Sports

Federal Way, Webb end season with triphies

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

Lauren Webb and the rest of her Federal Way gymnastics teammates could have packed it in very easily.

The Wednesday before the West Central District meet, the Eagles lost junior all-arounder Leslie McKinnon for the rest of the season to a dislocated elbow. It was an injury that took Federal Way out of the clear favorite role at the Class 4A State Gymnastics Championships and made them into just another team fighting for a trophy.

But Webb and fellow senior Brianne Hall didn’t let that happen Friday and Saturday inside the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Center. The Eagles battled hard in all four events and wound up with a third-place medal around their necks with 174.25 total points. Redmond won the team title with 177.175 and Rogers was second with 175.4.

“It was a sensational performance by our team,” longtime coach Bev McIrvin said. “They did every thing they could have done to pull off third. It was tremendous considering we were without Leslie.”

McKinnon had been one of the top gymnasts in the rugged South Puget Sound League all season long, consistently scoring in the 36-point range in the all around.

“She could have made a significant difference in our score to have placed higher, but we were thrilled with third,” McIrvin said.

Individually, it was Webb who took home her second state championship Saturday afternoon. The senior, who won the individual championship a year ago on the uneven parallel bars, surprised a lot of people and won the balance beam with an impressive score of 9.55. She outdistanced second-place Kelsey Walsh, from Prairie High School. Walsh tallied a 9.5.

The win came a day after Webb finished in seventh on the beam during the all-around competition with a 9.4. Webb entered the championships as one of the favorites in the all-around competition, but wound up finishing fourth Friday with a total of 37.625 points. Rogers’ Lyndsey Skoda won with 38.625 total points.

“Lauren had great performances on both days,” McIrvin said. “She truly is an all-around gymnast in that she can place on any event on any given day. She always says her favorite event depends on the day.”

Hall was also impressive at state. The senior, who was the Eagles’ No. 3 all-arounder during the regular season behind Webb and McKinnon, finished in a tie for seventh place in the all around with 36.625 points.

“We will greatly miss both Lauren and Brianne Hall next year,” McIrvin said. “They have been to state all three years of their high school careers and were inspirational team captains this year. So, yes, we will miss their talent, leadership and fun times.”

Webb finished fourth on the bars this year with a 9.4 and ninth on the vault with a 8.95. Hall was sixth on the vault with a 9.3, sixth on the floor exercise with a 9.575 and fifth on the beam with a 9.275.

Other Federal Way team members included Mykel Stivers, Heather Penor, Keelin Crews, Stephanie Jarstad, Melissa Atkinson, Kayla Smart, Ashley Sparks and Yana Dvoukrhenski.

Jefferson’s RaeAnne Grabowski, Nicora Long, Andrea Kasper and Stacy Lyver didn’t make it out of the preliminary round on the bars on Friday. Long also competed in the beam and floor exercise and Kasper qualified in the vault.

Beamer’s Christy Wells became the first Titan gymnast to compete in the state championships during the preliminaries of the balance beam and Decatur’s Carly Jones also competed on the beam.

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