Meet the girls selected to Newsday's All-Long Island gymnastics team for the 2012-13 season. - By Laura Albanese.
GYMNAST OF THE YEAR: OLIVIA O'CONNOR
Bay Shore, Senior
O'Connor competed as a Level 9 (just two steps below elite) gymnast when she was in seventh grade. This year, the William and Mary-bound senior broke the Suffolk record with a 38.425 all-around in the state qualifier. Her Yurchenko half tuck earned a 9.850 in the state tournament, a New York record, and her 9.675 on bars also won her gold. She came in second in the all-around and led Suffolk to a second-place finish in the tournament.
Ward Melville, Freshman
Already a three-time All-Long Island selection as a freshman, Crasa led her Patriots to an undefeated Suffolk League I title, and its second county championship in a row. After coming in third in the state qualifier - scoring a 9.725 on bars - Crasa went on to take third in the state tournament with a 37.675 in the all-around. She also took third on vault with a 9.725.
Sewanhaka District, Sophomore
Jennings was a force in Nassau gymnastics, coming in second in the state qualifier with a 35.975, including a 9.05 on bars. The Elmont sophomore helped lead her team to an 8-2 regular season and a third-place finish in the team championship.
Plainview JFK, Seventh grade
Lopez took third in the Nassau qualifier with a 35.575 in only her first year on varsity. Her 9.405 on beam was enough for third in the state tournament. Above all, Lopez showed maturity and adaptability - getting stronger and scoring bigger numbers as the season progressed, and anchoring a 9-1 Plainview team stacked with senior talent.
The Bridgeport-commit took first in the Nassau state qualifier with a 36.725, including a 9.50 on vault, and finished with a 37.1 in the state tournament, good for fourth on the all-around. In the regular season, her consistency and power led Wantagh to a Conference II title - securing them a spot in Conference I in the coming year.
West Islip, Senior
VonBraunsberg won the Suffolk county title on vault, earning a 9.70, and took second in the state qualifier with a 38.075. In the regular season, she posted a 37.125 against Hauppauge and, along with teammate Paula Pecorella, led West Islip to a League II title.
Newsday's gymnastics coach of the year for 2012-13 is Caryl Crasa of Ward Melville.
Front row, from left: Courtney Von Braursberg, West Islip, Brianna Quinn, Wantagh, Olivia O'Connor, Bay Shore. Back row, from left: Jessica Lopez, Plainview, Stephanie Jennings, Sewanhaka.
2013 Newsday All-Long Island Gymnastics Second Team:
Jordan Ceccarini, Miller Place, eighth grade; Sarah Ciresi, Bethpage, So.; Alyssa Firth, Bethpage, eighth grade; Samantha Fondacaro, Half Hollow Hills, Jr.; Alexis Fraher, Bethpage, Fr. (pictured); Mikaila Hartigan, Babylon, So.; Melissa Kropf, Plainview, Sr.; Alison LaRocca, Ward Melville, Sr.; Katie Wall, Massapequa, Sr.; Eugenia Zhokovsky, Ward Melville, Sr.