By Sydney Zelenak
The Walled Lake Gymnasts have truly impressed this year. With 31 talented gymnasts from Central, Northern and Western, the team made its way to the State Gymnastics Competition this year. Held in Canton on Saturday, March 9, the 2013 State Competition was a huge accomplishment for the Walled Lake team.
Junior Sammi Pulgini, who demonstrated a sparkling example of a perfect floor routine, took an incredible 8th place in the State Finals. Previously, she placed 1st on floor at the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) competition and averaged the highest floor score for the entire season, advancing her the Regional Championship in which she placed 4th on floor. Other gymnasts such as junior Ellisa Tenenbaum and freshman Kennedy Crawford worked hard to raise their scores.
With five gymnasts who qualified to and competed at Regionals individually from Central, including freshmen Izzi Buttazzoni on vault, Crawford on vault and floor, Abby Sachs on vault, beam and floor, Pulgini on vault, bars, beam and floor, and senior Meredith Keesling on vault, the team’s coach DeAnn Allen says this season was “monumental” compared to previous years.
Coach Allen said, “The sportsmanship [this season] was amazing. They were so involved with respecting, representing and praising each other at practice and meets. It was a truly an amazing season.”
Coach Allen, who has been coaching gymnastics for 23 years and the Walled Lake Gymnastics for five, hascertainly been a major factor in the team’s success. With amazing unity, sportsmanship and friendship, the team produced more than just great achievements on routines; they also gained new skills and learned from mistakes.
“The gymnasts all worked, grew and supported each other. When someone was down there were 10 girls there to cheer them up and another 21 to give hugs,” explains Allen.
The Walled Lake gymnasts also participated with 62 other schools in honoring our Military on February 16 at the KLAA Gymnastics Conference with their “21 back tuck Salute,” pictured below.
Although the Central-Northern-Western team did not qualify for Regionals as a team (they only needed one more score of 120), Allen remains hopeful. “We will get it next year!”