Middle Country's Hannah Hughes wins state gymnastics all-around and vault titles
Hannah Hughes once again has established herself as one of the best gymnasts in New York.
The Middle Country sophomore claimed her second consecutive state title on vault and also won the all-around at the state championships at Kenmore West High School in Buffalo.
“I was feeling a lot of energy,” Hughes said. “I was very nervous and excited at the same time. So, I (had) adrenaline (come) through me right when I was competing.”
Hughes scored 38.200 in the all-around and 9.725 on vault, while also earning second place on bars with 9.475, third place on beam with 9.525 and tied for third place on floor with 9.475. She increased her vault score by .025 from last year and won the all-around by .500 points.
While she’s performing on the state’s largest stage, her wins and medals are an ode to those who are with her every step of the way.
“I’ve been in gymnastics my whole life,” Hughes said. “I’ve worked so hard. Also, the people around me are very positive. They make me very motivated to do well.”
Hughes’ individual performance helped lead Section XI (Suffolk) to a first place vault finish of 46.250 and a third place all-around finish of 181.600. Section VIII (Nassau) finished fifth in all-around with 179.325 and third on beam with 45.300.
“I’m really proud that (Sections) VIII and XI are in the top five of the state,” said Kim Rhatigan, Bethpage coach and Nassau gymnastics coordinator. “That’s a strong statement for Long Island gymnastics. The kids were fired up.”
Isabella Field, a sophomore at Bay Shore/Islip, placed ninth on floor and ninth in the all-around with 9.225 and 36.000, respectively. Alexandra Melchiona tied for sixth on vault and floor with scores of 9.375 and 9.325, respectively. She placed 10th in the all-around with 35.875.
“I love coming to states every year — it’s such a good feeling,” said Melchiona, a Connetquot senior who has been on the state team since eighth grade. “... It’s honestly a crazy amount of work. It’s five days a week right after school since I was 2, but I do it because I love it.”
Massapequa’s Lyla Jay Murphy and Maddie Reed led Section VIII. Murphy, an eighth grader, placed 11th in the all-around with 35.725, and Reed, a senior, finished eighth on vault with 9.225.
“Gymnastics has helped me build my confidence,” Reed said. “My teammates and coaches have become such a big family.”
Section III finished first in the all-around with 184.450, while Section VI finished second with 183.975.