Camas quality beats Union quantity

Papermakers are motivated to improve skills and scores

Eleven Camas High School gymnasts defeated 30 opponents from Union Saturday, at Northpointe in Vancouver.

Caleigh Lofstead collected 32.4 points and Alexis Sabatini added 31.9 points in the all-around competition to help the Papermakers defeat the Titans 158.25-154.55.

Lofstead earned first place on the vault (8.9) and Hope Richter gained first place on the beam (8.1). Sabatini took third place on the beam (7.8) and Lofstead snagged third place on the bars (7.4).

“They had the depth. Our girls just had to hit on all cylinders, and they did,” said Camas head coach Carol Willson. “It’s a lot of pressure on these girls, but they have been doing it for a season and a half. They just find a way to rise to the occasion.”

Richter said the Papermakers have become “a small family” learning gymanstics from Willson and Zdravko Stoianov.

“Everyone is so caring and loving for each other, and we all push each other,” Ritcher said. “We just have to find different ways to attack the same events, and give the judges something extra. We like to surprise them.”

Camas is one step closer to achieving its dream of competing at state as a team. The stakes have changed with the addition of a regional meet.

The winning team at districts no longer goes directly to state. It must also finish in first or second place at the regional meet.

Top individuals who advance through the district and regional meets will also get to state, but the exact number of qualifiers is still up in the air.

“It’s anyone’s game at this point,” Richter said. “We all know that we have to keep improving. No one’s sitting comfortably.”

Ritcher, Lofstead, Sabatini, Ashely Carter, Emily Karkanen, Tamaki Murata and Rio Smith will represent Camas at a meet in Lacey Saturday. The Papermakers will also be a part of the Winterfest invitational Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Naydenov Gymnastics Center, in Vancouver. Events start at 9 a.m.

Camas defeated Ridgefield 154.5-131.55 Dec. 20, at VEGA in Camas.

Lofstead earned second place in the all-around competition with 31.4 points. She won the vault (8.5) and placed second on the bars (8.1).

Riley Truitt took first place on the floor (9.0) and second place on the vault (8.4). Karkanen notched second on the floor (8.6) and Carter claimed second on the beam (8.0). Richter finished in third place on the floor (8.4) and the vault (8.2).