Camas, WA — On a cold winter day during Christmas break, as most people were on vacation, the Camas Gymnastics team was hard at work practicing their floor routines, beams, vaults and bars — all with their eye on winning the State championship this season.
The talented team, lead by experienced gymnastics coach, Carol Willson, hasn’t lost a district meet in five years, and placed second last year at State, against perennial winner, Woodinville.
“They’re just amazing kids,” said Willson. “They’ve been doing this since they were little bitty. It’s about talent and experience. Lots of experience. Hard work, and lots of social time.”
The 22-member practices at least five days week, two or more hours at a time, and most compete in all four events (floor, beams, vaults, and bars).
Catching her breath after a floor routine practice, Joy Marsh explained how team bonding is a big contributor to their success.
“Most of us compete together in club so we know each other well,” said Marsh. “We just get along with each other. Everyone works really hard — we’re a very focused team.”
Sophomore Lizzy Wing made a return to the sport after a four-year hiatus.
“I did gymnastics until I was 11, then I did competitive cheer, and took a break from that,” said sophomore, Lizzy Wing. “Then I did football cheer, and then I had nothing to do, so I thought I’d do gymnastics.”
And, they love having her on the team.
“She has a lot of talent and drive,” said Willson, of Wing. “We happy to have her.”
Willson said she’s excited about what’s happening with their team, as new athletes have joined the team. She’s also excited about the future.
“We have several girls in middle school right now that are really good,” said Willson. “We’d really like to win State, and these girls are driven. They’re focused. The future is bright.”
Their next meet is Saturday, January 6 at Naydenov in Vancouver. We will post details from those events.
Gymnastics Team Roster
This year’s team includes:
- Shea McGee
- Alyssa Shibata
- Jacqueline Purwins
- Madison Martin
- Joy Marsh
- Morgan MacIntyre
- Michaela Lasher
- Amber Harris
- Kaitlyn Blair
- Annika Affleck
- Siena Brophy
- Annie Danielson
- Rachel Nicacio
- Quyen Do
- Hallen McCallum
- Abby Martin
- Grace Alonzo
- Lyne McGee
- Lizzy Wing
- MacKenzie Merritt
- Katie Stevens (Washougal)
- Hannah Sturgis
To learn more visit, www.chs.camas.wednet.edu