WASHINGTON'S TOP GYMNASTICS COMPETITORS - WOMEN
Read more about many of these gymnasts on the College Women page, and also the Washington Who's Who page. Many thanks to Laurel Tindall and Patti Gable for their help with this chapter. Please contact me for additions or corrections to this chapter. Email
Anderson, Laurel (Tindall): Student of George Lewis, Gymnastics Incorporated. Queen Anne High School. UW gymnast 1972-1973. SPU gymnast 1974 -1975. National Vault champ 1973 and 1975. Seattle Pacific University coach from 1976 to present. SPU won 3 National Division II titles, 15 national champions and 38 of her gymnasts have been All-American. Coached at Jerry Penney's Christmas Camps in the 1970's. USGF/USAG Regional Chair 1979-1996. Head Coach of Falcon Gymnastics Club. Present Brevet level Woman's judge. WA. USAG Hall of Fame 2004.
Ahten, Jan: George Lewis Gymnast from 1969 - 1978; 1974 - 8th place USGF Jr Nationals, Hayward CA; 1974 - Gold Medalist AAU Jr Olympics, Lincoln Neb; 1975 14th USGF Elite Nationals; 1975 USA National Team Member; 1975 1st place AA Can Am Invitational Eugene OR; 1975 - 13th place Pan Am games final trials Miami FL; 1976 olympics trials; 78-79, 79-80 University of Washington
Baker Switzer, Kelly: Federal Way HS, PSSG, OSU 1990-1994 Elite. 1982 Jr. International Elite Vault Champ. 1985 Kelly was on the Jr. National Team in 5th. Travelled to Japan and France for International meets. Brad Loan coach. Federal Way High School - WIAA 1988 Floor and Beam Champion, 1990 champion in Vault and Bars. OSU gymnast 1990-1994. PAC-10 All-Conference and All-Academic, 1991, All-Academic Second Team in 1993 and 1994.
Barnes, Tina: Competed for Gymnastics, Inc./NWA from 1975-'84. 3 time state Class 1 AA Champ '82-'84. 1982 NW Regional AA champ and 6th AA at AAU Junior Olympics. 1984-'88 Oregon State University gymnast. 1985 All American - 4th on vault - CAA Division 1 Nationals. NORPAC AA and Freshman of the Year. 1988 AA -7th on Vault. OSU All Decade Gymnastics Team.
Barrios, Roni (Meija): PSSG Elite gymnast for Brad Loan. Went on to Cal State Fullerton and to coach club in CA.Inducted into the USAG WA Hall of Fame 2008.
Baskett, Kristina: PSSG Elite. 1998 and '99 Jr. Elite National Training squad.
Black, Laurie: Seattle gymnast who was on early UW club team, graduate from Nathan Hale H.S.
Boyd, Janette Anderson: Originally from Texas. Her family moved to Seattle so that she could train with George Lewis in the late 1960's.Coached by Dale Shirley from 1968 to about 1970. Elite gymnast. (By 1973 the "Y" team was no longer associated with the YMCA and was named Gymnastics, Inc.) 1973 AA winner of Chinese American Meet held at Madison Square Garden. In 1973, she was ranked as the number 4 gymnast in the country, after a two break from gymnastics-in 1968 she was ranked 2nd. National Team Member to Japanese Cup. AA at 1966 USGF and NAAU Championships.
Boyd, Shirley: on the Seattle YMCA National Team as an all-around gymnast, coached by Dale Shirley. 1968 to 1973 and trained with Laurel Anderson, Janette Boyd and Lucrecia Conners. George was training Joyce Tanac, Cleo Carver, Carolyn Pinatore "Ping", Debbie Halle and Jill Johnson.
Camp,Carol (Flaathen): Graduated from Highline HS in 1963. Trained at the "Y". Married Husky gymnast Eigel Flaathen from Norway and moved there and coached Olympic members. Attended UW- 1964. Was set to go train nationally but fell on bars and hurt her back and was in a cast. Took ballet because she could still use her legs. Carol did Irish Step Dancing as a competitor and still lives in Norway.
Campbell, Annie: Elite gymnast from Everett, competed for Leading Edge Gymnastics under Betsy Woodruff. 1st AA, at USAIGC championships. 1st on vault at American Classics. Competed in Mexico as member of the Pacific Northwest All-Stars. Oregon State University gymnast.
Carver, Cleo (Schreifels): George Lewis Elite gymnast.
Chambliss, Cheryl: 1979 JO National Vault Champ. 1980 Elite Nationals.
Chiles, Jordan: Naydenov Gymnastics, Vancouver, WA. 2014 Junior Elite National Team Member: Won 2014 Secret Classic, AA; 4th AA at P&G Classic.
Choy, Shirla Curtis: High School grad in 2000. She competed for Grace Gymnastics and was the 1998 and 2000 YMCA National Champion.10 gymnast who competed at the 2000 Puerto Rico Invitational and took 2nd AA. She attended San Jose State and as a Freshman, she was voted "Most Outstanding Gymnast" for her team. NCAA Leadership Conference and 2003 MPSF Academic All-Conference Team.
Cook, Barbara (Newton): Graduate of Roosevelt HS. Trained at the Seattle "Y". Graduated from UW. 1964 UW team and went to National College Championship with the team that placed 2nd in 1966 and 1967. Was on the 1968 Seattle Gymnastics Club team that toured Asia. Taught P.E. at Roosevelt High School.
David, Pauline: Pauline was born in New Zealand. In 1966 she met UW gymnast Jim David when the Seattle Gymnastics Club touring team was in New Zealand. Pauline came to Seattle and married Jim. (She was New Zealand's National Champion five times (1962-66). She competed for New Zealand in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. She joined the Seattle Gymnastics Club touring team and went to Asia in 1968.
Davies, Taunia Rogers (See Taunia Rogers.)
Diles, Tammara: PSSG gymnast. Newport High School. High School State Champ 3A, on Beam 2000, 3 years Bars Champ and FX Champ (1999, 2000, 2001). Also state champ in high school pole vaulting. Went on to WSU in 2001 as pole vaulter.
Dodd, Mylan: born 1983 in Seattle. Elite Gymnast at Cascade under Coach Frank Lee. Member of the National Team 1998-2001. 14th on FX and 16th on vault at the 1998 US Championships. 1999 World Team Trials. 16th AA at the 2000 U.S.Championships. As a Freshman and Soph. at U of CA. Berkeley - made the NCAA Championships.
Erickson, Betsy (see Woodruff, Betsy)
Elsner,Carol: From Lake Washington HS. Competed at the Seattle "Y". Worked with Jim Frasier. Competed and coached at UW. Went to first collegiate meet with Dale McClements. In 1965 and 1966 she was a member of the women's college "All American Gymnastics Team". Went on Asian tour with the Seattle Gymnastics Club Team in 1968. Graduated in 1966. Became a professional dancer and danced in New York for ten years. Came back and coached at BHS.
Flaathen, Carol (see Camp, Carol)
Fluhrer, Caroline: CEG Elite gymnast, three time Level 10 Region 2 all-around champ. (1994,1997 and 1998.) And 4th AA at level 10 Nationals. Competed at the 2000 American Classic. Jr. National Elite Team 1995-'96. As a Stanford University freshman in 2001, she was named to the Pac-10 All Conference Team for AA and Vault. Pac-10 co-champ on bars in 2001. 10th place on vault at NCAA Championships. In 2002, took first on bars at Regionals and made it to NCAA Nationals in AA.
Gable, Patti (Lanterman) Elite Gymnast for Seattle "Y".
Grajewski, Liz: born 9/27/83, Kentwood High School, holds the state record for most first place wins (11) at the High School State Meet, during the 2000, 2001, and 2002 meets. Went on to the University of Iowa.
Grant, Louise (Sussman): Gymnast at Seattle "Y" with Laurel Tindall ,Sue Mullen, Barb Cook and Joyce Tanac. Attended Lincoln High-Seattle. Tumbling specialist. Lives in Springfield Mass.
Halle, Debbie (Jackson): "Y" gymnast for George Lewis; 1971-1977 Elite level. 1971 Junior Olympic National All-Around Champ; 1972 USA Olympic Trials Top 20; 1972 and 1974 YMCA National All-Around Champion; On the team that won YMCA Nationals. 1974 SPU's first National Gymnastics Champ on Uneven Bars, 2nd All-Around - with Laurel Anderson Tindall and Jenny Fooshee, they finished 4th as a team - this was the first year that SPU had a gymnastics team. 1976 USA Olympic Trial Top 20. 1974-77 four year All-American at SPU. Three time Washington State Open All-Around Champion. 2004 first SPU gymnast inducted into SPU's Falcon Legends Hall of Fame. 2009 USAGWA Hall of Fame.
Haverly, Linda Lutz (see Lutz)
Henderson, Jean: Placed 3rd in the Pacific Northwest Meet in 1965 and 1966. She was on the Seattle Gymnastics Club team that toured Asia in 1968. Dad, Jack Henderson was the first coach at Seattle U. Her mom, Pat, played the piano floor music for Georges kids. (Jack and George were buddies.)
Hickey, Priscilla K. (Taylor): 1966-1969 Bellevue High School, Bellevue, WA – 3 Varsity Letters
Holmes, Carolyn "Ping" Pingatore:Jr. AA Champ 1967. Was a George Lewis and Dale Shirley gymnast. 1968 USGF AA Champ. Captain of the US women’s gymnastics team in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Coached at Jerry Penney's Christmas Camps in the 1970's.
Jacobs, Carol: Graduated from UW in 1962. Took classes from Dort McLain. Went to Olympia HS and started a team. Coached UW team. Went to Renton HSfor 2 years, then Lindberg HS. Started a club with Ivan Little called Renton Gymnastics Unlimited. It was a tiny gym. (She coached Tammy Sutton Carney who went on to win high school state, was an SPU gymnast, and now coaches and has own leotard design company.)
Johnson, Jill (Welker): YMCA gymnast. National competition with Laurel and Debbie Halle. SPU gymnast in 1975 - Laurels first year there as coach. Her husband was the AAI rep before Sandy Strathdee Gaines.
Jones, Shilese Junior Elite 2014, Auburn Gymnastics, Buckeye 2015.
Kephart, Dale McClements: Born 12/31/44. Moved to Seattle 1959 from Canada. Attended Highline HS. Also was a Gym Kamper. Turned out for high school gymnastics and also Seattle "Y". Our states most notable woman gymnast and womens international level coach. Named to the AAU All American Women's Gymnastic Teams. Graduated from UW and University of Nevada. (Grad work in PE)
1985 Inducted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Kesler, Jen: Gymnastics East gymnast. Began gymnastics at age 4 at Jean Hackle's Gym Plus in Snohomish. She went on to NWA and then to Gym East where she was coached by John and Tammy Carney. She won level 5 State AA in 1998, level 7 State AA in 1999 and as a level 8 in the year 2000, she took first AA at State and at Regionals. She took 1st in a meet in Chile. At Regionals in 2001 as a level 9 and again in 2002. In 2003 as a level 10 she took 2nd at State in the AA, and first AA at Regionals. 2004 she took 1st AA at State and Regionals and at the Cancun Classis she took first. In 2005 and 2006 she again won State and Regionals. Won Level 10 National All Around and Vault, 2006. 2006 Level 10 Region 2 Champ in AA, Vault, Bars and Floor. 2007 Level 10 Region 2 Champ in AA, Vault, Bars, Beam and Floor. 2007 Level 10 National Champ and also repeated as National Vault Champ, but added Bars Championship this year. 4 time National JO team member. 2013- began coaching at Lindenwood University, MO. National Champs in 2015 at USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships.
Scholarship to OSU. 2008: Jen had a dramatic impact on all of OSU's lineups as a rookie. She competed on bars and beam in all 14 meets and on the floor exercise in nine meets. Jen won the NCAA West Regional bars title with a career-high 9.95. Jen earned her first all-around performance at the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational scoring 39.35 to finish third in the meet and added a career-best 9.925 on beam in the meet. She added a career-high 9.825 on the floor against BYU. Jen was chosen as the Female Newcomer of the Year at The Bennys, an end-of-the-year celebration commemorating the achievements of student-athletes at OSU. At Gymnastics East, she was teammates with current Arkansas gymnast Sarah Nagashima, Auburn's Aimee Goheen and San Jose State's Jessica Khoshnood.
Lanterman, Patti (Gable) (see Gable)
Luna, Linda (Rodella): UW gymnast. She was on the Seattle Gymnastics Club team that toured Asia in 1968. Linda was the best women's all-around performer on the team. She was the former Pacific Northwest junior and senior champion. In 1965 she placed third in the Junior National AAU Championships. Was on the 1970 team that toured South America. Married UW men's team member Bo Bennett. Later married Sergio Luna Olympian for Equador in 1968 and is the mother of gymnasts Daniel and Sergio Jr., and Amber.
Lutz, Linda Haverly 1980's gymnast - the first in our state to perform a Tkatchev on the unevens. Started at the Academy of Olympic Gymnastics with Laurie Metzger (Reid) and Nancy Baumgartner as coaches. By 1982 she was already a class 1 under coaches Dale Shirley, Jim Wilkins and Linda Parker - the gym closed after the 1984 season.
(Photo from Linda Lutz: top: Linda, ?, middle row: ?, ?, Nancy Baumgartner, coach, Deanne Dengate; bottom row; Erin Brewer and Trisha ?)
Meija, Roni Barrios (see Barrios)
McClements, Dale (Kephart) (see Kephart)
McClements, Leann: Elite gymnast. Dale and Wayne's sister. U.S. National Team Staff. Coach at Tigard School of Gymnastics, Oregon. Coached at Jerry Penney's Christmas Camps in the 1970's.
Mordre, Yumi: (Pringle): Elite gymnast. Yumi started gymnastics with Gymnastics Incorportated and George Lewis and was coached by Jackie Carringer and then Laurel Tindall.
UW 1985 -1988.
Mountford, Julie: PSSG gymnast for Brad Loan. 1991 Elite National Vault Champ. Puyallup High School. 1997 High School State Beam Champ; 1998 4A High School Vault Champion.
Patoile, Karen (Wisen) (see Wisen)
Pizl Price, Lisa:
She was honored to be selected by Kiro TV as the Athlete of the Week and was the subject of a one hour TV special on Lisa's training for the 1990 Goodwill Games which was hosted by Steve Raible who was interested in the comparison of a German Gymnast who was also training for the Seattle Goodwill Games. Lisa was training at a very high level and much of her training, and daily activities were included in the One hour TV special on KIRO TV.
Pierce, Linda (Goos): NWA gymnast in the 1980's. 1987 J.O. National AA -3rd place. 3 time Class 1 State and Regional Champ. 2 time National Elite. Full ride to Oregon State U. Was voted 1988 MVP. 1989 and '90 All Pac 10 gymnast. 1990 Ruby Ruth Academic Award. 1990 and '91 Academic All-American. 1991 Co-Captain OSU team. 1997 Selected to Pac-10 Gymnastics "All Decade Team". 2007 USAG Washington Hall of Fame inductee.
Pingatore Carolyn "Ping" (Holmes) (see Holmes)
Pringle, Yumi Mordre (see Mordre)
Pritchard, Emily: Competed at PSSG. 1993 and '94 she was a Jr. Elite. 1995 and '96 Sr. Elite. Three time level 10 National participant. 1999 Regional all-around champ. Has an uneven bar move named for her. UW Gymnast. 2001 UW Rookie of The Year. 2001 NCAA Regional Champ. Has Uneven Bar Move named for her - it is in the code of points: 2.306
Prosser, Heidi: PSSG gymnast. 1993 US Classic National AA Champ and Am. Classic National AA Champ -both in the junior elite division. National floor champ at the US Classic Childrens Division in 1992 and she was bronze medal winnner at the Jr International Invitational in Osaka Japan in 1992.
Roach, Melanie Kosoff: High School gymnast in early 1990's. Went to the Olympics in Bejing in 2008 in weight lifting. Wife of state legislator and owner of Roach Gymnastics Club.
Rogers, Taunia (Davies): Gymnast at AOG for Dale Shirley. Won VT Beam, FX, and all-around in 1981 at the High School State Meet, and in 1982 won all four events and the all-around. At one time she owned a gym in Bellevue with Carol Elsner and Cathy Sutherland. Coached at NWA and for a while at SCATS.
Rodella, Linda (Luna) (see Luna)
Rowe, Baely: Born 1995. JO National Team Member, who won the US Challenge as a Junior Pre-Elite on vault. Coached by Brent Phelps and and Peter Flores, AGC. Has Moved named for her in the Code of Points: Beam 8.401
Rowen, Peggy: As a 13 year old junior high student in Tacoma, she toured Asia with the Seattle Gymnastics Club in 1968. She won novice and junior championships in the YMCA and AAU competitions and in 1967 was a member of the "Y" team that won the National YMCA championship.
Schreifels, Cleo Carver (see Carver)
Schroeder, Joyce Tanac (see Tanac)
Smith, Keeley: 2006 Curtis High School grad. Competed for Grace Gymnastics Center. Two-time YMCA National Champion - 2002, 2004. USAG WA AA State Champion, Level 10 2005, Level 8 2002. USAG Region 2 FX Champion, 2004. Three-time J.O. National Competitor - 5th BB, 10th FX, 2006. Competed for University of New Hampshire- 2007: scored 9.925 on BB to tie for 5th on UNH all-time record board, tied for 6th on BB at 2007 NCAA Northeast Regionals; 2nd team All - EAGL on BB; Multiple 1st place showings on FX in dual meets. Named to 2007 EAGL All-Academic team.
Smith, Tasha: 2006 Second Team All-American, Vault, Pac-10 Vault Champion,Pac-10 Floor Exercise Champion, 2006 Co-Female Newcomer of the Year (OSU), 2006 -Tasha missed four meets in the middle of the season due to turf toe (three meets) and ankle (one meet) injuries. Tasha, who finally got healthy in time for the end of the season, won Pac-10 titles on vault and floor in her first meet back in the all-around competition. Tasha, whose hip-hop floor exercise has quickly become a crowd favorite around Gill Coliseum, set her career-high on floor with 9.95 in the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational and then matched it at Pac-10s. Her 9.925 on vault at the Pac-10 Championships was also a season-high. In her last vault of the season at Nationals (9.85) just missed moving on to the Individual Finals but still earned her Second Team All-American status on the event. At the conclusion of the season, Tasha was recognized at OSU’s Bennys Awards banquet as a Co-Female Newcomer of the Year. Pre-Oregon State Earned a spot on the national team in 2002, 2003 and 2005... Won national title on vault in 2005 and on floor exercise in 2003... Finished second in the all-around at Junior Nationals in 2002 and 2005 and finished third in 2003... Trained at Gymnastics Express under coaches Jeff and Linda Lutz. Born in
Sussman, Louise Grant (see Grant)
Cathy Sutherland: Coach for over 38 years, compulsory to International Elite levels.
Tanac, Joyce Schroeder: Began tumbling at age 10. Started at the Seattle "Y" in 1963 with George Lewis. (Frank Hailand was also an early influence.) She was first YMCA National AA Champion. She holds National Championships in AAU, USGF, and YMCA competitions. She performed the one arm handstand on the beam at the 1967 Pan Am Games. The Tanac dismount on unevens is named for her. (Others in the gym were playing with this move, but Joyce was the first to do it in national competition.) 1965-'66 -National YMCA Women's AA Champ. World Games team 1966. 1966 Pan Am Games, 2nd AA. 1968 Olympic Trials, 1st AA. US Olympic team 1968. (Team was 6th, Joyce was 30th AA at Olympics.) She won the Senior National AA - USGF in 1969. 1969 First USGF World Cup, 3rd AA. 1969 Pacific Coast Invitational 1st AA. 1969 AAU National AA Champ and placed first in every individual event. Competed for the UW Womens Team. Member US Collegiate All Star team. UW Hall of Fame 1998. 1990 inducted into the national gymnastics Hall of Fame. 2003 WA. USAG Hall of Fame. Lives in Spokane. (Her father, Bob, was the Pacific NW AAU Junior Olympic Committee representative in the 1960's.)
Taylor, Priscilla K. Hickey (see Hickey)
Tindall, Laurel Anderson: Student of George Lewis, Elite gymnast from 1969-1975.
Walkup, Patsy: Started at "Y" in 1957. Also with Eric Hughes. Went to Roosevelt HS. Trained with the boys. As a 14 year old, Patsy competed in the Pacific Northwest Association meet. She was one of the Northwest's most accomplished gymnasts at the time. At 15, she was 3rd in the all-around at the NWAAU. Graduated 1960. Competed in Canada. Went to first Gym Kamp. Taught with Eric. Worked with Inga-Lisa Franzon.
Welker, Jill Johnson (see Welker)
White, Tiffani: born on July 16, 1981 in Yakima, earned national gymnastics championships at elite levels during a 12-year career. 1990's gymnast at NASA, 1991 Washington State Junior Olympic all-around champion. 1993 she was a Western USA national championship qualifier and a USA junior national elite regional champ. Became Elite and won Beam at the American Classic and floor at the US Classic. In 1994 she was the Pacific Northwest Elite all-around champion, and in 1995 was selected to the Sports Festival and junior national teams. She won 1995 national championship in the floor exercise and finished as the national runner-up in all-around that same year.
Was member of the winning team at US Sports Festival in Colorado Springs. USAIGC Open Division National Floor Champion. White performed with the U.S. national gymnastics team in exhibitions in 1996 and 1997 in the Key Arena in Seattle. One year later, she won the national crown in both floor exercise and balance beam. In addition to her national titles, she twice won the state balance beam, floor exercise and all-around championships. She also won a regional balance beam title. She earned the title as the “Strongest Gymnast,” pound-for pound, in strength testing conducted at the Olympic Training Center. After graduating from Puyallup High School in 1999, she competed for one year at Oregon State University and graduated from that school in 2003. 2007 Tacoma Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame Inductee.
Williams, Catherine (Kadera): PSSG Elite gymnast for Brad Loan. Puyallup High School.
Willis, Onnie: From Tacoma. PSSG gymnast for Brad Loan and Cathy Sutherland. 1996 USA Jr. National Team and 8th place at American Classics. Competed in three US Championships. National AA, Vt. And Beam champ 1998.
Club Five-year elite gymnast at Puget Sound Gymnastics under coaches Brad Loan and Cathy Sutherland. Was selected her club's Top Performer of the Year three times. Named the 1999 Tacoma Athletic Commission Athlete of the Year and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Western Washington J.O. National all-around, vault and beam champion in 1998. Made the 1996 USA Junior National Team after an eighth-place showing at the American Classic. Chosen to compete for the US at the 1993 Japan Tour. Competed in three U.S. Championships.
Personal Describes her team's win at the 1998 Junior Olympic Nationals as the greatest meet of her life and her biggest athletic thrill. Earned four varsity letters as a long and triple jumper at Wilson HS in Tacoma. 1999 State Triple Jump Champion and state bronze medalist in the long jump (career-best mark of 17-11) Set the school record in the triple jump (career-best 38-5 1/2) her freshman year. Four-time team MVP. 1999 track team captain. Full name is Leoandra Elaine Willis. Born October 5, 1980 in Santa Maria, CA.
Wisen, Karen Patoile: Karen started competing in the 7th grade on the Mercer Island tumbling team. She transferred to the UW after competing in Minnesota at Gustavus Adolphus on their very first gymnastics team. Karen became captain of the team, which took 2nd at the first ever Collegiate Women's Invitations Gym Meet. (Southern Ill.)
Wong, Malinda: (first full-in double back in WA. 1982) PSSG gymnast. 1982 and '83 Sr. Elite.
Woodard Kantas, Lonna
Woodruff, Betsy (Erickson): Gymnast at Oak Harbor Gymnastics Club then UW. Was a winning contestant on the tv show American Gladiator -won a car. Coaches at Leading Edge Gymnastics in Bellingham and coached elite gymnast Annie Campbell.
Early gymnasts from the beginnings of WA. gymnastics: 1950's and 60's
Anderson, Gaye: Went with Ivan Little from the Tukwila School District to the "Y". Owns the New Orleans Restaurant in Pioneer Square.
Elite (top level WA gymnasts) Groupings according to eras
FORMER WASHINGTON GYMNAST MEMORIES