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November 12, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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November 12, 2015

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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, November 12, 2015 SECTION 2 SPORTS ner na rnn= By AL STOVER Staff Reporter Within days before the winter sports season starts, the Cheney High gymnastics team finally has a head coach for its inaugural season and her name is Jaelyn Gardner. Gardner has lived in the Northwest her whole life, growing up in Kennewick before mov- ing to the West Plains over five years ago. She went to Eastern Wash- ington University where she graduated from the college's dental hygiene program. "I would say I'm a dental hygienist by day and a gymnastics coach by night," Gardner said. In the summer, she learned about the job opening for a gymnastics coach at Cheney and was interested, but decided not to apply for it because of work. With winter sports around the comer, Cheney High School ath- letic director Gregg Hare reached out ,to her. "He knew I was in- terested and offered me the coaching position," Gardner said. "I thought about it and said "I'm go- ing for it.'" Gardner has been in- volved with gymnastics since she was 7 years old, competing on a private club team when she was younger.She attended and competed for Southridge High School in Kenne- wick, while balancing her school work, and went as far as districts, progressing to state in her senior year. Although she dabbled in other sports, gymnastics was her focus. "I've always had a passion for the sport. I've always had fun doing it. I love to spin, tumble and jump. Most of my friends were on the team." New CHS gymnastics coach Jaelyn Gardner After she moved to the West Plains, Gard- ner coached at Mountain View Gymnastics in Air- way Heights. "I've always had a passion for the sport," Gardner said. "I've al- ways had fun doing it. I love to spin, tumble and jump. Most of my friends were on the team. I've always enjoyed being out on the mat and compet- ing." Similar to sports like swimming, wrestling, tennis and golf, gym- nastics has an individual element. Gardner hopes her passion and excite- ment for the sport will translate over to the team. She knows she'll be getting a mix of gym- nasts who have years of experience and athletes who have never com- peted in the sport. She's also hoping to instill in her team a sense of responsibility, as well as help them build con- fidence in their abilities and each other. "The girls can learn from each other and grow in the sport, and that's kind of exciting," Gardner said. "They're Bandits make Pumpkin Classic final eight By JOHN McCALLUM Editor The West Plains Ban- dits 16U softball team competed in the Pump- kin Classic, Oct. 10 - 11 at Selah's Carlon Park, earning their way out of their pool into the Gold Bracket before losing in the semifinals to a team from North Idaho. The Bandits won their bracket opener by knocking off th.e Northwest Spark 18-6. They lost their second game, a 9-4 setback at the hands of the Menace Guereca, but finished with a 7-4 win over the Clark County Breeze to advance to 16U/18U EWU women's XC remains No. 6 in West Region Gold Bracket play on Sunday. The Bandits opened Gold Bracket play with a 6-5 wm over the Northwest Spark-Wil- liams, rallying with three runs in the top of the fourth and holding on for the victory. In the semis, West Plains ran up against a some- what familiar foe,. the North Idaho Extreme 97, and the team from Coeur d'Alene ended the Bandits run with a 12-0 shutout. Bandits head coach Byron Pavao said in an email that the North Idaho team was origi- nally not supposed to be playing in the tour- nament as "they are an 18U Gold team and this was a 16U/18U A/B division." "They were later dis- qualified from winning the 16/18U bracket be- cause they had play- ers switching between the two other 16U/18U teams they brought," Pavao said. "The (even- tual Gold Bracket champions Washing- ton) Force won via dis- qualification/forfeit. It is disappointing to see the North Idaho Xtreme team/coach/organiza- tion willing to win at all costs." Pavao said highlights of the tournament in- cluded Cheney's Rachel Barsness hitting .875 on Saturday with a "couple highlight reel double plays." Medical Lake's Sarah Mayer batted .571 for the tournament and had an on base percent- age of .667. "We are done play- ing tournaments for the year and will begin win- ter practices in Decem- ber," Pavao added. John McCal- lum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress. com. FROM NEWS SERVICE REPORTS Coming off of a run- ner-up finish at the Big Sky Championships, the Eastern Washington Uni- versity women's cross country team remains ranked sixth this week in the West Region. The Eagles rank just behind No. 5 Gonzaga, which is also 30th in the National rankings. Pre- viously, Eastern ranked ahead of the West Coast Conference school in the regional rankings. The Eagles had a best ever second-place finish Oct. 31, in Cedar City, Utah. COLLEGE BASKb'T~: high school students, so they'll be juggling sports on top of homework and classes and have to work on time management, which will benefit them a lot, not just in sports but also in life." For its first year, the gymnastics team will practice at Mountain View !Gymnastics Mon- day through Friday and Saturday mornings, though Gardner hopes the school can buy some equip~nent and have a space! closer to campus for ne~t year. Hare said he "lucked out" @hen Gardner ac- cepted the coaching role. He's hlso glad the dis- trict was able to secure a facility like Mountain Viewi He added that Chen y will compete in thd Greater Spokane League on a one-year trial basis. "In building any pro- gram from the ground up, there's a lot of learn- ing and work going into it," Hare said. "This (gymnastics) is a new thing for me. It's excit- ing." In the first couple of weeks, Gardner said she'll have a lot to cover with her team, includ- ing which events they'll "best fit in." "There will be a lot of learning to get them ready for that first com- petition," Gardner said. "There's going to be a lot of learning for all of us, but I'm excited. I'm working to build a solid foundation and get this program rolling." AI Stover can be reached at Denny's Harvest Foods proudly sponsors Medical Lake CARDINAL Athlete of the Week CROSS CounW Denny's Home ~& Home Oper~ Super Friendly Super Savings Super Service Super Fresh 6 a.m. - 10 p.m, 7 Days a week We Honestly Care! 215 E. SR902, Medical Lake, WA 299-3251 Athlete of the Week Cross CounW odical lake IPharmacy : luck * Good * * to Cheney . * Cheney Athletes * : of the Week High School's * from Cheney Federal Credit Union : girl's *, : swim team , * 520 1st Street/P.0. Box, 60 . 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