Sports

Maruhashi takes all-around title

Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Mercer Island senior Laura Maruhashi competes at districts during the floor exercise. -
Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Mercer Island senior Laura Maruhashi competes at districts during the floor exercise.
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Harvey qualifies for state despite injured ankle

By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter

Mercer Island senior Laura Maruhashi sat in anticipation, waiting to hear her name called as the top 10 all-around placings were counted down following the district meet at Sammamish High School.

Maruhashi had her doubts as to where she would stand on the podium. After all, none of her individual performances scored well enough for first place.

The tension began to mount as third place passed her by.

“When there was only one place left I thought, ‘Maybe I didn’t place,’” said Maruhashi. “I wasn’t really paying attention to the scores.”

Maruhashi gave new meaning to the term all-around champion of the district meet as she stood atop the podium with a combined score of 36.875, defeating the Newport opponent that narrowly outscored her for the KingCo title the week previous.

“I thought she was the best in KingCo,” said Mercer Island coach Lenny Lewis about Maruhashi. “I wasn’t surprised.”

For Maruhashi, it was the culmination of years of hard work in the gym.

“It felt really good,” said Maruhashi, who scored a 9.325 on beam, 9.25 on floor, 9.25 on vault and 9.05 on bars. “This is a great way to go out. It was almost perfect, except my floor routine.”

Floor was the Islanders’ downfall during the meet as multiple gymnasts made mistakes.

The squad finished the meet fourth overall with a score of 159.2, a little over two points behind Bainbridge Island for the final team spot to state.

“It was disappointing but all the girls gave it their best,” said Lewis.

One Islander went above and beyond for her team and her career. Senior Olivia Harvey competed in an ankle brace, due to a nagging injury. Battling the discomfort and awkwardness, Harvey still qualified for state in all four events, scoring an 8.575 on beam, 8.35 on bars, 8.3 on vault and 7.425 on floor.

The Islander, in the second-to-last meet of her career, was visibly frustrated following her floor routine.

“It is tough to compete like that,” said Lewis of Harvey’s effort. “It was still sore, and it’s hard to push off. She just wasn’t herself.”

Despite not qualifying for state as a team, the Islanders will have a van-load of girls competing individually at state.

Along with Maruhashi and Harvey in the all-around, the team will send junior Erika Reutimann in all four events. She scored a 7.525 on beam, 8.6 on floor, 8.3 on vault and 7.125 on bars.

Freshman Vanessa Gaffney will compete on beam (7.7), floor (8.575) and vault (8.5), while Kendra Johnson qualified on floor (7.05).

Senior Brittney Horn also qualified by performing a nearly flawless routine on bars (6.25).

The state meet will be held Saturday at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Center.

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