Leading Edge gymnasts capture four titles at state meet

  • By Scott Whitmore / Herald Writer
  • Monday, April 9, 2007 9:00pm
  • Sports

After a year away from gymnastics, Samantha Jensen capped her return to competition with a state championship.

Jensen, of Lake Stevens, and three teammates from Everett’s Leading Edge Gymnastics Academy won division titles at the Washington State Championships held March 30-April 1 in Auburn.

In addition to the individual accolades, teams from Leading Edge placed first in Levels 8 and 9, and the Level 7 team finished second by one-tenth of a point.

Jensen’s personal-best score of 38.350 points earned her the win in the Level 8 Senior B division and was the highest Level 8 all-around score in the state this season, regardless of age, according to Leading Edge co-owner Sheila Bath.

The highlight of Jensen’s performance was the floor routine, where she earned a score of .9825.

“(Jensen’s floor routine) was just incredible, it was beautiful,” Bath said. “When you have other coaches come up and say it was beautiful, you know it was special.”

Jensen, who had had taken a year off from competition, returned to Leading Edge this season.

Carah Solemsaas of Lake Stevens won the Level 8 Junior A division with 38.275 points, Jordan Widener of Snohomish was first (38.425) in the 12-year-old B division of Level 7, and Jeia Villacis of Everett placed first (38.025) in the 12-year-old A Division of Level 7.

Leading Edge nearly recorded a sweep of the state team titles, with the second-place finish by the Level 7 team the only exception.

“Very few clubs win at every level they compete at,” Bath said. “We won in Levels 4-5-6 in December, Levels 8-9 in Auburn … Level 7 was just one-tenth of a point back.”

In addition to their state titles, Jensen and Solemsaas, along with Leading Edge teammate Lily Gaffney of Snohomish, were selected for the Washington State Level 8 team. The squad will compete against teams from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii and Oregon at a regional meet to he held April 21-23 in Yakima.

All of the gymnasts from Leading Edge that took part in the state championship in Auburn qualified for the individual portion of the regional competition in Yakima.

“It’s been an amazing ride the past couple of years,” Bath said. “We are a powerhouse in Washington and the region.”

Local gymnasts win at Bunny Hop Invite: Four Leading Edge gymnasts recorded first-place finishes at the 2007 Bunny Hop Invitational held March 24 in Kent.

In Level 5, Anna Pischer of Snohomish was first in the 11-year-old division with 37.725 points, and Thalisa Orn of Everett was first in the 9-year-old division (36.950).

Alyssa Hawley of Snohomish finished first (37.200) in the 12-year-old division of Level 6, and Angelina McCright of Lynnwood was first (36.800) in the 13-year-old division.

Track and field

Elder, Bascom help WWU defend team titles: Western Washington University freshman Ben Elder won two events and senior Kim Bascom won one to help the Vikings men’s and women’s track teams defend their titles at the 26th annual Ralph Vernacchia Invitational Saturday at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.

Elder, a Lake Stevens High School graduate, won the discus with a throw of 139 feet, 9 inches, and won the shot put with a toss of 44 feet to help the men’s team place first in the meet for a 10th consecutive year with 155 points. The men from Central Washington were second with 99 points.

Bascom, a Stanwood alum, won the triple jump with a distance of 37-2.25 to help the Viking women repeat as meet champions with 123 points. Seattle Pacific University was second with 113.


Crew from Everett Rowing wins in San Diego: Crews from the Everett Rowing Association returned from the San Diego Crew Classic with first- and a third-place trophies.

The men’s junior varsity 8 won the Jean Jessop Cup at the event held March 31-April 1.

With Jordan Kellet of Snohomish High School as coxswain, the men’s junior varsity 8 finished the 2,000 meters in a time of 6 minutes, 25.6 seconds.

The rest of the crew was Trevor Liska of Everett High School; Gabe Gribler and Aaron Meyers of Marysville-Pilchuck; Allen Cox, Simon Wold and Tore Werner of Kamiak; Barry West of Lake Stevens; and Dave Steel of Cascade.

The junior men’s varsity 8 finished third in the William Robinson Memorial Cup, crossing in 6:36.4.

Coxswain Alex Chalk of Lake Stevens was joined by Justin Crider and Connor Murphy of Snohomish; Matt White of Kamiak; Sean Ryan of Monroe; Chip Keyes and Rob Nesting of Everett; Connor Wege of Meadowdale; and Brandon Thul of Granite Falls.


Ex-Viking throws shutout: Loyola University-Chicago sophomore Krista Crosson won her third straight decision, tossing a complete-game shutout in the Ramblers’ 4-0 win over Wright State in the first game of a doubleheader on April 6.

Crosson, a Lake Stevens High School graduate, recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts and scattered seven hits. With the win, she improved to 4-3 this season with a 3.91 earned-run average and 33 strikeouts in 481/3 innings.

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