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Falcon juggernaut advances (again) to State meet

  • Written by Derek Johnson

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word juggernaut as “a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path.”

Admittedly, this may not be the best word to describe a team of graceful female gymnasts. Perhaps it conjures up images of Tonka trucks and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. But what other word gives proper context to what Woodinville has done? They’ve won three straight State titles, posted another undefeated season, and scored a decisive victory last Saturday night at the District meet in Ballard. The Lady Falcons were, quite simply, magnificent. And they’re going back to State.

DSC 8518Allie McManus (right) receives exuberant congratulations after her balance beam routine. (Photo by Derek Johnson) “They really hit today,” Woodinville coach Kathie Koch said of her gymnasts. “They’ve been working really hard, and everything just came together for a lot of the kids. It was fun to see.”
Woodinville scored 183 points, and the award ceremony was devoid of all drama. Every spectator in the gym knew which team had won. In all four phases of competition (bars, vault, beam and floor routine) a Lady Falcon took top score. Allie McManus (twice), Paige Hirata and Kylie Mosset all took turns standing atop the podium and waving gleefully to the crowd.

For senior Paige Hirata, a trip to State has become an annual routine like Fourth of July barbeques and autumn leaves. Her enthusiasm remains as strong as it was her sophomore year. But with experience and success comes a different context.    

“I’m just really excited, because we have a lot of new kids on the team,” Hirata said. “And it’s a really fun process just to go through the whole process of post season. I’m so excited that they’ll get to share it with us.”

The Bothell Cougars were the other team to survive the District meet in Ballard last Saturday night. They’ll be joining Woodinville at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall this Friday and Saturday. Bothell’s only loss during the regular season was to Woodinville.   

DSC 8554Woodinville’s Paige Hirata peers down the runway as she prepares to sprint toward the vault. (Photo by Derek Johnson)“We’ve got three more practices and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Koch said.

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