Tough sprain for gymnastics

Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander Erika Reutimann will compete in three of four events during the state meet. -
Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander Erika Reutimann will compete in three of four events during the state meet.
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The Mercer Island High School gymnastics team received bad news even before the district meet began on Saturday. The team would be without one of its top gymnasts, as Olivia Harvey sprained her ankle Wednesday night during a practice. Despite the adversity, the Islanders gave it their all and came up just 10 points shy of qualifying at a team by putting up their third best score of the year, 157.975.

“It was a really excellent meet for us,” said Mercer Island head gymnastics coach Lenny Lewis. “To have a gymnast the caliber of Olivia out and still score 157, that is awesome.”

The Islanders knew it would be difficult to finish in the top three at districts in order to qualify for state as a team. Bainbridge Island proved to be too much, scoring 167.8. The scores of Issaquah (173.175) and Newport (173.15) proved that KingCo is one of the strongest leagues in the state.

Harvey was disappointed to be sitting on the sidelines cheering on her team and not competing.

“I hope never to have to do this again,” said Harvey. “The first thing that went through my head when it happened was ouch and then I thought about districts. I just landed sideways.”

Despite missing the state meet as a team, Mercer Island will send four gymnasts to the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Center Friday and Saturday.

Islander Laura Maruhashi will compete at state in all-around for the second year in a row, as she posted a score of 36.225 for seventh place over all at districts.

Maruhashi’s best event of the night was beam where her performance was nearly flawless, placing third with a score of 9.275. The junior placed in the top 10 in every event. On vault, Maruhashi scored big with a 9.15, good enough to tie her for sixth place. A stumble on bars cost the junior points as she finished 10th with a score of 8.35, but came back to finish the meet strong with seventh place on floor exercise with a 9.45, her best score of the night.

One of the best performances of the night for the Islanders came from sophomore Erika Reutimann who qualified for state in three separate events. Reutimann scored big on floor with an 8.875 for 24th. Her score of 7.1 on bars placed her 26th on bars, while an 8.375 tied her for 33rd on vault. Reutimann narrowly missed the all-around competition of state, scoring a 7.625 score on beam for 37th overall, just outside of qualifying.

Seniors Lauren Govier and Kristen Shibuya qualified for state on beam and floor.

“We are just trying to keep the team up,” said Govier. “But it is hard when one of your best gymnasts goes down.”

Govier complete the floor exercise with a score of 8.95 to tie for 22nd overall and never so much as wobled on beam to finish 31st with a score of 7.775.

Shibuya also hit her beam routine to take 15th overall with a score of 8.725 and then took 31st on floor with a score of 8.35.

Melin takes ninth in all-around

Mercer Island resident and Bellevue High School gymnast, Natalie Melin, finished the meet ninth in all-around with a score of 35.9. Melin’s best event of the night was on vault as she tied for third place with a score of 9.2. On floor exercise, Melin she scored 9.525 for fourth place overall and went on to take sixth on bars with a score of 9.0. A fall on beam hurt Melin’s score (8.175) and placed her out of the top ten (23rd) for the first time this post season.

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