EHS graduate is a member of Seattle Pacific Universitys team

A 2009 Estacada High School graduate is planning on coming home after she finishes her stint as a star collegiate gymnast.

Stephanie Wagner, 22, started doing gymnastics at three years old and began competing at six. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at EHS, and her academic and athletic achievements earned Wagner a scholarship to Seattle Pacific University.

Wagner is now mere months away from graduating with a degree in communications and a minor in business.

But in the meantime, Wagner is shining as a member of the SPU gymnastics team.

A Feb. 15 home meet saw Wagner put on a career-best performance on the balance beam, earning a score of 9.85. That also was the best individual beam performance by an SPU gymnast since 2011.

Over the past few weeks, Wagner and the team have had a busy road schedule, with meets in San Jose, Calif., and Colorado.

The SPU gymnasts have their last regular meet this coming Friday, March 15 at the University of Washington. After that is a conference meet at SPU, followed by nationals in Louisiana at the beginning of April.

All indications are that the SPU team will qualify for nationals.

“The team is doing well. This is the best streak it’s had since 2004,” Wagner said. “We’re pretty strong this year.”

Throughout the gymnastics competition season, which runs from January to April, teams’ scores are averaged and the top eight placers go to nationals. SPU’s squad currently is seeded fifth, putting them on track to compete at that higher level.

Once she graduates in June, Wagner said she plans to return to Estacada and share her experience with younger gymnasts.

“I’ll probably coach and stay a part of the community,” she said.

Wagner’s sister, Shannon, likely will be among the recipients of that acquired wisdom. Shannon also is a gymnast and is a senior at EHS. Both girls began doing gymnastics at an early age.

“She started at pretty much the same time I did,” Wagner said. “Since I was always at the gym, she was always at the gym too.”

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