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News / Sports / Prep Sports

All-Region gymnastics: Hallie Kempf, Camas

Senior helped Papermakers to third place at state

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 21, 2024, 6:05am
2 Photos
Camas senior Hallie Kempf competes in the vault at the Class 4A state gymnastics championships on Friday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Sammamish High School in Bellevue.
Camas senior Hallie Kempf competes in the vault at the Class 4A state gymnastics championships on Friday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. (Micah Rice/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

CAMAS — With her high school gymnastics career coming to an end at last month’s Class 4A state meet, Camas High senior Hallie Kempf closed a lengthy life chapter.

It’s the chapter on how gymnastics has been part of her life since age 5, which included nearly 10 years as a club gymnast and another four representing the Camas Papermakers.

What makes Camas gymnastics already so memorable, she said, has nothing to do with bars, beam, floor or vault.

“It’s the people,” Kempf said. “I loved going to practice and just being able to talk to my friends. And the coaches, too. They’re so supportive.”

Kempf, The Columbian’s All-Region gymnast of the year for a second time, spent nearly 10 years in club gymnastics prior to high school, where time-consuming schedules and an individual-centric focus can be at the forefront.

At the high school scene, however, the sport showcases something different.

“Much more fun,” said Kempf, the 4A Greater St. Helens League’s gymnast of the year. “It’s two different worlds. … It’s been a great way to make friends and be a part of the school, knowing you’re not just competing for just yourself in club, and you get to compete for your school and represent your school.”

This season, Kempf captured the 4A district all-around title (37.075) to help Camas win the district team title. At state, she helped Camas place third in Class 4A for the program’s seventh consecutive state trophy. Kempf earned ninth in the individual all-around — one spot shy of reaching the podium.

“I feel like all the hard work I put in all season was definitely displayed,” she said.

One of Kempf’s best moments came prior to the 4A district meet. For much of the season, she put in extra work to try to land her bars routine. Joy and happiness is what Kempf said she felt following that routine in the final regular-season meet Feb. 3.

“I remember sticking (the landing) and the biggest smile was on my face,” she said. “I was so happy.”

And that joy and happiness extended throughout her four years in Camas’ gymnastics program.

Kempf credits first-year head coach Amy Railsback’s team-oriented atmosphere for playing a big role in Kempf’s memorable final year of gymnastics.

“I think her pushing us and making us more of a team created a better season,” she said.

Rest of All-Region Team

Ella Bettineski, Union: Senior placed seventh in the all-around at the Class 4A state meet and placed eighth on the uneven bars.

Carly Christ, Union: Sophomore placed eighth in the all-around at the Class 4A state meet and placed third on the balance beam.

Kennedy Cody, Camas: Senior was 4A district runner-up on the vault, third on floor exercise and placed 16th in all-around at the state meet.

Delaney Fiscu, Camas: Fiscu was the 4A district champion on the uneven bars and placed 11th in the all-around at the state meet.

Celia Racanelli, Hockinson: Senior was the 3A/2A Greater St. Helens gymnasts of the year and district champion on vault, bars and all-around.

Reese Velansky, Washougal: Velansky was the 3A/2A district champion on the balance beam and runner-up in the all-around.

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