WIAA notes: Columbia River coach reflects on gymnastics’ change of venue

Battle Ground is home for state cheer; 4A and 3A volleyball going to Yakima

It has been the unofficial home away from home for the Columbia River gymnastics team for the better part of 20 years.

It was the place that the Camas Papermakers won the Class 4A state team title this past winter. Through the years, dozens of Clark County gymnasts have earned individual glory there, taking home state championships.

The Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall has been the destination for state high school gymnastics.

 

The Columbia River Chieftains, shown here this past winter, made it to the state gymnastics championship as a team for the 21st consecutive season. If they make it 22 in a row, it will be at a new venue. State gymnastics has been moved from the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall to Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Photo by Alicia Green
The Columbia River Chieftains, shown here this past winter, made it to the state gymnastics championship as a team for the 21st consecutive season. If they make it 22 in a row, it will be at a new venue. State gymnastics has been moved from the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall to Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Photo by Alicia Green

Not anymore.

 

The dome’s upcoming renovation has left the future of the exhibition hall, at least the way it is used today, up in the air. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced this week that the three-day gymnastics event will take place next winter at Sammamish High School in Bellevue.

“I think it’s definitely going to be weird, walking into a new place,” Columbia River coach Alicia Green said. “Nothing will be familiar. It will be new for all coaches across the state.”

Green competed at the hall as a member of the Columbia River team. Then she became an assistant coach a year out of high school before taking over the head coaching duties some 15 years ago. The program has gone to state 21 consecutive years.

If the Chieftains make it to state 22 years in a row, they will be going to Sammamish High School.

“I was actually looking for hotels today in Bellevue,” Green said.

Never too early to prepare, right?

The dates for the championships will be moved, as well, with the 2019 event scheduled for Feb. 21-23. Sammamish has a winter break the week of Feb. 18-22, so a Thursday-through-Saturday event will not conflict with school days.

Green said she will also miss competing on the same days on the same property as Mat Classic. She said wrestlers and wrestling fans who were on a break from their competition would often come over to the hall to cheer on the gymnasts.

“They would come in and bring in a new energy,” Green said.

There were a lot of memories made in Tacoma, Green said, but state is state. New memories will be made at Sammamish.

“We can still hype it up really big,” she said.

More cheers for Battle Ground

Battle Ground High School is the home for the WIAA’s state cheerleading championships.

The school hosted the championships this winter for the first time, and reviews were so good that the WIAA announced Battle Ground will host the event for the next three years as well.

“We got real positive feedback,” said Matt Stanfill, the school’s athletic director. “They seemed to like what we did. It was good for our community. It was a neat event. The place was just packed at the end. Just an awesome high school experience. It was really, really fun.”

The cheerleading championships, which this winter featured 15 different categories/classifications, will be held the first Saturday of February.

“We’ve been through it once,” Stanfill said. “It’s only going to get better. We’re excited.”

4A and 3A volleyball heads to Palm Springs of Washington

The place to be for big-school Clark County volleyball teams will be Yakima next November, not Kennewick.

The 4A and 3A tournaments will be moved from the Tri-Cities to the Yakima Valley SunDome. That will require a change of dates, too.  

The SunDome also is host to the the 1A, 2B, and 1B tournaments. In order to host all five tourneys, the 4A and 3A will be pushed back a week, now scheduled for Nov. 16-17.

The 2A tournament will remain in Lacey.

Golf tees up some changes

The WIAA also announced this week big changes to state high school golf, beginning in 2019. A local coach was on the committee that helped come up with the new format:

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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