Camas gymnasts achieve snowflake

Papermakers strive for goal of taking team to state

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Jacquelyn Purwins flips off the beam during the Winterfest Invitational Saturday, at Naydenov. The Camas High School freshman won the event with a score of 9.05.

The Camas High School gymnastics team added another Winterfest snowflake to the trophy case.

Despite missing all-around performers Caleigh Lofstead and Ashley Carter, the Papermakers rose above Union, Heritage, Mountain View and Evergreen during Saturday’s afternoon session at Naydenov Gymnastics Center.

Some of the girls were nervous as they rotated through each event during warm-ups. Senior Hope Richter found ways to make them smile. Once the competition started, those nerves were replaced by determination.

“We always believe that we can,” Richter said. “Even if we only have five girls in each event, we can do it. We believe. That is what our team cheer is all about.”

Richter, Rebekah Vanbrinkhurst, Makayla Morrisey, Courtney Coates, Rio Smith, Tamaki Murata, Jacquelyn Purwins, Riley Truitt, Alexis Sabatini and Emily Karkanen helped Camas rack up 157.3 points. Union followed in second place with 153.25 points.

Columbia River scored a 151.05 to lead the morning session, which means the Papermakers scored more points than all of the teams involved.

“We didn’t do our best on every event, but we gave it our all,” Richter said. “The end goal of all end goals is to win districts and get to state as a team. We believe even more that we can achieve that goal after today.”

Purwins captured the beam championship with a score of 9.05. The freshman flipped backwards off the small platform, landed on her hands and bounced back up to her feet in a fluid motion.

“It’s only the fifth time I’ve done that on the beam,” Purwins said. “I’m really glad that I stuck it.”

Purwins also boosted the Papermakers on the bars and the floor exercise.

“She’s such a breath of fresh air,” Richter said.

This was her first time performing in multiple events since spraining her ankle.

“I just wanted to see where I was at under pressure, and do something,” Purwins said. “I was tired of sitting at home.”

She has been taking gymnastics classes since she was 4. This is the start of her fifth season of competition.

“There’s always new stuff to learn,” Purwins said. “You never really reach the top. You can always come up with new skills.”

Sabatini snagged second place on the beam with an 8.7. Richter earned seventh place with an 8.0 and Karkanen took ninth place with a 7.6.

Karkanen clinched third place on the bars with a 7.5. Purwins finished fourth with a 7.5. Sabatini snatched sixth with a 7.0, Richter notched ninth with a 6.3 and Truitt took 10th with a 6.2.

Richter landed in sixth place on the vault with an 8.2. Truitt soared to ninth place with an 8.05. Richter also gained sixth place on the floor with an 8.95. Karkanen took ninth place with an 8.5.

Nicole Moss won the all-around championship for Heritage with total of 36.6 points. Sabatini (31.8), Karkanen (31.6) and Richter (31.45) sealed up fifth, sixth and seventh place all-around for Camas.