Sachem North Division 1 Small State Champion cheerleading team at...

Sachem North Division 1 Small State Champion cheerleading team at the state championships at Rochester Institute of Technology this past Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Danielle Gresalfi

As the first school to compete during the finals, Sachem North’s cheerleaders had to wait the longest to see how they finished.

Coach Danielle Gresalfi had a good feeling, though.

"We performed first in the finals and I thought we nailed it with our top stunting and tumbling," Gresalfi said. "There were five teams that qualified for the finals and I felt pretty good about our performance."

About a half hour after the finals ended, Sachem North learned the great news: It had earned another state championship.

Sachem North was nearly flawless as the program earned its second state Small Schools Division I cheerleading championship late Saturday night at the Gordon Fieldhouse at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The team also won the crown in 2019.

Seniors Grace Calabria, Alyssa-Kate DiGiantomasso and Isabella Mosquera were freshmen on the 2019 team. They share the accomplishment of two state crowns. Being able to cap their stellar cheer careers together was something very important to them.

"After all the uncertain times over the past two years, I am just so incredibly proud of this team for sticking together as a family and putting in all the hard work to get to this moment," Calabria said. "It was the best feeling in the world to get to win this all together. I wanted to go out as a senior as a state champion."

Sachem North performed the more difficult stunting and tumbling routines to push them past its opponents. Calabria, the most elite tumbler on the team, was throwing an Arabian stunt through to a full to open up the routine strong. The difficulty in that routine catapulted Sachem North to the title.

"Grace is phenomenal and our whole team brought an amazing energy to our cheer that captivated the crowd and the judges," Gresalfi said. "Once we hit the first music section, the hardest part of the routine, our cheer was just on fire and they had so much fun doing it."

The team flyers, led by DiGiantomasso and juniors Madison Bulzoni and Caitlyn Barbera, executed elite stunt sequences that Gresalfi said were the best they’d had this season.

"Those stunts included a round-off up to heel stretch, a high-to-high full around to Arabesque, back handspring up to lib, and low to high one and a half full around," she said. "This performance earned the team a near perfect execution score of a 14.6 out of 15!"

And that’ll win a state championship.

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