Girls’ gymnastics team looks to continue its dynasty

The 18-year-consecutive state champs will try to keep their balance and win yet another state championship this season


Bob Bandsuh

BBHHS gymnasts look to protect their state title for the 19th year in a row.

Emily Wolf, Staff Writer

The Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School girls’ gymnastics team has won the state championship 18 years in a row, 21 times total. With a record like that, it is hard to dismiss and ignore their dynasty. Going into the upcoming season, the 14 team members are setting their expectations high once again.

The team has carried this title through thick and thin. They dedicated their blood, sweat and tears into winning each one of these championships. Senior Erin Delahunty, a 4-year team member said “Holding this title is very stressful because I have to work so hard to keep the streak going and I don’t want to let my team down. It also feels really good to hold the streak for so long and I am so proud to be a part of this team.¨ 

All of the girls admire the sport and most of them have been playing since they were little. A background in gymnastics definitely helps when it comes to joining the high school team. Senior Jenny Bandsuh, 4-year team member said, ¨I started during Mommy and Me classes when I was 2 and I haven’t stopped since. Most of us have been doing gymnastics at Gymnastics World together since we were little and this has helped us create a strong foundation as a team.¨

The team has brought the girls together and definitely boosted and even created some friendships. After working so hard and for so long together, the girls are bound to become close, even if not close before the high school team. Bandsuh said, ¨I have made some amazing friends on the team. I like to think of the team as my family because I know that they will always be here for me no matter what.¨ 

This connection and love is what makes their team so powerful at their meets. Delahunty said, ¨I think our unity and teamwork really helps us win, we all come together to work for a common goal, everyone helps each other and wants everyone to compete at their best.¨ Regardless of who wins or loses, the girls want what’s best for each other. If someone is struggling, everyone is there to help them get through it.

 No one is ever singled out. Abby Williamson, a retired team member who was on the team for 4 years, said ¨I think our efforts during the off season and the way we pushed each other in practice is what lead us to victory.¨

Even though gymnastics is both an individual and team sport, their teamwork can be seen even through the individual portion of the sport. Before meets the girls gather together and give each other pep talks to build up confidence and mentally prepare each other. 

Though the team has not had a true rival opponent, they have had themselves. Abby Williamson said, ¨I am a big believer that you can not control what other people do and therefore our biggest opponent was ourselves.¨

For this year’s season, the first gymnastics meet was December 9th. So far the Bees have competed in 3 out of 4 scheduled meets, winning all 3. The fourth meet was cancelled due to Covid. For the regular season, each meet is around 2-3 hours. For sectional, district, and state competitions they are usually around 4-6 hours. 

While the meets are long, they are something that they really look forward to. The meets and competitions all give them a common goal to work for. The girls are most excited for the “Beauty and the Beast” meet and the general State meet. At the Beauty and the Beast meet they compete while the high school wrestlers are also competing. 

All of the girls do not have to compete in all of the events. Junior Ella Shaheen, 3 year team member, said, ¨If someone is really good at a few events they will only compete in those events, but some girls are really good at gymnastics all around and they compete in all of the events.¨ 

The girls don´t have to compete in all of the events because it benefits the team as a whole when they only compete in the ones they are good at. Ella Shaheen, Jenny Bandsuh, and Erin Delahunty typically compete in all of the events due to their long gymnastics history. 

This team gives the girls something to hold onto when they leave high school. Graduation Abby Williamson said, ¨I truly loved every part of my experience on the high school gymnastics team, but I think my favorite moments had to be when we would all hold hands together waiting for the awards. The moment we heard ‘¨Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees’¨ it was like a dream. I remember all the joy and excitement we shared in those moments. I would do anything to go back.¨

The next meet is Monday, Jan. 17 at Crossroads Elite Gymnastics Academy in Strongsville. The Bees will take on Strongsville and Hudson.