Turning KingCo on its head – MI on collision course with Issy

By Matt Phelps

By Matt Phelps

Typically it takes the Mercer Island gymnastics team a while to hit its stride. That fact has stood in the way of the Islanders winning KingCo titles, as they usually draw perennial state contender Issaquah during the first couple of meets of the season.

But the first meet of this season, against Issaquah, was moved back to January 9 thanks to snow. The move gave Mercer Island more time to prepare and the team has had anything but a typical start, winning meets against Bellevue and Newport and turning 3A KingCo into a two team race.

The Islanders scored 166.55 points during their first meet of the year against Newport. The 3.55-point victory gave the Islanders not only a boost of confidence, they scored five-points better than last year’s season opener against Issaquah.

The Islanders were led by defending KingCo champ Kelsey Ingram, who won the All-around with a score of 36.35. Ingram scored 9.1 or better on three of four events.

The Islanders had four gymnasts finish the meet with scores in the 30s.

Islander Olivia Harvey is living up to the potential she showed last season with the second highest score of the meet with a 33.15. Islander Mimi Maritz (32.25) and sophomore Laura Maruhashi (32.45) gave Mercer Island some powerful numbers on the scoreboard.

Against Bellevue and 4A Bothell the Islanders defeated the Wolverines, but the numbers of the bigger school proved to be too much. The Islanders finished with a team score of 164.2, 18 points better than their 3A KingCo counter parts.

Ingram finished the meet with an All-around score of 36.75. The senior earned 9.1 or better on all the events, including a first-place score of 9.4 on beam.

Mercer Island will use the winter break to prepare for one of the biggest regular season meets in the school’s history against Issaquah. The winner will have the inside track on the regular season 3A KingCo title. The Islanders won the 3A KingCo championship meet last year but missed the regular season title by 1.6 points in their head-to-head meeting with Issaquah.