Sport of the Month: Women’s Gymnastics


Grace Copeland

Thrusting herself into the air, senior Andrea Shealey executes a challenging vault routine. As captain, she commends her teammates for their enthusiasm and support of one another.

Janie Inscore, Staff Reporter

  More often than not, when a Millbrook student is asked whether they will be attending our school’s upcoming gymnastics meet, the response is, We have a gymnastics team? Regrettably, our very own hard working Millbrook women’s gymnasts, or Gym Cats, are all too familiar with hearing answers just like this. Senior captain Andrea Shealey voiced, “Even though we don’t get much recognition within the school, and I often get asked ‘Wait, we have a gymnastics team?,’ I think gymnastics is a really unique and fun way to represent Millbrook.” Still, with the little acknowledgement they receive, our under-recognized gymnastics team has had numerous successes!

 Competitions begin with an open stretch, much like other sports you may know or play. After stretching is complete, participating gymnasts join together with their teams for one final cheer before competition is commenced. Gymnasts will then compete in a total of four events, which includes uneven bars, vault, floor, and beam. The goal of each event, from a gymnast’s perspective, is to receive the highest individual score. Athletes are scored out of ten and then placed, hoping to be within the top five. However, this is not an easy feat, as deductions are common and competition is top-notch. Another award presented at competitions, which is highly sought-after, is the all-around award! This is an individual award given to the athlete whose scores in all four events are highest. There is, however, another chance to achieve highly in the team score category. Here, the points earned by all athletes from each school are averaged. The school with the highest team average takes home the team score award.

 Our talented gymnasts have flourished in many of these areas. At their most recent competition, Wildcat athletes Madison Ouellette, Tia Hunt, Hannah Provencher, and Zoe Werner all scored within the top five. Tia Hunt, a sophomore Varsity athlete, placed first in her event, the uneven bars. Zoe Werner, a sophomore competing on JV, took home the all-around prize. Both accomplishments are very impressive, as these ladies had to fight for a spot to perform. This is because each high school is limited to just five performers in every event. Team members must constantly keep in mind their wish to earn a spot on the meet lineup throughout their weeknight practices that occur at Raleigh School of Gymnastics, a gym off-campus. This factor is also unlike many other high school sports. Yet, while the pressuring dynamic is present, Shealey stated, “We all make sure to get our events done during practice, but we still get to joke around and we’ve become really close with each other.” Shealey credits being on the gymnastics team all four years and being a captain this year for giving her a deeper appreciation of Millbrook, helping her to get out of her shell, and meeting some super cool people, for which she is thankful. So next time you have nothing to do on a Saturday, go check out our uncredited and extremely skilled Millbrook Women’s Gymnastics team.