Putting her best foot forward on the gymnastics scene

MIHS senior Kann captains Islander squad.

Some aspects of gymnastics are scary and stressful, but Sarah Kann has the ability to turn things around when it’s go-time.

When the Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior captain thinks of the balance beam, she notes with a laugh that she’s developed a love/hate relationship with the event.

Along with the floor routine, Kann considers beam one of her best events, one that she’s nailed an 8.5 score on during her four-year high school career. To conquer the tough event, she focuses on enjoying herself and not worrying about falling.

“It’s relieving, the feeling after I do a beam routine. It’s just a really good feeling,” said Kann, who captains the team with fellow senior Sam Sulla.

When it comes floor time, she thrives on reeling off a series of flips during the routine. Like beam, Kann’s top high school mark is an 8.5.

“I like dancing to the music. And I’m a cheerleader, too, so kind of adding that dance aspect in and I like tumbling on the floor,” said Kann, who’s been participating in gymnastics since the age of 6. She went on a two-year hiatus from competitions to get into cheerleading, but her love of the sport drew her back into the gymnastics realm when she started high school.

Kann used to participate in pressure-filled club gymnastics, but has been solely focused on MIHS events for the last four years. Team unity and plenty of fun are hallmarks of the Islander program, she said. Giving teammates a boost of confidence from her captain spot is a vital element of her leadership role.

“I love how everybody is here to have a good time. We walk into practice just to have fun, and obviously try our best, and everybody gets out there competing and we cheer for everybody,” she said.

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

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

Everything happens for a reason. I just like to remind myself of that whenever something bad happens. I just have to think that maybe it’s redirecting me into a new path and leading me to something better.

What’s a super power you’d like to have?

This is kind of fitting with gymnastics, so probably being able to fly.

What’s a binge-worthy TV series that you like to watch?

I really like “Grey’s Anatomy,” that’s a classic. Recently I just binge-watched “The Great British Baking Show.” It’s a good one.

What’s a hidden talent you have that people might not know about?

I can cook some good meals. Over quarantine, I starting cooking some meals for my family: I made this sweet potato curry thing that was good. This is baking, but apple pie.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

I hate when people in my family leave open chip bags or bread and then it goes stale.

What’s your dream vacation spot?

I actually went to my dream vacation spot this past summer, it was Greece. Greek islands — Santorini, Mykonos — it’s just so beautiful there. (Next up) Maybe Thailand. I know there’s a lot of pretty beaches there, as well, but I’ve also never been to Asia.