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GYMNASTICS: Raiders snag All-City, SPSL North Division titles by slimmest of margins
The Thomas Jefferson gymnastics team is the best the city of Federal Way and the South Puget Sound League has to offer. But not by much.
The Raiders outdistanced Todd Beamer Wednesday night by just one point to win the Federal Way All-City gymnastics meet, along with the SPSL North Division title. Jefferson finished the four-team meet with 176.5 points, while the Titans followed with 175.5 points. Decatur ended up in third place with 160.35 points and Federal Way was fourth with 146.8.
Both Jefferson and Beamer are among the elite gymnastics programs in the state. Last year, the Titans finished third at the Class 4A state championships and the Raiders were right behind in fourth. Both teams return a bulk of their talent, including possible state champion all-around gymnasts Sam West and Madison Keller.
The packed crowd at Beamer got an up close look at the two title contenders Wednesday at the All-City Meet.
But nothing was really decided between the twosome. West and Kellar finished in a dead heat for the all-around title Wednesday night. Beamer's West and Jefferson's Kellar tied with 37.75 points on the four events.
At last year's state championships, West finished up in third place in the all-around and Kellar followed in fifth. But Kellar did beat West at the West Central District Meet.
Wednesday, Kellar won three of the four event titles. Kellar finished first on the uneven parallel bars with a 9.3, first on the floor exercise with a 9.95 and first on the balance beam with a 9.4.
West won the vault with a 9.5 and was in the top-two in all four events, finishing second on the bars (9.1), beam (9.3) and the floor exercise (9.8).
Jefferson's Monica Church was second on the floor with an impressive score of 9.9 and was also second on the vault (9.3). Beamer's Leah Freeborn ended up third in the all-around with 36.7 total points and was also third on the vault (9.2) and bars (8.85).
Decatur was led by the performance of Shantel Bali, who finished in third place on the balance beam with a score of 9.2.
The gymnastics postseason kicks off on Feb. 4 with the South Puget Sound League 2A/3A/4A Sub-district Meet