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Originally published February 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM | Page modified February 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

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Enumclaw repeats; Rodal takes all-around | 3A/2A Gymnastics

Defending champion Enumclaw showed poise on the beam in the Hornets' final rotation, coming from behind to edge Kamiakin for the team title.

Special to The Seattle Times

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TACOMA — Already equipped with the deepest squad and the loudest fans, the Enumclaw gymnastics team added a new asset Friday night: come-from-behind grit.

The defending Class 3A/2A champions, trailing Kamiakin by 2.375 points as they approached the beam for their final state-meet rotation, drilled routine after pressure-packed routine to pull out a 181.05 to 179.6 victory at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall.

"It's awesome," said Ben Skipworth, Enumclaw's only coach since the program debuted in the 2010-11 season with a second-place finish at state. "We just wanted to hit everything solid, and they did."

So did Highline teammates Kristen Rodal and Mia Alvarez. The level-10 gymnasts, both seniors, finished one-two in the all-around, Rodal with 37.95 points after posting a 9.7 on floor, and Alvarez with 37.725. Rodal finished in the top five in all four events; Alvarez did so in three.

Mount Si (169.125) placed third in the eight-team competition, followed by Vancouver's Columbia River (165.775), Decatur (165.275), Highline (158.225), Sammamish (157.575) and Holy Names (152.65).

Sammamish sophomore Nykaela Dodson produced the evening's top score on beam (9.7) and claimed the third spot in all-around (37.675). Enumclaw's Olivia Bannerot (37.6) took fourth.

Skipworth said he was unaware that his squad was trailing entering the final rotation. Bannerot, a junior, said she and her teammates knew the situation.

"That was kind of nerve-wracking," she said. "Then we just thought, We can't control the other team. The overall score doesn't matter. First doesn't matter, second doesn't matter. We just wanted to make it the best meet of our lives.

"It was a good attitude," she said. "At that point we could just go out and do our thing, That was pretty cool because we all hate beam. It's a stupid event. Why would you do anything on a four-inch piece of wood?"

All six Hornets churned out scores of 9.0 or better, with beam ace Emily Berte recording a 9.35. Teammates Molly Mattheis and Victoria Hernandez each posted a 9.2. Enumclaw put up a beam team total of 45.875 points while Kamiakin scored 42.05 on bars.

It was a big relief to Bannerot.

"Our nerves actually got better later," she said. "On floor, our first event, I was so nervous thought I was going to puke. By the time we got to beam it was, OK, there's nothing much more I can do than do my best."

Highline's Rodal dug deep for her best on Friday.

"Last year I fell on floor, so I wanted to redeem myself," the 4-foot-9 senior said. "I fell on bars tonight, and that shook me up a little bit, but I came back strong. I'm very pleased, but I know I can work even harder."

Rodal, who tied for second on beam (9.575) Friday, will aim to defend her beam individual championship in Saturday's event finals at 11 a.m.

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