Individuals in past years have competed to represent Camas High School in the gymnastics state tournament, but this year the girls made history; bypassing regionals and going straight to state as a team. Overall, the team performed stupendously, taking second as a whole and a number of competitors who made it to the finals and placed. Jacqueline Purwins, Alexa Dietz, and Madison Martin placed in the top at state for their events. Jacqueline said “ I personally performed 110% better at state this year compared to last year,” placing 4th in the AA with teammate Alexa Dietz, placing 11th. Placing in the AA is a major deal to the gymnasts because it’s the combined score from all the events.
Besides accomplishing second place as a team, the girls also learned a lot from each other about attitude and how to handle themselves in high-stress environments. Madison Martin said “ Alexa Dietz performed so well and with a great attitude and became a role model to most. Also, Emily Karkanen stood out because she always had a positive attitude and encouraged every teammate.” And Alexa Dietz said, “ Camas had a lot of spirit and it was really cool to see everyone genuinely excited to watch each other compete.” As a result of great attitude, the girls were able to encourage each other to build confidence to do well in their events.
Like all other state championships, the gymnastics team traveled down to Tacoma to compete for two days. The first day is qualifications for finals, and the second day is awards and finals for all the events. This year, there were about 10 teams collectively from the state. The three girls who made it to the second day of state for the finals brought Camas 7 awards. Madison Martin placed 12th in the state on the beam and Alexa Dietz placed 3rd on floor, 5th on vault and 11th AA. Jacqueline Purwins placed 3rd on bars, 8th on vault and 4th AA. The rest of the team performed incredibly and showed true sportsmanship and pride. The three state finalists wanted to make it clear that they were extremely proud to be a part of a team that set the bar for attitude and competed with full effort. For their first time as a team at state, Camas competed astonishingly, shocking many by taking second at state.