Kerin Spadaro’s middle name may not be “Mellow,” but calmness is all she exuded as she led the combined Bay Shore/Islip gymnastics team to a close victory over Half Hollow Hills, 166.85- 166.1, in Suffolk I.
“Usually I am nervous,” Spadaro said with a laugh. “But I know I have to stay calm. My team and my coach calm me down and I do the same for them.”
Spadaro placed first in vault (9.15) and floor exercise (9.45). She placed second in uneven bars (9.3) and beam (9.175). She also remains undefeated this season in the all-around, scoring 37.075.
The Islip freshman has plenty to be nervous about. Spadaro’s the captain of the team and the only New York State Gymnastics Championship veteran.
“I have the most experience in gymnastics and on varsity, so there is a lot of pressure,” Spadaro said. “Being one of the oldest and having that experience, I always help the younger girls in practice.”
One of those girls is seventh grader Catherine Lyden. She’s been close behind Spadaro all season. She placed third in uneven bars (8.15) and tied for third in the all-around (34.1).
“It feels good knowing that I’m hanging in there with the older girls and I can only go up from here,” Lyden said. “I look up to Kerin. She’s always working hard and doing her best and helping us in practice.”
The meet’s score was close thanks to Hills gymnasts Nikki Jackson and Rachel Goldstein. Jackson went back and forth with Spadaro, placing first in uneven bars (9.35) and beam (9.20). Then placing second in the events Spadaro placed first in, vault (8.6) and floor exercise (9.425). Jackson placed second in the all-around (36.575).
Goldstein placed third in vault (8.25), beam (9.05) and floor exercise (9.30).
The Bay Shore/Islip team (5-1) is filled with young stars with the oldest girls on the team being sophomores. Spadaro’s confident that age is nothing but a number for this blooming team.
“We have a really young team, especially after our top competitive gymnasts graduated. I think we are our handling it really well, especially the seventh and eighth graders,” Spadaro said. “If we stick to what we are doing, we’ll end up as county finalist.”