Dragons senior takes 32nd at state on bars

MUNCIE — Emily Heighway had the routine, and she had the landing.

She just missed one of the connections.

A fall while transferring from the low bar to the high bar cost the New Palestine senior seven-tenths of a point. As a result, she finished with an 8.7 on the uneven parallel bars at Saturday’s Gymnastics State Finals.

“I’m not necessarily happy about the score, but I’m happy about the routine I did,” Heighway said. “If I could have just reached a little further.”

Heighway finished 32nd out of 42 competitors on the bars. Adi Minor of Columbus East won the event with a 9.65.

If not for the missed connection, Heighway would have finished 12th with a 9.4.

“She had a great season,” New Pal coach Debbie Bruns said. “She had fun today. Her goal was to make it (to state). She wanted to up her dismount, and she did that. She landed it perfectly. She just missed the catch onto the high bar and couldn’t get her fingers over it.”

Heighway was competing as an individual after finishing in the top six on the bars in the Columbus East Regional. The Dragons finished fourth there as a team, one spot away from advancing.

Bruns thinks it’s tougher competing as an individual than as part of a team.

“There’s a lot more sitting time,” Bruns said. “Then, you have to get up, and you’re kind of cold, and you compete for 30 seconds and you’re here for 5 or 6 hours.”

Heighway had competed at state as part of New Pal’s team as a sophomore. She did not compete in high school gymnastics last season.

She remembers a little more raucous support two years ago.

“It was a lot louder with a lot more people cheering,” Heighway said. “But I still have my coaches and my teammates here cheering me on.”

Heighway is headed to Indiana Wesleyan, where she will join its competitive cheer program. The state meet likely was the final one in her gymnastics career.

“I was just trying to have fun,” Heighway said. “It’s my last meet ever. I really can’t complain about it.”

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.