
“Our upperclassmen have done a great job of showing them how we practice and explaining to them how the season unfolds,” Koch said.
During the first week of practice in November, she said, the Lady Falcons spent some time on team building. The students met one night after practice to make baked goods, and then deliver them to the Woodinville Police Department.
“We wanted to give back to the community, but also do something fun together to get them bonded before we get started with meets,” Koch said.
Before the pandemic in February 2020, she noted that the Lady Falcons placed first in the King County district meet and second at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) state meet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions set by the state and the WIAA, she said, there weren’t any postseason competitions last year and the season was held later in the spring. The Lady Falcons participated in three meets for 2021.
“We kept it small and local because of COVID,” Koch said. “We're really looking forward to going out and seeing everybody else this year.”
The ultimate hope for the Lady Falcons is to qualify for the state meet again this year, she said. However, she said, the athletes must stay consistent to obtain that goal.
Koch said the team stands by the motto: “Believe in yourself, believe in the team and work hard every day.”
Senior Emma Mann and junior Katie Barker will lead the charge for the Lady Falcons as team captains this season.
“They’ve been helping all of the underclassmen understand what it means to be part of a team and how things work at Woodinville gymnastics,” she said. “They've just done an amazing job so far.”
In addition to several other changes this year, Koch said, WHS moved their practices to the recently opened Ascend Gymnastics Woodinville for their specialized equipment.
“Ascend has done an absolutely amazing job of creating space for us to practice at their gym,” she said. “We're so grateful for their community partnership with us because we really couldn't do it without people like them.”
WHS varsity girls gymnastics schedule:
- Thursday, Dec. 9 – North Creek High School (away), 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, Dec. 14 – Mount Si High School (away), 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, Jan. 5 – League meet @ Woodinville High School, 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, Jan. 12 – Bothell High School (away), 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Jan. 20 – League meet @ Inglemoor High School, 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Jan. 27 – League meet @ Woodinville High School, 7 p.m.