The new order in Cap-8 Conference gymnastics has been reshuffled once again.
A year ago Wake Forest won the Cap-8 crown to end Millbrook’s streak of six league titles.
But this year another new champion emerged as Leesville Road edged Heritage. The Pride finished with 110.05 points to Heritage’s 109.9 in Friday’s competition at the Sports Performance Center.
The meet was tight throughout the standings as Millbrook scored 108.4 points for third place. Wakefield followed at 107.1 and defending champion Wake Forest finished with 105.8.
Leesville Road was led by freshman Lizzy Henshall winning the individual all-around title with a score of 38.15.
“I wasn’t expecting this,” Henshall said. “I’m so pleased with this and with our team. We did great.”
Henshall was consistent across the board with scores of 9.55 in the vault, 9.45 in the bars, 9.65 in the balance beam and 9.5 in the floor exercise. She didn’t have the high mark for the conference in any events, but she was second in all four.
“This is so amazing,” Henshall said. “This is my highest all-around score in a high school meet.”
Leesville coach Kari Creech said she saw Henshall’s improvement and was expecting her to put it all together soon.
“I knew she had the capability,” Creech said. “It was a matter of her hitting all of her routines.”
Henshall’s big jump in scoring was in the vault. She went from a previous best of 9.0 in the vault earlier in the year to a career best of 9.55 in the conference meet.
“I’m really proud of that,” she said.
Wake Forest’s Kaleigh Martin was the all-around runner-up with a 37.85. Heritage’s Kaitlyn Mozer and Millbrook’s Chloe Schultz tied for third at 37.65 and Leesville Road’s Gabby Kistner was fifth at 37.6.
For Creech, it was her first conference title in her third year of building the program.
“We had some newcomers this year with our returning girls,” she said. “We have more girls with solid skills. Our girls have higher skills than last year and they want to compete. The potential for the next three years is exciting.”
Enloe’s GiGi Cloney recorded the high sore in the vault at 9.6. She only competed in two events.
Schultz was No. 1 in the bars at 9.5, Martin No. 1 in the balance beam at 9.9 and Mozer in the floor exercise at 9.6. The 9.9 Martin scored was the only one among the three meets contested at the efficiently run three-way meet. Champions were crowned simultaneously in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference and the Greater Neuse River Conference.
For Henshall, high school gymnastics was something new – a different style from club gymnastics.
“I really enjoy high school gymnastics,” she said. “I’ve met so many new friends and it’s a pleasure to win (the team title) with all of them. You’re teammates and you’re friends at the school. I like the atmosphere.”