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Mercer Island gymnastics ready to surpass last season
Already this season the Mercer Island gymnasts have surpassed their best team score of last year.
Though head coach Lenny Lewis said the team has had its ups and downs at meets, things are going well overall.
“We’ve had good meets and not so good meets,” he said, saying the team has fought some nerves in recent meets.
“It’s better to get it out of the way early,” said Lewis.
Last season the team’s best score was 143, the coach said, which allowed the team to peak at the KingCo meet, but this season they’ve already hit that mark, in a meet that Lewis described as not their best.
“We’re thinking we can hit 150 to 160 and if we do, we can contend for the KingCo title,” he said, which could mean a solid postseason run for the Islanders. “But for right now, that’s just a nice goal for the season.”
Overall, Lewis said, this year’s team has more depth than in previous years, with six girls competing in the all-around competition.
“That’s really good,” he said. For now the team has to focus on continually improving its scores and routines to meet those postseason goals.
During the previous year the team finished fourth overall at the KingCo meet and sent three individuals to state. This season they expect to do as well, if not better.
Overall, the program had 72 girls try out, Lewis said, but the team was cut down to 43 because there were simply too many girls for the coaching staff.
“That’s just the way it has to be unless we had more coaches,” he said.
Last Thursday’s meet against Mount Si was the first major test for the team, but Lewis said the girls were nervous and it played a big role in the overall loss.
“They were so nervous,” he said. “We knew it was a big meet going to Mount Si; if we could beat them, we’d have a shot at KingCo. You could tell they were nervous and it was just a lot of little things. But it was a nice wake-up call.”
For the rest of the season, Lewis said the goal in meets will be to continue putting up their high scores, as well as being consistent.
This season Lewis said the Islanders’ strength is on the floor, but because of the size and depth of the team, the rest of the events are solid.
This season the team is captained by Kristen Trumble, Kari Johnson and Liana Shibuya.
The team will host its first home meet on Jan. 6 against Bellevue and Liberty starting at 7 p.m. in the MIHS gym.