Midtown: Sports

Wake Forest stops Millbrook’s Cap Eight gymnastics title streak

Millbrook’s Lydia Sobhan performs on the floor during the Cap Eight gymnastics championship in Raleigh on Friday, January 16, 2015.
Millbrook’s Lydia Sobhan performs on the floor during the Cap Eight gymnastics championship in Raleigh on Friday, January 16, 2015. newsobserver.com

One individual streak extended to three was a surprise, and another team streak snapped after three was a bigger surprise in results from the Cap Eight Conference gymnastics championships Friday at the Raleigh School of Gymnastics.

Millbrook senior Lydia Sobhan won her third conference all-around title in a row, but the Wildcats’ team streak of three straight conference championships during Sobhan’s career was snapped by Wake Forest. Conference coaches said Millbrook’s overall streak is at least six years, but records are incomplete.

The Cougars edged Millbrook, 111.75 to 111.65. Leesville Road was third at 109.20, Wakefield fourth at 104.15 and Heritage fifth at 102.80.

Sobhan said she surprised herself as a sophomore when she won her first conference all-around title, but she added that her senior year championship may have been more rewarding.

She compiled a total score of 38.35 as she claimed gold medals in three of four individual events. She won the beam at 9.75, the bars at 9.70 and tied for first in the floor at 9.6. That was enough of a cushion to make up for a tie for fifth in the vault at 9.3.

The surprise as a sophomore was a result of upsetting her sister Hannah, who was then a senior and now competes for N.C. State.

“The first year meant a lot because I was so young and I was surprised to beat my sister,” Sobhan said. “This year was a surprise because I gave up competitive (year-round) gymnastics. I didn’t know if I’d do this well this year.”

Sobhan explained that injuries and her coach leaving the area led her to limit her gymnastics training to the high school season as a senior.

“I liked helping my school win the conference title the last three years, even though we came up a little short this year,” she said. “It’s fun to competing for your high school. The state meet will probably be my last gymnastics meet.”

Leesville’s Gabby Kistner was the fourth individual event winner with a 9.45 that was part of a three-way tie for first in the vault to lift her to finishing as the all-around runner-up at 37.85. With the top five earning medals, Kistner was followed in the all-around by a trio of Wake Forest gymnasts in third, fourth and fifth: senior Audrie Bruce, 37.50; senior Madie Fingers, 37.15; and freshman Abby DeLuke, 37.10.

Kistner finished in a three-way tie for first in the vault along with Millbrook’s Ashli Keyser and Enloe’s Bailey Hodge; that balance from the Cougars’ Bruce, Fingers and DeLuke provided the difference for the title.

“We got closer and closer to Millbrook each meet,” said second-year Wake Forest coach Jeremy Schmitt. “Millbrook’s coach (Rachel Garland) told me she warned her girls that we were getting better. The final week it all came together for us, and we didn’t have any big mistakes in the meet.”

Bruce had a tie for first in the floor, third in the beam and fifth in the bars. Fingers’ recorded fourth-place finishes in the vault, bars and floor. DeLuke was third in the bars and tied for fifth in the vault.

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