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

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

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.

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

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.

Worker at 3A, 4A state basketball tournament tests positive for COVID-19

In a statement released on March 13, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association… 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

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

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

Eagles hold on, take fourth at state

Issaquah held on for a 67-56 victory over Todd Beamer in the girls 4A state tournament.