Ward Melville's Cydney Crasa performs during the Suffolk gymnastics team...

Ward Melville's Cydney Crasa performs during the Suffolk gymnastics team championship on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

For the Ward Melville gymnastics team, this never gets old.

The Patriots won their fourth consecutive Suffolk County team championship last night at West Islip, edging Commack, 178.725-178.100. Ward Melville nipped Commack by one-tenth of a point in the League I championships.

"After the league final, we knew it would be a really close meet tonight," Ward Melville coach Caryl Crasa said.

Cydney Crasa, the coach's daughter, won the all-around with a score of 38.475. She earned the highest score of the match on the vault.

"I did a Yurchenko layout and I got a 9.900, so that was the highlight of the meet for me," Crasa said.

In between her final two graceful leaps in the floor exercise, Crasa flashed her calling card: pointing to the judges and then at her own face.

"Ever since I was little, when I got my first floor routine, I've always had the trademark like 'you watch me, and I'll show you what I've got,' " she said.

Crasa learned Monday night that she received a full scholarship to George Washington University for gymnastics. But for a girl who has accomplished so much individually, Tuesday night was all about the team.

"I'm so proud of my teammates. Every single person that went gave it their all," she said. "Even if things didn't go their best, they still pulled through at the end.

"Four-year streak of county championships. That is something that no one can take away from us."

Commack's Lauren Gomes (37.200) was second in the all-around and Ward Melville's Katie Bowe (36.750) was third. Claire Dempsey (35.250) tied for sixth and Taja Slade (34.325) was ninth for the Patriots.

Caryl Crasa has bred a culture of winning at Ward Melville with a one-and-done approach. She encourages her gymnasts to home in on each event, and when it's over, move on.

"After one routine, just put that behind you," she said. "Even if you didn't hit it, we need you for the next one. So if one girl made a mistake, the next girl stepped up."

Ward Melville did just that.

"The girls stuck their landings and really elevated their gymnastics as a team, and it paid off," the coach said.


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