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All-Region gymnastics: Madi Williams, Camas

Papermakers’ junior won 4A state all-around title

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: March 9, 2023, 7:05pm

Madi Williams would rather win giving it her all, than lose playing it safe.

That attitude helped the Camas High School junior capture the all-around title at the Class 4A state gymnastics meet last month. And it also helped her be named The Columbian’s All-Region gymnast of the year.

“I put in a new tumbling pass that I had never done in competition before,” Williams said of her floor exercise routine at state. “And it was definitely harder, and it did increase my floor score, which was super helpful for the team and all-around title. We took a risk with it. I talked to the coaches, and we all decided that the risk was worth it.”

Williams posted a season-best score of 9.500 on the floor, her final event in the all-around competition at state. That propelled her past Emily Brouwers of Woodinville to capture the all-around title with a score of 37.300.

“I’m so glad it paid off,” Williams said. “It’s so fun to try that new skill and feel the adrenaline rush you have inside when you finally succeed at it.”

It also helped that the floor exercise is her strongest, and favorite, event.

“It is really fun to show off your personality when you perform on the floor and play to the crowd and just have fun with the dance portion of it, as well as obviously tumbling feels so good, just flying through the air,” she said.

Williams also earned top-4 finishes on all four individual apparatus, including third on the bars, which Williams calls her weakest event.

It was an impressive high school state meet debut for Williams. She competed for the Camas High team as a freshman in 2021, but that was the pandemic season with no state championships. Last season, she was sidelined with a foot injury.

“It was so amazing competing for the Camas team,” Williams said. “I competed for my club my whole life, but with the high school team it’s a different experience. You are surrounded by all these people who are cheering you on and motivating you and wanting you to do well.”

Williams has been involved in gymnastics since age 3. During the high school season, she can spend five hours a night practicing for both her club team and high school team.

She also plays trumpet in the Camas High band and has played the piano since fourth grade.

A 4.0 AP Scholar student, Williams is involved in Camas’ Magnet program which specializes in math, science and technology.

And she owes her academic success to lessons learned through gymnastics.

“Gymnastics forces you to work so hard from such an early age that you can bring that into every other aspect of your life,” she said. “So I’m very grateful to have learned that lesson.”

Rest of the All-Region gymnastics team

Carly Christ, Union

The 4A district champion on vault also was state runner-up in that event and placed third in district in the all-around.

Kennedy Cody, Camas

The top-5 placer at district on floor and bars also made key contributions to Camas’ runner-up finish at state.

Hallie Kempf, Camas

The 4A district champion on beam and floor placed fifth on floor at the state meet and eighth on beam.

Gretchen Lane, Prairie

The 3A/2A district all-around champion and gymnast of the year also placed fifth at state in vault and seventh on bars.

Cyenna McCusker, Camas

The 4A district runner-up on floor placed seventh in the all-around at state and placed third on the beam.

Reese Velansky, Washougal

The 3A/2A district all-around runner-up finished tied for 10th in the all-around at the state meet and was a finalist in two events.