Heritage’s Moss 6th at 4A gymnastics

Freshman joins Atwell, Harris in individual finals

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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TACOMA -- Heritage gymnast Nicole Moss went from Vancouver to Spokane, back to Vancouver and then to Tacoma in the past seven days, chasing gymnastics glory.

A freshman, Moss followed up her regional all-around championship last week in Spokane with a sixth-place finish at the Class 4A state gymnastics championships Friday evening at the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall.

“It was astonishing,” Moss said of earning one of eight medals for her excellence in all four disciplines — the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and the floor exercise. “The whole meet was fun, just to compete in it. I’m glad I made it this far my freshman year.”

She also qualified for two individual event finals, along with teammate Britni Atwell. Union’s Jazmin Harris also will compete Saturday in finals.

Atwell, who won the state floor exercise and the vault competitions the past two years, will be looking for three-peats in both. She qualified with the top score in those two events, recording a 9.6 on the floor and a 9.75 on the vault.

“I kind of wanted to show I could do it and continue to keep my skills up,” Atwell said. “I’m not just getting lucky. I can do it.”

Moss advanced in the vault and the uneven bars.

“You can’t have vault,” Atwell said with a grin.

“You can have it,” the freshman replied.

“You can have bars, because I’m not in that,” Atwell added.

Harris will represent Southwest Washington in the balance beam finals.

The top eight from Friday’s competition qualified for finals. Scores will reset, and the top four performances Saturday will earn medals.

Moss totalled 37.3 points for her all-around score. Baylee Hamilton of Mount Rainier took home the top prize at 38.0.

Mead edged Woodinville for the 4A team title, 179.250-178.375.