Sports

North Kitsap gymnasts head to state

The NK Vikings are sending the entire gymnastic squad to state for the first time in school history. - Brad Camp / Staff photo
The NK Vikings are sending the entire gymnastic squad to state for the first time in school history.
— image credit: Brad Camp / Staff photo

POULSBO — The North Kitsap High School gymnasts are carving out a name for themselves in Washington state.

The Viking squad is headed to the state tournament in Tacoma today for the first time in the school’s history.

The crew tallied 155.125 points to come in second at Saturday’s district meet in Auburn — their highest team score of the 2008-09 season. Auburn Mountainview took first with a score of 167.925.

“A lot of the girls had personal best scores on Saturday,” said NKHS gymnastics coach Kris Goodfellow.

North has sent many individual gymnasts to state in the past, including juniors Melissa Kunold and McKenna Elves. This year marks the first time an entire Viking team will compete at such a high level.

“I’m really excited,” said Kunold. “I’m proud of them all.”

Goodfellow notes the team scores have been increasing of late, and feels the group is hitting its stride at the ideal point in the season, as they head into the tournament. The primary goal, according to Goodfellow, is to surpass their previous point totals. Anything beyond that would be icing on the cake.

“What I would really like to see,” said Goodfellow, “is to beat the 155 and increase our team score.”

With that in mind, each gymnast this week practiced hard to overcome their own problem areas.

“We’re working on our weaker events and trying to improve our scores,” said freshman Lauren Wageman.

Of the nine girls on the team, only one will be graduating this summer. Goodfellow expects to see the remaining eight stick around next season, and hopes a few more will join them. She believes sending this year’s team to state will serve as an incentive for prospective gymnasts to come aboard in the future.

But for the moment, the NK team is focused on making the most of the events at hand.

“They’re really starting to click,” said Goodfellow. “I think we’re ready.”

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