Gymnasts’ wins continue on Senior Night
January 30, 2013
By Sebastian Moraga
It was a Senior Night for everybody. For the four-year senior and for the three-month senior. For the busy star and the sidelined warrior.
It was also, almost, a record-breaking night for Mount Si High School’s gymnastics team. The Wildcats beat Mercer Island 170.900 to 158.350 Jan. 24, falling just shy of the single-meet record for points in school history of 171.05.
The team had set the record a week earlier.
“It was the most fun Senior Night I have ever watched,” said senior Hannah Richmond. “I just wanted to have fun. We did do good, but we focused on having fun.”
It paid off, with Wildcats Jenn Rogers, Pauline Kaczmarek and Richmond taking the top three individual all-around scores. Rogers took first in beam and floor, while Kaczmarek, an exchange student from France, prevailed in bars and vault.
Kaczmarek is one of the experienced newcomers that have added depth to the team, Richmond said.
A gymnast since age 6, the 18-year-old Kaczmarek has overcome the language barrier to make a big impact in a short time. She arrived in November.
“This is a wonderful team for new people,” Kaczmarek said. “They have made a really good place for me. It’s like a big family.”
Richmond praised Kaczmarek, calling her a huge contributor to the program.
“It seems like she’s been here all four years,” Richmond said.
In France, Kaczmarek competed in club gymnastics with athletes ranging from 12 to 23 years old. The pressure was higher in France, with teammates barely into their teen years already preparing to join the national team.
Still, she said, Mount Si is at a very good level.
“It’s a very good team, with very good relationships,” she said. “On Senior Night, they made a speech for me and they introduced me as a senior, even if I was here for three months. I will always remember this night.”
Teammate Jessica Trotto echoed Kaczmarek’s feelings. Sidelined all year with her third back injury, she received the medical clearance to perform one last time, on Senior Night, on beams and on bars.
“It was really exciting,” Trotto said, “after a long season of not being able to do anything.”
Now an assistant coach for the team, Trotto performed wearing a back brace as a precaution. She reiterated that Senior Night was it for her and the sport she loved.
The rest of the team still has some unfinished business, Trotto said.
“All the skills the girls are working on during the season are starting to come together,” she said.