Kris Brackmann sets the bar high for herself.

“I’m very competitive with myself,” she said. “I try to be the best I can be in anything I do.”

So Brackmann came into her final year at Mercer Island High School with some lofty athletic goals. And she leaves with a sense of satisfaction.

“I was reflecting on the bucket list I’d made for my senior year, and I feel I accomplished a lot of the things I had hoped to do, and a lot more than I had ever dreamed of doing,” she said. “I’m sad to leave, but I’m happy for my accomplishments.”

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And for those accomplishments, Brackmann is The Seattle Times Female High School Athlete of the Year.

Brackmann played in all-state events for both volleyball and basketball, a rare feat. And, since she had some free time this spring for the first time, she decided to turn out for track and field and wound up qualifying for state in the high jump. The fact that she finished 11th was only a slight disappointment.

“Just getting to state was something I set as a goal,” she said. “I do love a challenge and was hoping to medal, but I’m still really glad I got to compete.”

Ask around about Brackmann, a 3.9 student, and you’ll often hear the word competitive.

“She’s extremely competitive, in a good way,” Mercer Island volleyball coach Susan McKay said. “Sometimes she would do anything to will the team to win.”

The Islanders won all but one volleyball match last season. And that one is still a sore subject to Brackmann and her teammates. The five-setter came in the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament against eventual champion Prairie of Brush Prairie. MI, widely considered the other top team in the tourney, came back to win three matches but had to settle for the seventh-place trophy.

“The 24-1 record is what I will remember,” said the 5-foot-11 Brackmann, who was in the top three on her multi-talented team in kills, blocks, aces and digs.

She will also remember trying out for the school’s musical, “Rent!”, another item on her bucket list, and leading the basketball team to state after a 5-15 finish her junior year.

Brackmann, who will play at Claremont McKenna College in California, averaged 13 points, four rebounds and two steals for the Islanders, but her biggest impact on the team was measured in other ways.

“Kris is a great leader because she served her team with more than her athletic ability,” MI basketball coach Kaela Yuen wrote in an email. “She served her team with a generous spirit of compassion and loyalty, striving to make her teammates better both on and off the floor.”

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