Dakota Clevidence wins WIAA Athlete Award

Each week throughout the school year, the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Administration recognizes varsity athletes who exhibited an outstanding performance for the previous week.

One of this weeks winners is HHS baseball’s own Dakota Clevidence (SR) who went 4-4 with three homeruns and nine RBIs, as the Timberwolves beat Columbia River 17-12 in a non-league game on 3/9. He scored three times and had a double!

Each winner of the WIAA State Athlete of the Week Award will receive a letter of recognition from the WIAA Executive Director, a commemorative WIAA State Athlete of the Week T-Shirt and certificate.

Congratulations Dakota!


Britni Atwell had to find gym time wherever, whenever it was available.

For much of a six-year stretch, she coached herself, doing anything for gymnastics.

“It’s more than just a sport. It’s everything,” said Atwell, a senior from Heritage. “Without it, I don’t know where I’d be today.”


Rest of All-Region team

Brooke Atwell, jr., Heritage: Placed eighth on vault at 4A state meet.

Jessica Curley, sr., Union: Placed eighth on beam at 4A state meet.

Jazmin Harris, sr., Union: Placed seventh on vault at 4A state meet.

Shaylan Hawthorne, sr., Columbia River: 11th on vault at 3A state; 3A GSHL gymnast of year.

Suren Kanchanavaleerat, sr., Union: Placed sixth on bars at 4A state meet.

Nicole Moss, so., Heritage: 4A bars state champion; placed 3rd on vault and beam at state.

At the high school level, Atwell will leave Heritage as the most decorated gymnast in Southwest Washington history, with nine state championships in her four years. Last month, she won the prestigious all-around title at the Class 4A state meet. She was the easy choice for The Columbian’s All-Region gymnast of the year.

“It’s still a shock,” Atwell said. “When people congratulate me, it still affects me like the day it happened. It’s a big deal.”

The next day, she became a four-time state champion on both the vault and floor exercise. No one in the 45-year history of the event had ever won four consecutive individual event titles.

“Not only did I do it once — something that had never been done before — but I did it twice,” she said. “It was a-MAY-zing.”

That is the Heritage gymnastics way of saying “amazing.”

Atwell began gymnastics at the age of 2. It can be an expensive sport, and her grandmother Phylis Bacon helped pay for the training. But when Bacon died in 2006, and the family’s budget did not have room for gymnastics, Atwell was a gymnast without a full-time gym.

She did have a lot of support, though. She worked out at Naydenov when she was allowed, kept working on her skills.

Last summer, Northwest Gymnastics Training Center in Gresham, Ore., gave her a scholarship, despite the fact that Atwell would not compete for NGTC during high school season — a rarity for the club sport.

“They knew high school was more of a priority for me. They accepted that,” Atwell said. “They wanted their younger girls to see what gymnastics had done for me. And if you want it, if you put everything on the line, it can come to you.”

Atwell never gave up on her pursuit. It resulted in nine state titles in her Heritage gymnastics career.

BRITNI ATWELL, Heritage High School

Season highlights

  • Atwell was already one of the most decorated high school gymnasts in Southwest Washington history. Then she dominated her senior year at the Class 4A state championships.
  • Atwell won the all-around title on the Friday at state, qualifying for all four individual event finals for Saturday.
  • She won the vault and floor exercise state titles, each for the fourth consecutive year. No gymnast had ever won four titles in the same event.
  • She concluded her career with nine state championships.

More about Britni

  • Plays the viola.
  • Favorite movie: “Tangled” by Disney. “It reminds me of wanting something so bad and going out to get it no matter how much trouble you might get into on the way.”
  • Favorite subject: Science. “Always different things you can do with it.”

Next year and beyond

She is not sure if she will be going to college in the fall. She plans to keep training and hopes to one day attend Seattle Pacific and compete, even if she must wait a year. She wants to study criminology.

“I’m proud of keeping my floor and vault titles. Making history for Southwest Washington was just icing on the yummy, delicious cake.”

Britni Atwell, Heritage gymnasts

Written by Paul Valencia for The Columbian

Britni Atwell wins four straight individual event titles

As reported in The Seattle Times today:

Britni Atwell of Vancouver’s Heritage not only set the standard at Saturday’s individual finals, she set a precedent — becoming the first gymnast in the state meet’s 45-year history to win four straight individual event titles.

And, she did it twice: on vault and floor in Class 4A competition.

“I’m in awe, I guess,” Atwell said with a laugh at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Six gymnasts have previously collected three individual crowns, most recently Kennedy Catholic’s Anissa Madrid (with floor titles in 2004, ’06 and ’07). But Atwell, who Friday night also won the 4A all-around title, is the first to earn a grand slam.

“I wasn’t aware I could be the first ever to do it all four years,” Atwell said.


“Yeah,” she said, “but as my coach says, I do well under pressure, so I didn’t mind it.”

Atwell nailed her vault (9.825, the day’s highest score in any event) to claim her fourth straight vault crown outright. She had shared two of her past three floor wins, and this time edged Tia Thomas of Federal Way, an athlete who didn’t pick up gymnastics until high school, 9.7 to 9.625.

Atwell’s proudest moment?

“That I placed on bars, because bars are my worst event,” she said with a smile. “And I got third!”

Heritage teammate Nicole Moss won 4A bars (9.675); Atwell scored 9.425.

Atwell, who hopes to compete for Seattle Pacific, was the day’s only double winner. Candace Ho of Newport won the 4A beam with a 9.625 after being the first of 11 competitors to perform.

“They have a random draw for the order,” Newport coach Melissa Baker said. “She told me, ‘I hope I go first. Every time I do that, I do awesome.’ When she got it I said, ‘OK, let’s see it.’ She got up there and it was the most solid routine. She didn’t wobble; just one little misstep on her dismount. She couldn’t have done any better.”

“It was perfect,” said Ho, who placed second in Friday’s all-around. “I just slow my mind down and focus on one skill at a time. I loved everything about it.”

In 3A/2A, four top-five finishers in Friday’s all-around picked up individual titles on Saturday.

Mia Alvarez of Highline, second to teammate Kristen Rodal in the all-around, claimed the floor title with a score of 9.625. Sophomore Nykaela Dodson of Sammamish, third in all-around, took the top medal for beam (9.525).

Junior Olivia Bannerot of 3A/2A team champion Enumclaw (fourth in all-around) took the bars crown with a 9.375. Kelsey Jaquish of Kamiakin, fifth in A-A, won vault (9.675), edging Bannerot and Alvarez, who tied for second at 9.625.

“I’ve been working really hard on bars this year,” Bannerot said. “In the middle of the year I had a mental block on my release move, so it’s cool that I got over it. Today wasn’t my best bar day, but I’m not complaining. I’m not as flashy as all the other people, so I just try to keep it tight and clean.”

Alvarez returned to prep gymnastics after devoting her junior year to club in order to up her skills and reach level 10. She’ll resume club training.

“I’m kind of sad because I won’t be seeing my high school teammates in the gym,” she said. “I’m going to miss them. They’re really supportive and always happy. You don’t see that in club. Most of them are serious and hardly smile. I’m going to miss their smiles.”


• Rodal took second on 3A/2A beam (9.5). Beyond her second on beam, Bannerot was also second on floor (9.55). Enumclaw teammate Molly Mattheis took third on bars (9.175) and tied with Alvarez for fifth on beam (9.4).

• In 4A, senior Monica Church of Jefferson took third on floor (9.55); Rose Kibala of Roosevelt and Ashley Parnell of Kentlake tied for fourth (9.5). Woodinville sophomore Emily Paratore and Ho tied for fourth on bars (9.375). Julia Winter of Bothell was fourth vault (9.55).


HHS’s John Ebert rips a wicked forehand.

John Ebert is the first T-Wolf to have gotten past tennis districts in six years. HOWL had to speak to him.

Tennis is John’s “thing.” At districts this year, Ebert was playing singles against stiff competition.  He blazed his way through a few competitors and secured his place in HHS history.

Bi-districts is where the best players of Southwest Washington compete.  When Ebert and Mr. Bieker arrived at bi-districts they already felt accomplished, because just making it there was an improvement over past years.

Even though John didn’t have a lot of success at the second tournament, HHS is terribly proud of him, and the path has been cleared for future T-wolves . And our competitors now know that we’re a fierce competitor.

by Hugo Gonzales