Redmond’s Ashley He qualified for the 4A state gymnastics meet on vault and bars. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Redmond’s Ashley He qualified for the 4A state gymnastics meet on vault and bars. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

‘We hit gymnastics and that was the one’

Redmond’s He is set for another state appearance.

Redmond High’s Ashley He thrives off the challenge that gymnastics brings into her world each day and how it teaches her to be disciplined.

The massive amounts of training takes her away from life outside of the gym, she said, but with a solid workout or stellar meet results comes a boost to excel wherever she roams.

“I’m like a perfectionist, I always wanna do my best,” He said.

Vault and bars will be the Mustang sophomore’s spots to give it her all at the 4A state gymnastics meet on Feb. 20-22 at Sammamish High in Bellevue. Last year, He competed at state on the bars and floor.

“Now that it’s my second time, I feel like I know what to expect more, and throughout the season I’ve been building up to that,” said He, who added better skills to raise her start values and cleaned up her routines this season. She noted that consistency will be key to her shining at state.

He’s new vault includes a front handspring full and she scored a 9.125 to place fifth at the 4A KingCo/District meet, where she notched eighth all-around with a mark of 35.125. Her bars routine, which features a pirouette and more, is tough to hit, and she’s elated when that happens.

After trying soccer, ballet and other sports, He found her calling with gymnastics seven years ago and has competed at Emerald City Gymnastics Academy ever since.

“We hit gymnastics and that was the one,” He said. “I feel like I clicked pretty fast. At the beginning, I moved up the levels pretty fast.”

Redmond captain Aria Mix gains inspiration from training and competing with He. Mix added that He is focused, caring and motivational.

“Obviously she has a lot of talent, but her work ethic is absolutely incredible,” Mix said. “She does routine after routine after routine for like six hours. It’s really helped me because I’ll start to slack off a little bit and then I’ll look over and be like, ‘We both have been doing this for (six) hours, and if Ashley can pull out another bar routine, then I can pull out another bar routine.’”

The Reporter asked He a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:

What inspires you… a song, author, something like that?

I’m really into music and bands. Can’t play instruments. (Some bands are) Movements, My Chemical Romance and Bring Me the Horizon.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

What super power would you like to have?


What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?

A big fan of Red Robin.

If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?

Aria (Mix).

What special skill would you like to learn?

I’d like to be able to pass any test.

What’s your dream vacation spot?

Amsterdam. Super aesthetically pleasing.

Do you have any kind of a routine that you do before meets?

They always play the “National Anthem,” if I remove my eyes from the flag at all during it, bound to be a really bad meet. Literally just stare at it until the song ends.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Ashley He competes on the floor exercise this season. Courtesy photo

Ashley He competes on the floor exercise this season. Courtesy photo

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Redmond coach, grapplers join Ascend Wrestling Academy

Redmond High wrestling coach Lantz Schwabenbauer and several local grapplers are part… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’
Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’

Mustangs open season against Squalicum.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.