TODAY'S PAPER
44° Good Evening
44° Good Evening
SportsHigh SchoolCheerleading

Mt. Sinai wins Div. II Large Schools cheerleading crown

Mount Sinai taking the floor for the finals

Mount Sinai taking the floor for the finals while competing in the 2019 NYSPHSAA cheerleading championships in the Gordon Field House at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Credit: Photo: Mike Heath/Mike Heath

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A flawless routine loaded with elite tumbling and well-designed stunts catapulted the Mount Sinai cheer team to a state championship Saturday.

Senior Isabella Takacs was right smack in the middle of the Mustangs drive to the state Division II Large Schools crown.

“She’s our leader out there and nothing gets in her way,” said Mount Sinai coach Christina Lotito. “She’s a different breed and communicates so well with the rest of the team when they’re out there. We nailed our routine in the first round to reach the finals and then again in the final. It was beautiful.”

Mount Sinai worked the two minute, 30 second routine to a near perfect conclusion to the delight of the packed house of nearly 3,500 in the state championship in the Gordon Fieldhouseat the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Mustangs capped the well-choreographed dance and cheer with a pyramid.

“Our choreography is made to be difficult, Lotito said. “We put out nine fulls in our routine. We spend so much time on our tumbling skills and that set us apart from the competition.”

Mount Sinai also showed its depth, having to dig into the roster for three replacements for the weekend’s state tournament. The three alternates came up big.

Sophomore Saramarie Spadaro and freshman Sophia Castilletti were both used in base positions and eighth-grader Giana Conforti filled in beautifully as a flyer for the injured Emily Kandell.

“I was nervous, but I’d practiced hard all season and I was ready,” Spadaro said. “I proved myself and helped the team.”

“We had some adversity and the team really responded well and didn’t let it interfere with the ultimate goal to win a state title,” said Scott Reh, the director of athletics at Mount Sinai. “Unfortunately, we had to suspend two players for violating our code of conduct.”

Mount Sinai, which won the national championship at the Large Varsity Division II at the UCA Nationals in Orlando three weeks ago was in top form in the first round of the state tournament garnering the highest score and securing the number seed heading into the finals.

“We finished the last part of our routine very strong,” said Mount Sinai coach Megan McWain. “It took us eight hours to get her. It’s just a long ride and if you don’t make it through the first round it’s brutal. You’re here for less than 24 hours and then you go home. Our girls weren’t letting that happen. They were simply outstanding today.”

SEAFORD TAKES THIRD

Seaford qualified for the state tournament for the third year in a row and was looking for the school’s first state crown. The Vikings also competing in Division II Large schools finished third after the first round to reach the state finals.

“We were hoping the scoring system would reflect the difficulty of our stunts,” said Seaford coach Lisa Ferrari. “We feel it should be more about ability than crowd appeal. We’ve had some disappointing finishes the last two years.”

The Vikings placed fifth in 2018 and fourth in 2017. Yesterday, Seaford, the three-time Nassau Division II Large school champion, earned third place with a strong finish.

“I thought we were good enough to win or at least finish runnerup,” Ferrari said. “We had more energy than our first-round performance.”

Junior Jordan Gilbert, in her fifth year of varsity cheer, and a team captain since the ninth grade, was the center stunt for the Vikings. She was near perfect in her routine.

“She’s a great role model for our three eighth graders — who are also training to be flyers,” said Seaford assistant coach Lisa Nessler, who coached at MacArthur for 14 years. “We push athleticism and she’s all that.”

NewsBox1 A flawless routine loaded with elite tumbling and well-designed stunts catapulted the Mount Sinai cheer team to a state championship Saturday.

Senior Isabella Takacs was right smack in the middle of the Mustangs drive to the state Division II Large Schools crown.

“She’s our leader out there and nothing gets in her way,” said Mount Sinai coach Christina Lotito. “She’s a different breed and communicates so well with the rest of the team when they’re out there. We nailed our routine in the first round to reach the finals and then again in the final. It was beautiful.”

Mount Sinai worked the two minute, 30 second routine to a near perfect conclusion to the delight of the packed house of nearly 3,500 at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Mustangs capped the well-choreographed dance and cheer with a pyramid.

“Our choreography is made to be difficult, Lotito said. “We put out nine fulls [tumbling] in our routine. We spend so much time on our tumbling skills and that set us apart from the competition.”

Mount Sinai also showed its depth, having to dig into the roster for three replacements for the weekend’s state tournament. The three alternates came up big.

Sophomore Saramarie Spadaro and freshman Sophia Castilletti were both used in base positions and eighth-grader Giana Conforti filled in beautifully as a flyer for the injured Emily Kandell.

“I was nervous, but I’d practiced hard all season and I was ready,” Spadaro said. “I proved myself and helped the team.”

“We had some adversity and the team really responded well and didn’t let it interfere with the ultimate goal to win a state title,” said Scott Reh, the director of athletics at Mount Sinai.

Mount Sinai, which won the national championship at the Large Varsity Division II at the UCA Nationals in Orlando three weeks ago was in top form in the first round of the state tournament garnering the highest score and securing the number seed heading into the finals.

“We finished the last part of our routine very strong,” said Mount Sinai coach Megan McWain. “It took us eight hours to get here. It’s just a long ride and if you don’t make it through the first round it’s brutal. You’re here for less than 24 hours and then you go home. Our girls weren’t letting that happen. They were simply outstanding today.”

SEAFORD TAKES THIRD

Seaford qualified for the state tournament for the third year in a row and was looking for the school’s first state crown. The Vikings also competing in Division II Large schools finished third after the first round to reach the state finals.

“We were hoping the scoring system would reflect the difficulty of our stunts,” said Seaford coach Lisa Ferrari. “We feel it should be more about ability than crowd appeal. We’ve had some disappointing finishes the last two years.”

The Vikings placed fifth in 2018 and fourth in 2017. Yesterday, Seaford, the three-time Nassau Division II Large school champion, earned third place with a strong finish.

“I thought we were good enough to win or at least finish runnerup,” Ferrari said. “We had more energy than our first-round performance.”

Junior Jordan Gilbert, in her fifth year of varsity cheer, and a team captain since the ninth grade, was the center stunt for the Vikings. She was near perfect in her routine.

“She’s a great role model for our three eighth graders — who are also training to be flyers,” said Seaford assistant coach Lisa Nessler, who coached at MacArthur for 14 years. “We push athleticism and she’s all that.”

More high schools