Green Hope repeats as gymnastics champ

Freshman Drew Grantham leads young team to second title

cgrant@newsobserver.comFebruary 2, 2013 

— Green Hope’s gymnastics team could be setting up the makings of a dynasty.

For the second straight year, the Falcons won the N.C. high school state meet held Friday at the Raleigh School of Gymnastics.

But even bigger, it was again a freshman who led the team to victory.

Last year, then-freshmen Priya Kamath and Shay Ramsey tied for first place in the all-around to lead the Falcons, but Friday it was newcomer Drew Grantham who took the top spot.

Ramsey and Kamath were not far behind, finishing second and third, respectively, to give Green Hope a sweep of the events top three individual spots.

“We just have a dynamic group,” said Green Hope coach Cindy Cotten. “And they’re so young. There were no seniors this year. It might be a little early to talk about next year, but I can see us going for three (consecutive titles).”

Again, Millbrook, the Cap Eight champion and 2012 state runner-up, came in second place in the large team competition. Enloe finished third.

When the conference meets were held two weeks earlier, the top finishers in each league finished within three-fifths of a point of each other, setting up what could have been a tightly contested state championship meet.

Grantham completed a clean sweep with first-place finishes in all of the events, including a perfect 10 in floor, for an all-around score of 39.7 out of a possible 40. Meet officials said the all-around score was likely a record for the state meet.

“It’s really exciting because I got all of my highest scores for the season tonight,” Grantham said after the meet. “It’s kind of unreal.”

Her performance, coupled with Green Hope sophomores Ramsey and Kamath each scoring above a 39 in the all-around, made it very difficult for another team to top the defending champs.

Grantham said she expects two of her club teammates from Cary’s Team Attraction Gymnastics to join Green Hope’s team as freshmen next year.

Millbrook was led by sophomore Lydia Sobhan, who finished fourth in the all-around, and AnnaLeigh Alman and Shannon O’Connor, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Enloe was led by seventh-place gymnast Annabel Zane.

Greater Neuse conference champion Harnett Central won the small teams championship held earlier in the day. Middle Creek and Apex finished second and third, respectively.

Each meet also featured an “all-stars” competition, with individuals from several other schools competing outside of the team format.

Athens Drive’s Alyssa Tucker swept each event to take first place in the evening session. South Johnston’s Jamie Barbour took first among all-stars earlier in the day.

Grant: 919-829-4538

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