Mercer Island High School senior gymnastics captain Kate Bryan. Courtesy photo

Mercer Island High School senior gymnastics captain Kate Bryan. Courtesy photo

MIHS senior Bryan is hooked on gymnastics

Islander captain thrives on the balance beam.

Kate Bryan’s gymnastics seeds were sown when she found enjoyment from climbing on top of things and hanging upside down as a youngster.

“When I learned I could do really cool things that I could show off to my friends at recess, it was really enticing,” said the Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior, who eventually began performing on the gymnastics mat. “It was a great way to channel that energy in a little more of a safer environment.”

After competing in elementary school for about a year and a half, Bryan spent some time engaging in other sports before she was drawn back into the gymnastics world four years ago. She admired the sport for both its difficulty and the fun times she experienced. When speaking with MIHS gymnasts, she heard great things about the program and wanted to give the sport another shot.

“I walked in the first day and it was just such a welcoming atmosphere. I learned so much that I was just like, ‘All right, I’m hooked,’” she said.

Bryan shares captain duties with Kayla Friedman, Sarah Kann and Rachel Ressmeyer and said that the foursome focuses on team spirit, morale boosting and connecting with each other so that everyone’s excited for the season.

The Islander competes on the balance beam, floor exercise and vault and targets the beam as her favorite event. It’s a love/hate relationship with the beam, she said with a laugh, because the event can be both grueling and gratifying.

“When I do land my skills and hit a routine the best that I can, the feeling of pride and satisfaction that I did a really good job is just so much greater because the stakes were higher — I was three feet in the air,” Bryan said.

Off the gymnastics mat, Bryan just finished sending out her college applications and hopes to major in mechanical engineering at the next academic level.

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

What would be your dream job?

I want to create products that in some way changes other peoples’ lives for the better. I think it’s cool to use science to explore my creativity because they’re two things that I am very passionate about.

Do you have a motto that gets you through the day?

I tend to overthink things. I’ll let myself think of like the worst ‘what-if?’ situation, and then I just sort of try to think, like, ‘And then what?’ to get myself to move on and realize that there’s always something on the other side of whatever challenge is in front of me.

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

Kamala Harris.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Do you have a hidden talent that maybe somebody doesn’t know about?

I’m really good at doing the Rubik’s Cube. I can do it in under a minute. That’s how I got through Zoom school last year was I would do it outside of the frame of my Zoom calls.

What’s your go-to snack or meal before a meet?

Usually it’s some sort of sandwich with a protein like turkey, and I’m obsessed with avocado at the moment.

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