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Connetquot's Alexandra Melchiona wins Suffolk individual gymnastics title

Alexandra Melchiona of Connetquot performs on the uneven

Alexandra Melchiona of Connetquot performs on the uneven bars during the Suffolk County gymnastics individual championships and state qualifier at Connetquot High School on Friday. She won all-around with a score of 37.125. Credit: James Escher

As she stood up on the mat to end her dazzling floor routine, Alexandra Melchiona cracked a smile and posed unsure of what her place would be on the podium. To those in the stands that watched her move from rotation to rotation, it was clear she was golden.

"I was unsure. There were a lot of good gymnasts here and a lot of them I’m really good friends with, so I really wasn’t sure" said Melchiona, a junior at Connetquot.

Melchiona was crowned Suffolk gymnastics individual champion on Friday night at Connetquot High School. She cruised to the win with an all-around score of 37.125. Hannah Hughes of Middle Country placed second with a 35.900. Riley McPartland of Sachem took third (35.750).

Melchiona won three individual events. She earned a 9.4 on the beam, 9.275 for the floor exercise and 9.15 on the bars. She placed second on the vault with a score of 9.3, finishing behind McPartland’s 9.325. Each time Melchiona prepared to begin her routine, the crowd reached a new decibel.

"Being home is great, such a better feeling than being at an away meet" Melchiona said.

She earned the highest all-around score just three days earlier at the Suffolk team championship in West Islip. She carried the momentum of that strong performance to an individual title Friday night.

"It definitely helped, for sure I knew I needed to improve on bars," she said.

Melchiona heads a team that will head up to Buffalo to compete in the state championships. That team includes her teammates Arianna Platti and Noel Cutinella.

Melchiona’s display of brilliance at the event elicited roars from the crowd and tears from her coach, who wasn’t at all surprised by Melchiona’s finish.

"The absolute number one reason she stood on that podium is that this kid has more heart than anyone else," said coach Renee Guerrieri. "She is the hardest worker and one of the toughest kids … nothing stops her. She loves the sport and what she does. That’s why she’s number one."

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