Flying solo

   The Broughton gymnastics team is only competing in two meets this season (not including Cap 7 meets) but that doesn’t mean we can’t still support our team. This year, the team is only made up of one girl. However, that doesn’t limit them.

  According to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s website, gymnastics is not listed as a varsity sport for all North Carolina high schools. Still, 22 public high schools in Wake County have teams. Gymnasts are associated with North Carolina High School Gymnastics, which is partnered with Raleigh School of Gymnastics. Meets are very much different from regular games between rival schools. For big meets, each school has to previously qualify and pay a fee in order to enter.

 “I like to compete bars the most because it’s a new challenge for me that I used to not like nor compete,” senior Rachel Schneider said.

  Each gymnastic meet has a meet site and a host team. The meet site is not at the host team school; instead it is at a local gymnastics gym. Local gymnastics gyms could range from anywhere from Fuquay Varina, Youngsville, Smithfield, and Raleigh. Any high school team can volunteer to host a meet.

   During a meet, each team gets a chance to warm-up. Warming-up consists of practicing each event in olympic order. Olympic order is vault, bars, balance beam, and a floor routine. Once all the athletes have warmed up, the meet starts, and they rotate through each of the 4 events again, for the judges.

  Every Tuesday and Thursday, Schneider practices from 7:30 p.m to 9:00 p.m. at Raleigh School of Gymnastics. Sometimes, she combines their practice with other teams. Although those hours might seem intense, Schneider is very relaxed and all about having fun during the competition.

 “I enjoy being able to do gymnastics without the great commitment that is needed to do it outside of school or competitively,” Schneider said.

 The Broughton gymnastics team may be small, but it still is necessary to have a coach. The head coach is Catherine Gilleland. Gilleland isn’t a teacher at Broughton. Instead, she teaches at another school in Wake County.

  Gilleland brings a “constant positive attitude towards gymnastics which always motivates me when I’m not in the mood to practice,” Schneider said.

  Catherine Gilleland found the position online and met with Coach Minger to work towards re-establishing a gymnastics team for Broughton.

 Schneider has done great things while competing but felt a little confined by the lack of student support of the team. The student body is encouraged to come out and see a meet, and learn about this incredible sport.