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Two is not enough against Issaquah
Gymnasts beat in big meet
By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter
The start to the second half of the season did not begin as Mercer Island gymnastics coach, Lenny Lewis, had hoped. The team’s 169.1-152.65 loss to Issaquah was a devastating hit to Mercer Island’s chances for a KingCo title.
“You have one bad meet every year, so we should be done with it now,” said Lewis. “This is typical MI, though: start slow, finish big.”
It was the second loss of the season for the Islanders, but as disappointed as Lewis was with the results, he saw some reason for hope.
“The postseason looks bright,” said Lewis. “Our top two gymnasts have placed one and two in all-around during every meet this year.”
That trend continued against the high-scoring Eagles, as Olivia Harvey placed first with 35.65 points, and Laura Maruhashi finished second with 35.2. But Islander depth was nowhere to be found as Issaquah occupied the next seven spots in all-around.
“We need more consistency to really get our numbers up,” said Lewis.
Harvey was strongest on beam as she scored a 9.2, taking first overall. The senior’s highest point total of the night came on floor exercise with a 9.35, placing fifth overall. But Maruhashi’s 9.2, which tied her for seventh overall, was the only other nine on the event that saw eight Eagles place in the top 10. Maruhashi scored an 8.4 on beam to place fourth, but won the vault event with an 8.9, while Harvey was tied for sixth with a score of 8.3.
Harvey (8.8) and Maruhashi (8.7) also performed well on bars as they placed second and third overall for the meet.
“This is a good meet because we know what we have to do better against teams like this,” said Harvey. “We all just need to step up a little more. I need to clean up my skills and make sure I get them down as well as possible.”
Only one other Islander even broke into the top 10 in any of the four individual events.
Erika Reutimann placed ninth on beam with a score of 7.3 and finished in a four-way tie for 10th place on vault with a score of 8.0.
“I have learned some new moves on vault and bars,” said Reutimann. “Laura [Maruhashi] is always pushing me, she is kind of like my mentor.”
Reutimann, poised to become the team’s third highest-scoring gymnast, could become key to the Islanders’ success this season.
“We have been going through routines like crazy,” said Reutimann. “If we can get our new skills down, we will all improve our scores.”
Reutimann has battled a series of injuries during the past two seasons. This year the junior is healthier.
“I got a few breaks from practice over vacation, which I think was good for me,” said Reutimann. “But I did go skiing and that probably wasn’t the best thing for my back.”
Injuries have hampered the gymnastic team’s scores. The meet against Issaquah was no different: one athlete broke her arm and another injured her toe during the winter break practices.
The Islanders have yet to score in the 160s. Scoring that high has brought some teams the state title in past years, but this season the competition level in the state and KingCo is tough.
“The 160s are a reachable goal,” said Reutimann.