Cora Taylor loves flipping on the bars, and with a double back in her arsenal, the Bothell High gymnast achieved a sterling result at the state championships.
The sophomore Cougar topped the competition with a score of 9.650 to nail a 4A title on Saturday at Sammamish High. Taylor felt she reached the pinnacle with a solid attitude and coaches on her side.
After leading the way on bars with a 9.500 on Friday, Taylor rose to the occasion at finals on the routine she’s been performing for three years.
“I just keep my mind free and just like to flow through it. Just like one smooth move is sort of what it is,” Taylor said of her favorite event. “I don’t find it scary, I find it more fun.”
Taylor began her gymnastics journey when she was 4 years old and has faced some challenges along the way.
“I have a pretty severe elbow disease, it makes things hard,” she said. “I had one surgery when I was 12, and when I had that surgery, I just told myself I can’t give up.”
Taylor said she was confident in her ability at state and soaked up the “bubbly” atmosphere and cheers from the other gymnasts and crowd in the stands.
In other local action in the state finals on Saturday, Inglemoor’s Alexandra Dimitrov took fifth on floor (9.425), North Creek’s Morgan Wyatt tied for eighth on beam (9.225) and North Creek’s Erin Clayton tied for eighth on vault (9.375).
Bothell’s Salima Mayanja competed on bars on Saturday, but sat out the floor finals with a knee injury sustained in warmups. The Cougar was in a five-way tie for fourth on the floor after day one with a 9.575.
Also competing on day two were North Creek’s Hannah Shull on vault and Wyatt on bars.
Mayanja and Dimitrov competed in the all-around competition on day one.