From an early age Raimey Iselin learned how fleeting and precious her time on the mat was.

From an early age Raimey Iselin learned how fleeting and precious her time on the mat was.

A gymnast for the past 15 years, Iselin, who’s now 22, suffered her first season-ending injury – an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – when she was a junior at Auburn Riverside High School and competing for her club team.

“It was pretty frustrating,” she said, “because that’s when all the colleges are looking at you.

“The injury actually allowed me to enjoy the sport more,” Iselin added. “I didn’t take it for granted. I knew it could be taken away at any time.”

For Iselin, who grew up at Lake Tapps and is now a senior gymnast at the University of Washington, the lesson learned from her first injury would prove valuable. That’s because eventually, she had to come back from two more season-ending injuries as a college athlete.

Now, in what has been an injury-free year, Iselin is trying to make the most of what most likely will be her last go-round as a competitor. Iselin will be with the Huskies today at Oregon State University in Corvallis for the NCAA West Regionals.

In addition to the uneven parallel bars, Iselin has been able to compete on the floor exercise for the Huskies.

“I really like the floor,” she said. “It’s the one place you really get to show off your personality.”

Iselin’s love for gymnastics began when she took up the sport at Puget Sound School of Gymnastics as a 7-year-old.

“That’s actually pretty old to start – most kids start younger, at 3 or 4,” Iselin said. “Once I started, I was pretty much hooked. I had a lot of early successes competitively that hooked me.”

Just three years into her career, Iselin became the Washington state champion for her age group, a feat should would repeat the following year.

By the time she was in high school at Auburn Riverside, Iselin was one of the better gymnasts in the state. She didn’t compete for the Ravens, electing instead to focus on her Puget Sound School of Gymnastics club team, for which she was an all-around performer.

Calamity struck when Islein was a junior, when she tore her ACL at a meet, ending her season and possibly her chances at competing in gymnastics in college.

“Luckily, I had a former teammate (Emily Pritchard of White River High School) who was on the University of Washington team,” she said. “She kept them updated on how I was doing and kept them interested.”

As a senior, Iselin returned to competition and was offered a chance to walk on with the Huskies the following year, along with a handful of other gymnasts.

Iselin won a spot and had a decent freshman season, competing in the uneven parallel bars and floor exercise in every meet of the season. She notched career highs