Sports

Gymnasts qualify for districts despite jinx threat

Islander Kendra Johnson competes on floor exercise as coach Lenny Lewis, in the background in a white shirt, faces the wall. A superstitious Lewis refused to watch his team compete for fear of jinxing the team. - Chad Coleman/ Mercer Island Reporter
Islander Kendra Johnson competes on floor exercise as coach Lenny Lewis, in the background in a white shirt, faces the wall. A superstitious Lewis refused to watch his team compete for fear of jinxing the team.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/ Mercer Island Reporter

Islander gymnastics coach Lenny Lewis didn’t see much of his team’s performance on Saturday which took third and clinched a place at districts. He was too busy studying the walls of the Ballard High School gymnasium.

“I’ll have to watch the film because I didn’t see the meet,” said Lewis. “I hear it was good.”

Every time Lewis would watch one of his gymnasts at practice they would fall of the beam or step out of bounds. The same thing happened during the KingCo meet.

“I guess I am superstitious,” said Lewis.

Superstitious or not, it worked. The Islanders finished with one of their highest point totals of the season 148.175.

“We have improved so much this year,” said freshman Kristin Tremble, who finished third in All-Around with a score of 33.325. “Every one did well.”

Tremble had the best score of any Islander during the competition while on the beam. Her score of 8.85, placing her third overall.

The fact that the team is healthy, did hurt either. Islander sophomore Vanessa Gaffney knocked off a bit of the rust she had from missing the first half of the season, scoring 31.85 to finish ninth overall.

“Last year my nerves got the better of me,” said Gaffney, who scored an 8.825 on beam and an 8.8 on floor. “I have learned to deal with it a bit better.”

Gaffney’s best event was the vault as she tied for first place with a score of 8.8. Tremble placed just behind her teammate, scoring a 8.75, while Erika Reutimann scored 8.65.

It has been a tough year for Reutimann, who is a senior. Injuries have kept her out of the All-Around scoring, but she has battled through to compete in three events.

“It is tough because I know a lot of these girls look up to me to be my best,” said Reutimann, who 7.4 on beam and 5.85 on bars. “There is a lot of pressure but mot of that I put on myself.”

Lewis said that Reutimann might compete on floor at districts, giving the Islanders three All-Around gymnasts.

The floor event was still pretty strong for the Islanders as Tremble added an 8.62 and Kendra Johnson scored a 7.45.

I the Islanders want to move past districts this Saturday at Sammamish High School, they will have to improve on their bars routine. No one for the Islanders score in the eights and Tremble had the highest score at 7.2.

“Everything was pretty solid, or so I hear, except for bars,” said Lewis. “We need to work on it. But as long as I am not watching we should be fine.”

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