If there were any doubts as to who was Suffolk's top gymnast before the individual championships Thursday night at Babylon, Ward Melville eighth-grader Cydney Crasa put them to rest right off the bat. Crasa opened the night by breaking her own county record on vault by 0.4 points, scoring a 9.675 on her way to the all-around title with a score of 37.975.
Crasa, Ward Melville's Alison LaRocca and Half Hollow Hills' Jordan Ceccarini, who finished in second and third place on the all-around with scores of 36.15 and 35.1, respectively, automatically qualified for the state championships in March. Crasa and LaRocca will make back-to-back trips to states, and will be joined by 14 other competitors from Suffolk.
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"It feels amazing. It hasn't sunk in yet but it will tomorrow I'm sure I'll be crazed," Crasa said. "I can't wait to go back to states. It's going to be so much fun."
Crasa's first run on vault was all she needed to break the record and earn the night's best score. Once she reached the springboard she flipped forward in the air keeping her body straight and her arms extended, ending by landing perfectly in an upright position.
Next on bars, Crasa was the last to compete in the round as every other event finished its rotation before her turn. With the whole gym watching, Crasa delivered with a 9.125, again sticking a difficult landing after a series of jumps and flips between the bars.
Crasa faced the same scenario when she was on beam and responded with a 9.625. Her round was highlighted by a sequence of in-air splits and a double back flip, the second of which she completed without using her hands.
Crasa finished the night with a 9.550 on floor, just 0.05 points ahead of LaRocca, to secure first in all four events.
"I just tried my best and hardest and I went all out and didn't hold back," Crasa said.
Ceccarini proved to be a crowd favorite and was certainly a highlight of the competition. The Half Hollow Hills seventh-grader was competing in her first county championship and was unquestionably the smallest in the gym.
She opened on bars with an 8.675 but looked nearly flawless in her routine. Her rotations were smooth and she easily jumped from one bar to the other. Needing to complete her vault routine in her final event, Ceccarini came through with an 8.9 to secure the automatic bid to states."I think it's a really good experience. I'm very happy," Ceccarini said. "I was a little nervous at first but when I landed my routine I was very excited."