Gymnasts rise together

Papermakers win district meet for the first time

The Camas High School gymnasts celebrate with their coaches after being announced as the district champions Wednesday, at Northpointe in Vancouver. See the photo gallery at

Camas gains fourth at region meet

Camas finished in fourth place behind Bothell, Newport and champion Woodinville at the 4A regional gymnastics meet Saturday, at Mount Si High School.

Ashley Carter took 10th place in the all-around competition. She qualified for state on the bars, floor and vault.

“She just had a super meet,” said head coach Carol Willson. “I’m super proud of her, and all of our gymnasts.”

Shannon Ross is going to state on the floor and the vault. Caleigh Lofstead and Emily Karkanen will both compete on the bars at state.

The 4A state gymnastics meet begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, inside the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall.

Finals start Saturday, at 11:20 a.m.


Caleigh Lofstead presses off the vault and lands in fourth place for the Papermakers with a score of 8.95.

Together, the Camas High School gymnasts made history before midnight.

Shannon Ross, Ashley Carter, Caleigh Lofstead, Alexis Sabatini, Gabrielle Bird, Hannah Marquis, Riley Truitt, Emily Karkanen, Tamaki Murata and Hope Richter became the first Papermakers to clinch a district gymnastics championship trophy.

Camas collected 166.65 points to win the six-team scramble at Northpointe, in Vancouver. Heritage followed in second place with 159.45.

“We just made history in Camas. It’s cool to be a part of that,” Carter said.

Ross racked up 34.6 points to finish in fourth place in the all-around competition. She scored a 9.5 in the floor exercise, a 9.0 on the vault, an 8.75 on the beam and a 7.35 on the bars.

“After floor, I was getting pumped up for the vault when I looked back and saw that 9.5,” Ross said. “It was the best floor routine I’ve done.”

The majority of these Papermakers grew up in the VEGA Academy, coached by Carol Willson. Ross just moved to Camas from San Jose, Calif. She didn’t become eligible to compete until the third meet of the season.

“This team has made me feel welcome and a part of this school,” Ross said.

Karkanen eared fourth place on the bars (7.8) and Lofstead claimed fourth place on the vault (8.95). Carter took fifth place on the floor (9.1). Marquis snagged sixth place on the beam (8.7) and the bars (7.6). Bird grabbed sixth place on the floor (9.05).

After a snowstorm postponed districts for five days, the competition didn’t start until 8 p.m. Wednesday. Although this might have been the latest these Papermakers have stayed up for a meet, it was worth the wait.

“Even though we had to come here at 8, nobody complained,” Lofstead said. “We just wanted to have a good time and show the judges all that we have learned.”