Issaquah senior Maya Mandyam performs her floor routine during a meet on Jan. 9 at Issaquah High School. Mandyam finished second on floor with a score of 9.45. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

Issaquah senior Maya Mandyam performs her floor routine during a meet on Jan. 9 at Issaquah High School. Mandyam finished second on floor with a score of 9.45. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

Issaquah gymnast looking to enjoy senior season

Maya Mandyam is off to a stellar start in her first and last year of high school gymnastics

After years of worrying about scores and making it to state as a club gymnast, Issaquah senior Maya Mandyam is going into her first and last year of high school gymnastics focusing on enjoying the sport she’s done since she was 4 years old.

“I want to have a happy, healthy season,” Mandyam said. “I feel like in club gymnastics, I was focused on making it to state or making it to western nationals and I never really focused on having fun. I want to prioritize that this year.”

Mandyam said she has enjoyed the team-first environment with the Issaquah gymnastics squad.

“I really enjoy the team atmosphere and how everyone supports each other,” Mandyam said. “Everyone just wants to have fun instead of just wanting to win. In high school, you’re competing for your school. Everyone just wants everyone else to do as good as they can. It’s a really nice atmosphere.”

After a long club gymnastics career, Mandyam chose to step away from the competitive realm, but she wasn’t ready to quit gymnastics altogether.

“Throughout those years, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I went to western nationals one year, which was pretty cool, but I also got surgery on my elbow. There were a lot of good and bad things. I would say it has definitely shaped who I am today. It taught me a lot of values like how to work hard.”

Mandyam said she enjoys the more relaxed training schedule of high school gymnastics.

“When I did club gymnastics, It kind of took up my whole life. I didn’t have time for a lot of social activities. So, for my senior year, I wanted to have more fun,” Mandyam said. “I’m spending a lot more time with friends.”

Mandyam has also started rock climbing, a sport that she said has a similar skillset to gymnastics.

“Indoor bouldering is really fun and really exciting,” Mandyam said. “I’m focusing more on school too. I have college applications, so it was nice to actually have time to write them.”

In her first home meet of the season on Jan. 9, Mandyam finished first in the all-around with a score of 36.9. Mandyam finished first on bars (9.5) and beam (9.7) and second on floor (9.45). The Eagles finished third out of the four teams, scoring a season-high team score of 171.1, just 0.6 behind Woodinville.

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

What is your favorite movie?

I’d probably say “The Sound of Music.”

Is there a song you’ve been listening to a lot lately?

There’s this one song that I just found, “Please Notice” by Christian Leave. My best friend and I fell in love with it.

Do you have any superstitions?

I have a few. I have to crack my back on the beam, and I like to feel the bars before I compete bars. I knock on wood a lot too.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I really don’t like when the windshield wipers on your car make that squeaky noise.

What is your dream vacation?

Definitely in the mountains. I’ve gotten into mountain climbing and I climbed Mt. Baker this summer. So I would probably go somewhere in the Himalayas.


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@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.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.

Maya Mandyam performs a back handspring during her beam routine on Jan. 9 at Issaquah High School. Mandyam finished first on beam with a score of 9.7. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

Maya Mandyam performs a back handspring during her beam routine on Jan. 9 at Issaquah High School. Mandyam finished first on beam with a score of 9.7. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

More in Sports

Eastlake player throws a pitch. Courtesy of Patrick Krohn.
Eastlake baseball team defeats Bothell High School

The final score of the May 10 game was 10-3.

The Issaquah High School baseball team celebrates their May 10 win against Skyline. Courtesy of Patrick Krohn.
Issaquah baseball to play one game before heading to state

On May 10 Issaquah defeated Skyline by 4-3.

tsr
WIAA launches bias reporting form in response to discriminatory incidents

Inappropriate behavior seen, heard or witnessed at any WIAA member school event can be reported.

Courtesy of Calder Productions
Girls basketball: Mt. Si beats Issaquah in conference action

Mount Si High School beat Issaquah 68-59 at home Jan. 5 in… Continue reading

file photo
Health department: COVID outbreaks linked to high school wrestling tournaments

At least 80 cases are tied to the events which included attendees from multiple counties and states.

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Photo of Eastlake Little League’s All Star Team. From L to R: (Back row) Jackson Wheeler, Kellen Kinney, Sanath Chari, James Ort III, Sule Tian, Eli Jones, Pryce Eadon. (Front row) JJ Hamiltion, Sawyer Todd, Ryder Oswalt, Walter Steinbok, Logan Rausch, Harrison Militello. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Steinbok.
Eastlake’s time at Little League World Series comes to an end

The boys of Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-star team’s time at the… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Teaser
Eastlake all-stars score spot in Little League World Series

Eastlake Little League’s 12U all star team was crowned Northwest Regional Champions… Continue reading

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading