The Camas High School gymnasts knew they wouldn’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
They seized it and climbed all the way to up to second place in the 4A state team competition at the Tacoma Dome Friday.
“Nobody from Southwest Washington 4A had ever gotten second place,” said head coach Carol Willson. “Skyview got third, but that was years ago.
“All we needed was the opportunity,” she added. “They just took it and ran with it. We couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The Papermakers collected 175.425 points to rise above Bothell and Emerald Ridge. Woodinville won the state team title with 180.225 points.
“We worked so hard to get this far, and it definitely paid off at this meet,” said team captain Emily Karkanen. “I couldn’t be happier ending my gymnastics career here with this amazing team and this finish.”
Jacqueline Purwins finished in fourth place in the all-around competition for Camas. She took second place on the bars, with a score of 9.175, and third place on the vault, with a 9.625.
“I think this was one of our best days,” Purwins said. “Everyone just hit everything. You couldn’t have asked for a better meet.”
Alexa Dietz clinched 11th place in the all-around with 36.125 points. She delivered a 9.575 on the vault, which was good enough for sixth place.
“It was really great to go from not even making it to state as a team to taking second,” Dietz said. “Everyone was like, ‘Whoa! When did Camas get so good?”
Karkanen took 25th place in the all-around with a 34.2. She earned a 9.1 on the floor and a 9.0 on the beam. Madison Martin claimed 12th place on the beam with a 9.175.
Dietz, Purwins and Martin represented the Papermakers in the individual finals Saturday.
Dietz soared to third place on the floor (9.525) and fifth place on the vault (9.425). Purwins earned third place on the bars (9.3) and eighth place on the vault (9.325). Martin secured 12th place on the beam (8.525).
CHS senior Charlotte Burton is thrilled she came out for high school gymnastics this season. She has nothing but hope for the Papermakers going forward.
“”It really feels good knowing that I was able to be a part of this and make history for our team and for our city and for our community,” Burton said. “Always have fun. That’s the most important part. We do sports to have fun. When we have fun and we work hard, it pays off in the end.”