Sammamish freshman Micah Laughary performs her beam routine during a meet on Jan. 9 at Issaquah High School. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Sammamish freshman Micah Laughary performs her beam routine during a meet on Jan. 9 at Issaquah High School. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Totems tumble their way to big scores

The Sammamish gymnastics team focuses on having fun.

The Sammamish girls are focused on doing gymnastics for the fun of the sport.

“The girls who come from club are here for fun,” head coach Jessica Buck said. “They’re here to fall back in love with the sport and to remember why they started doing it. Gymnastics can be very individual, so you find a team environment here and you’re supporting each other. The girls love that.”

The Totems have won their first three meets of the season, eclipsing a total team score of 173 in all of their meets. The Totems earned their second-highest team score of the season with a 175 at a quad meet on Jan. 9 at Issaquah High School. The 2A Sammamish team finished first, ahead of three 4A schools.

Sammamish had three of the top four gymnasts in the all-around, with Lilje Stratton in fourth, Aiko Hirai in third and Sydney Griswold in second.

Buck said the team is working hard and coming into practice and working on new skills.

“We’re excited to see where it goes,” Buck said. “We haven’t had a meet where we’re throwing our full start value, so we’re excited to see where that goes towards the postseason.”

With plenty of talented gymnasts and a good senior class, Buck said they have plenty of gymnasts putting up big skills.

“We have a girl on beam, senior Mia Keane, who throws a D-level skill,” Buck said. “She doesn’t have a gymnastics background at all. It’s a huge skill, a tuck full, she does it amazingly every time.”

Buck said that she thinks they can have multiple girls qualify for state.

“We’re hoping to qualify as many as possible from our postseason lineup,” Buck said. “We can take six on each event, so we’re hoping six girls on each event go to state.”

For Buck, coaching high school gymnastics provides an exciting challenge. She said coaching a team with a wide range of gymnastics experience is her favorite part of the job.

“You sort of get a little bit of everything,” Buck said. “You can coach girls who have never done it and focus on cartwheels and handstands, but you’re also coaching big skills. So it’s an array of things and it’s fun trying to organize it.”

Some of the more experienced gymnasts also help coach the girls who have never done gymnastics before.

“It’s cool because they’re pulling information they didn’t even know they had,” Buck said. “Which is helping them in the long run too.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Vikings earn all-league honors on the basketball court

Both boys and girls Bellevue Christian basketball teams were well represented on… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Local basketball standouts receive KingCo all-league honors

Bellevue-area basketball players received KingCo boys and girls all-league honors for the… Continue reading

Vikings end season at the SunDome

The Bellevue Christian boys lose to Meridian in the 1A state basketball tournament in Yakima.

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Relay teams guide Sammamish to boys swim and dive state title

The Totems won the 2A state title for the first time in program history.