Pivec, who also won the Times’ Female Athlete of the Year as a junior, helped the Royals to their first state track title and will take her humble attitude to play basketball at Oregon State after being named Washington’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Mikayla Pivec made her mark at Lynnwood High School.
Many of them, in fact.
But Pivec will be remembered for far more than her records and recognitions during a stellar prep career – which now includes a second straight award as The Seattle Times’ Female Athlete of the Year.
Six other girls you should have seen
Mia Corbin, Tahoma — With Division I skills in both soccer and softball, Corbin is in an elite class of athletes. She elected early on to pursue soccer and has signed with the University of California. The speedy midfielder notched 11 goals and 12 assists last fall, earning Star Times All-Area honors to go with her co-MVP award in the SPSL. In softball, Corbin helped the Bears win the 4A state title as a junior and was key to their return to the tournament this spring as a hard-hitting shortstop.
Ashley Cusack, Kennedy Catholic — Cusack is one of the state’s premier lacrosse players and has a scholarship to Arizona State to prove it. But she was also an integral part of Kennedy’s girls soccer and basketball teams as well and demonstrated her leadership as a team captain in all three sports. Cusack earned all-Seamount first-team honors in soccer as a defender, helping the Lancers win the league championship, and was also key to their playoff run in basketball.
Lydia Giomi, West Seattle — At 6-foot-7, Giomi is a rising star on the basketball court with the kind of potential that has Oregon coach Kelly Graves gushing about her “amazing future.” She is a two-time Metro League MVP and Star Times All-Area choice, regularly registering double-doubles, and was the Metro Defensive Player of the Year this past season as well. Giomi also was a force in volleyball for the Wildcats, a four-year veteran who garnered MVP honors in the Valley Division as a senior.
Ginny Mehl, Tahoma — It was another monster year for Mehl, a junior who also made this list last year. She earned All-SPSL 4A honors again in both volleyball (leading the North in blocks and helping the Bears finish eighth at state) and basketball (averaging nearly a double-double on a team that just missed the regional round). Mehl then picked up three track-and-field medals at state, placing second in the shot put (school-record 42-9) and javelin (135-9) and third in the discus (125-4).
Wurrie Njadoe, Shorecrest — What a way to go out for Wurrie, who helped the Scots win their first state championship in girls basketball – netting a team-high 15 points in the title game – then led them to a second crown in track and field. She didn’t replicate her four-event state sweep from 2015 thanks to an off day in the high jump (two weeks after clearing a PR 5-7). But the Kansas State-bound sizzler did win the 100, 200 and long jump and would have had a record mark in the latter (20- ¼) if not for wind.
Jordan Oakes, Holy Names — Oakes not only captured the Class 3A state cross-country championship with the fastest overall girls time of the day (17:53.5), but was also crowned the state’s Gatorade Runner of the Year as a junior. She didn’t let up when track season arrived, repeating as the state winner in the 1,600 and adding the 800 title as well (Oakes won the 1,600 and 3,200 as a sophomore). Her 4:45.77 in the 1,600 at district ranks 10th nationally (as does her 4.27.92 in the 1,500).
She is as genuine as she is gifted.
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“More importantly than all of the statistics, Mikayla is an inspiring and classy individual,” said Julie Stroncek, Edmonds School District athletic director who calls her one of the most accomplished athletes in the district’s history. “She shows compassion and humility towards her friends, teammates, opponents and coaches.”
It is a common thread in almost every conversation about Pivec, who again made a significant impact in all three of her sports – cross country (eighth in 3A state), basketball (third in state, Gatorade Player of the Year) and track and field (javelin champion, state team champion).
Dori Monson, coach of the rival Shorecrest girls basketball team that won the 2A state title last season, told Pivec she is the finest player he’s ever coached against, then had this to say about her as part of the Gatorade recognition: “For one who is such a fiery competitor on the court, she couldn’t possibly be more sweet and gracious after the game.”
Lynnwood basketball coach Everett Edwards echoes those sentiments.
“I feel blessed to have gotten the chance to be part of her growth and development, not only as an athlete but as a tremendous person that leads by example,” he said.
Stephanie Tastad, who coached her in cross country and track, describes Pivec as “a perfect storm” in terms of embracing the team concept while bringing a competitive spirit.
“Without the accolades and athletic success, she is still a phenomenal person,” Tastad said. “It just so happens that she works harder than most.”
Pivec, who has a basketball scholarship to Oregon State, credits her parents for teaching her good manners.
“It’s important to treat everyone the way you want to be treated,” she said.
When Pivec won the 1,600 at the Northwest District meet, only to discover sister Malia had failed to qualify for state, Mikayla asked coach Duane Lewis if Malia could take her place. He explained she would have to with withdraw from all of her events.
Instead, Mikayla went on to lead the Royals to the team championship, ending a 26-year drought. She broke her own record in the javelin with a throw of 147 feet and couldn’t help but celebrate with a “YES!” – as uncharacteristic as it was – in part because she knew it would help in the team standings.
The overall team title helped ease the sting from Lynnwood’s semifinal loss to Bellevue in the state basketball tournament as the Royals fell short of a second straight crown.
“I was extremely disappointed that we didn’t get to win it this year, but sometimes in sports losing is part of the experience, too,” Pivec said. “I’m focusing on the future and what I can do to improve myself for college and the next step.”
That’s Mikayla Pivec, always aiming high with humility.