Sports

Eagles hope to get back into upper division

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Last year was a little bit of an anomaly at Federal Way High School.

For the first time in four seasons, the Eagles’ gymnastics program failed to finish as one of the top-three teams at the Class 4A state championships. Federal Way’s run of three-straight South Puget Sound League titles also came to an end. The Eagles finished up in fourth place in league and fifth at the West Central/Southwest District meet.

Federal Way and longtime coach Beverly McIrvin hope to get back on top this season. But the Eagles will have to contend with the defending state-champion Rogers Rams, along with Sumner, Auburn Riverside, TJ and Auburn.

“We have depth and a wonderful group of young ladies that are coming together as a team,” McIrvin said. “They are delightful to work with and I see endless possibilities for them.”

Leading the list of returners will be Heather Penor. Last year, Penor qualified for the state championships and should be one of the top all-arounders in the league again this season. Also back for McIrvin will be all-arounders Ashley Storrs and Melissa Atkinson, bar specialist Samantha Buchanan, Michelle Ha (beam, floor exercise) and Stephanie Jarstad (vault, bars).

Newcomers who should provide the Eagles with some points include all-arounders Alisha Bowen, Olivia Hernandez and Kathryn Shimer and vaulter Kyna Brewer.

“We have a 30-member team that is working hard daily on the journey to success,” McIrvin said.

Federal Way did lose a lot of talent from last year’s squad with the graduation of Leslie McKinnon, Mykel Stivers and Keelin Crews. All three participated in the state championships in 2005 and McKinnon finished in seventh place on the uneven bars.

The Eagles open their SPSL season Wednesday night in a four-way meet with Tahoma, Kentridge and Beamer.

Beamer

Head coach Jessica Eisenberg takes over the Beamer gymnastics program after co-coaching the Decatur Gators a season ago. The Titans return plenty of talent from last year and have a hard-working group that should make some noise in the rugged SPSL.

“I’m excited to see where the girls are going to go this year,” Eisenberg said. “They’re a good group of kids and I want to see them go all the way to state.”

Leading the list of returners is sophomore Kaylyn Borden. As a freshman, Borden ended up 26th in the all-around at the Class 4A state championships and should be one of the top gymnasts in the SPSL this season. Also back

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