Ohio gymnastics team battles for state title again
It’s difficult to imagine any team at any level across the county that has dominated its sport like the Brecksville-Broadview Heights (Cleveland, Oh.) gymnastics team.
This week, the Bees will be going for their 10th straight state championship in Columbus.
If they win on Saturday that will mean an undefeated decade for the Bees — that’s right, 10 straight years without a loss in a single dual or tournament since 2003, 777 straight victories in single, dual or tournaments.
“That’s such a big number,” Senior Captain Gabi House says. “I don’t know any other sports team or person who has ever accomplished that in their career and to just be a part of a team that has accomplished that, that is life-changing and something that I will remember the rest of my life.”
The pressure is not winning another state title but in not being the first team to lose one.
“You don’t want to be the girl that made Brecksville lose,” Senior Captain Jessie Matia says. “And, that is in everybody’s head.”
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights team has been coached by the Ganim family for a combined 31 years.
Joan Ganim, the team’s head coach, said she’s not ready for retirement just yet.
“What am I going to do? Sit at home? No thank you,” she says.
The Bees did not have a worry free season. Senior Captain Madison Weisbarth broke her neck in November during practice on the floor exercise. She was practicing a move she had done numerous times — but this time she landed wrong suffering three fractures in her discs ending her season and her career in gymnastics.
Weisbarth leaned on the shoulder of her teammates to get through this ordeal.
“It has been very difficult for me, but if I didn’t have the support of my teammates I don’t think I would have been able to make it through the season” Weisbarth says. “But they pushed me through the season and made me very proud to watch and I really do not know where I would be without them.”
It is that leadership that has set this year’s Brecksville-Broadview Heights team apart from the rest.
“They’ve come together Ganim says. “You have a lot of seniors that have been together for four full years and they have learned what a team is all about.”
We will find out Saturday down at Hilliard Darby High School in Columbus if it’s that leadership that will bring a 10th consecutive state championship to Bees this year.