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Cydney Crasa, Katie Bowe lead Suffolk gymnasts to state championship

Ward Melville's Cydney Crasa competes on the vault

Ward Melville's Cydney Crasa competes on the vault during the NYSPHSAA Gymnastics Championships held at Kenmore West High School on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Photo Credit: Adrian Kraus

TONAWANDA, N.Y. - Cydney Crasa won state titles on vault and balance beam while Katie Bowe won on the uneven parallel bars (9.450) to lead Suffolk's gymnasts to the team state championship Saturday at Kenmore West High School.

Led by a state-record team score of 47.625 on vault, Suffolk's Section XI team racked up 186.350 points and beat the second-place finisher, Section III (Syracuse), by nearly three full points.

The team title was Suffolk's first since 2009.

"We always seem to have a mistake here or there, and this year we pulled together and really hit the last three events," said Caryl Crasa, who is the Section XI coach and Cydney's mother.

"The kids were a real team together. They were really rooting for each other. It wasn't like one kid wanted to beat another, it was about the team today, Section XI."

Crasa's first-place finishes on vault (9.825) and beam (9.575), combined with scores of 9.400 on bars and 9.150 on floor exercise put her second in the all-around competition, finishing 0.35 points behind winner Amara Cunningham of Section I, who just missed the state record with a 38.300.

Caryl Crasa had trouble finding words to describe her daughter's big day. "I can't even . . . I'm so . . . I don't even know what to say," she said. "I'm so proud of her. She surprises me every day. She had a mistake on floor and came back and got a 9.825 on vault, hit the bars and won the beam. That's a lot of pressure trying to dig your way out."

Crasa, a Ward Melville junior who trains at ExperTiess Gymnastics in Ronkonkoma, took third in the all-around last year while placing second on vault and beam.

If she had not fallen on her floor routine Saturday, Crasa would've won the all-around title, as well.

"My first two passes were really good, and at the end, I don't know, it happens," she said. [Scoring] 37.95 with a fall is crazy. I'm really happy and I know I can still do better."

Section XI gymnasts flooded the top of the leader board in every event. Crasa, Bowe and teammates Skye Harper, Hayden Davidson, Amanda McNelis, Jacklyn Dolitsky, Gillian Dolitsky, Lauren Gomes, Skylar Haas, Krista Hagen and Nikianne Otto combined to have the highest team score on vault, beam and bars while placing fourth on floor, though Harper's 9.650 took second overall.

"It's such an amazing feeling," said Crasa, who committed to George Washington in November.

"Five years on the state team and we haven't pulled out a win.

"Right after vault, we came together and kept the positives rolling. All of us hitting beam and making our beam routines was really the icing on the cake," she added. "We were able to block out what happened on floor and come back strong."

The Section XI team returns every member next year.

The Nassau County team placed sixth overall with a 174.500 total. Jessica Lopez took fourth place on vault and 12th in the all-around.

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