Brianna Heninger has been a gymnast since she was 2 years old, but after moving around a lot in recent years — she’s struggled to find a permanent gymnastics home.
The Southmont junior found a home with the Mounties this season, helping lift Southmont to the Montgomery County title with an all-around performance. Heninger is the 2020-21 Journal Review Gymnast of the Year.
“As a team we’ve improved a lot and the girls are getting some new skills and scoring higher than we ever had,” Heninger said. “To help my team to victory is a pretty amazing feeling and I really love each and every one of them which makes me more motivated. They are my girls, gymnastics is an individual sport when you break it down, but we all have to work together to get the win and take the title.”
At the county meet, Heninger won the all-around score with a cumulative mark of 32.575. She won the vault with a score of 8.3, the bars with an 8.05, the balance beam with a 7.925, and the floor with an 8.3.
Being away from club gymnastics the last two years, Heninger saw her biggest improvement this season on the floor.
“Compared to two years ago when I trained 4-5 times a week for 4+ hours each I would say I most improved on floor,” she said. “I had a problem twisting while tumbling and in practice I finally got my round-off backhand spring full layout. It was pretty exciting.”
Heninger says her favorite events are either the bars or the floor — with the floor exercise giving gymnasts the most freedom in their routine.
“The floor I love because the routine is your own and your passes are chosen by you,” she said. “I love picking the music and having a fun routine everyone loves to do on the side of the mat while you compete.”
Looking ahead to next year, Heninger hopes to continue to improve on the vault, and have repeat success with all of her teammates. Which is what makes it all worth it.