Sarah Ellis looked up at the scoreboard and was a little confused.
She knew she nailed her performance on the balance beam. She was hoping for a big number from the judges.
Yet, the number that was posted did not seem right.
Oh, not that number, huh?
Ellis accidentally looked at the wrong scoreboard, the one showing another event.
Her balance beam score then flashed: 9.500.
A few minutes later, the competition was over, and no one else topped that number.
Sarah Ellis, a junior from Columbia River, had just become a state champion gymnast.
“I wasn’t really nervous because I knew I had that routine,” Ellis said of her preparation for the event. “If I do well, I do well. I just went up and did my thing.”
Three Clark County athletes placed Friday at the Class 3A/2A state gymnastics meet at the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall. Ellis won the balance beam and tied for seventh on vault; Ridgefield’s Kylee Tjensvold took second on the beam; and Mountain View’s Nina Evans was third on the vault and tied for fourth on the uneven bars.
It was a 1-2 finish for Clark County on the beam. Tjensvold had the best score through the first 12 gymnasts. Ellis was the 13th of 16 to compete.
“I don’t think I knew, but I knew I did a really, really good routine,” Ellis said. “If I wouldn’t have won, I would have been just as happy because I did my best and put it all out there.”
Tjensvold, a senior, was the fifth to compete on the beam. She scored a 9.475.
“I was happy with it. I didn’t think I did as well as I did,” she said.
Then she saw her name atop the leaderboard for quite some time.
“I thought that maybe someone else would get higher,” Tjensvold said. “It was kind of crazy.”
Then along came Ellis.
“I’m glad if it was anyone, it was Sarah,” Tjensvold said.
There were three left to compete after Ellis. She said she didn’t want to sound overly competitive, but she admitted she did not want anyone to top her.
“This is really cool,” she said of being a state champion. “I’m really happy.”
Evans, a junior from Mountain View, earned two medals in her first season of high school gymnastics.
“It was a lot more fun that what I’ve been taught,” Evans said, adding that she had been a club gymnast for 11 years. “This is more fun.”
She scored a 9.6 on the vault to take third. Evans said that is her best event.
As far as the uneven bars, that was a bonus.
“I honestly wasn’t expecting to make finals on bars. Then I placed fourth,” she said. “That’s really amazing. I’m happy with that.”
In fact, Evans ended the competition with her bars performance — the last of 61 performances in all four events for the finals. She scored a 9.3 to take third place.
Ellis’ state title is the first from a Clark County gymnast since Britni Atwell and Nicole Moss of Heritage won titles in 2013.
Class 3A/2A Gymnastics
at Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall
Individual event finals
Top 8 placers, plus local finishers
1, Elena Fowler (Holy Names) 9.80; 2, Sydney Griswold (Sammamish) 9.675; 3, Nina Evans (Mountain View) 9.60; 4, Brooklyn Tarr (Shadle Park) 9.525; 5, Reigan Kampmann (Mount Spokane) 9.5; 6, Julie Huang (Ingraham) 9.425; 7, (tie) Sarah Ellis (Columbia River), Celyn Stermer (Ballard), and Summer Kramer (West Seattle) 9.375.
1, Sarah Ellis (Columbia River) 9.50; 2, Kylee Tjensvold (Ridgefield) 9.475; 3, Abigail Winstead (Kamiakin) 9.45; 4, Elena Fowler (Holy Names) 9.35; 5, Paige Chickering (Lake Washington) 9.225; 6 (tie), Sydney Griswold (Sammamish) and Daphanie Chan (Juanita) 9.20; 8, Audrey Arnold (Lake Washington) 9.175.
1, Sydney Griswold (Sammamish) 9.625; 2, Kaysha Walford (Lake Washington) 9.40; 3, Mikka Yamane (Kingston) 9.35; 4 (tie) Nina Evans (Mountain View) and Audrey Arnold (Lake Washington) 9.3; 6 (tie), Jordyn Correll (Sehome) and Remi Rosencrans (Bainbridge) 9.275; 8, Julie Huang (Ingraham) 9.20.
Also: 9, Kylee Tjensvold (Ridgefield) 9.125.
1 (tie), Abigail Winstead (Kamiakin) and Audrey Arnold (Lake Washington) 9.60; 3, Reigan Kampmann (Mount Spokane) 9.575; 4, Elena Fowler (Holy Names) 9.525; 5, Piper Palanik (Kamiakin) 9.5; 6 (tie), Sydney Griswold (Sammamish), Maria Gallivan (Holy Names), and Kaysha Wolford 9.45.