Battle Ground brings all gymnasts together

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

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When looking for a venue to host a district meet, high school officials will first and foremost find a facility that adequately suits the needs of the competitors.

And if the facility isn’t the most fan-friendly location, well, let’s just say that’s a secondary consideration.

So fans will arrive at the venue to find very limited seating — if any — forcing them to take in the action by standing in any available spot they can find.

That was the case last Friday at the district bowling tournament. And it’s been the case at previous district events for sports like tennis and swimming.

And it was true for gymnastics, too. That is, until this year.

This year, the directors of the district gymnastics meet have found a venue they hope will meet the needs of competitors and spectators alike — the gymnasium at Battle Ground High School.

The 3A/2A/1A district gymnastics meet — featuring athletes from Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay, La Center, Prairie and Ridgefield — will compete in the morning session at Battle Ground from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The afternoon session, which runs from 2-4:30 p.m., will be for the 4A district meet featuring athletes from all seven 4A Greater St. Helens League schools.

Admission is $7 for adults and students without ASB cards, and $5 for senior citizens and students with ASB.

And, yes, there will be seating available for all.

Athletes and teams in the 3A/2A/1A meet will be competing for berths into next week’s regional meet at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines.

Contestants in the 4A meet will compete for spots in the regional meet next week at Skyline High School in Sammamish.

Daily picks

MONDAY: The Washougal girls basketball team has a date with Mark Morris later in the week. But if that game will be for the 2A GSHL title as the Panthers hope, they must first get past Hockinson at home on Monday.

TUESDAY: The 4A GSHL title will be on the line when Camas travels to Skyview in girls basketball at 6 p.m. Skyview won the first meeting, so a win would give the Storm the league title. A Camas win likely would set up a tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed to next week’s district tournament.

WEDNESDAY: This day’s schedule is very light. And that’s a good thing because reporter Paul Valencia will be busy talking to high school seniors who will be signing with their prospective college programs. It figures to be a busy National Letter of Intent Day for Clark County football players.

THURSDAY: That aforementioned Mark Morris-Washougal girls basketball game will be played at 7 p.m. at Washougal, potentially to decide the 2A GSHL title. Mark Morris won the first meeting in Longview 56-54.

FRIDAY: La Center looks to lock up the Trico League title in girls basketball when the Wildcats travel to play second-place Kalama. La Center won the first meeting 52-50.

And we can’t overlook the first day of the state bowling championships at University Place. Individual champions will be crowned Friday and teams on Saturday.

SATURDAY: It’s a day for sub-regional wrestling tournaments for 4A (at Camas), 3A (Kelso), 2A (Ridgefield) and 1A (Stevenson).

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.