Wedlake to gym nationals

By Matt Phelps

Mercer Island High School senior Ashley Wedlake has been a big part of the Islander gymnastics team's success over the past two seasons. Winning the 3A KingCo title as a team for the first time in 20 years this season had a lot to do with Wedlake's scores.

But the senior earned another honor as she will represent Washington state on the senior national team in May.

``I am just so excited,'' said Wedlake. ``It was kind of a goal of mine. I have met previous seniors in club who did it and they said that it was a blast. It was definitely something I have wanted to do.''

Wedlake will compete on vault and in floor exercise.

``I was pretty sure that I would get in for vault because of how I did at state,'' said Wedlake. ``But floor was a big surprise.''

The senior scored a 9.225 on floor during the state meet but averaged a score of 9.11 over the course of the season.

Wedlake's best vault score this year came against Newport High School and Bainbridge Island High School when she scored a 9.2. Her average score was 9.0 over 11 meets.

Wedlake said that there is still a chance she might make it on the eam for beam. Her average score this year over 10 meets was 8.705. A fall during districts hurt the senior's effort to make it to state on the event as she scored just an 8.15. Without that score she averaged an 8.76 for the season.

``I had been getting mid-nines most of the year on beam up until then,'' said Wedlake. ``I was just really nervous. I know that I can do much better than that.''

The team is composed of the best eight high school seniors in each event including all-around. The team will compete in for a national title.

Wedlake also made it to state for all around during her junior year for the Islanders and took eighth over all. She transfered to Mercer Island as a junior from Lake Washington High School.

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