Just like last year at Bethpage High School, two days before students reach the midwinter break, it appeared after three of four rotations that Syosset and Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK would be in for a tight finish at the Nassau team gymnastics championship night.
It seemed that the final gymnast, competing in her final rotation, would clinch Thursday night’s meet.
Every fall and perfect landing mattered.
Last year Syosset won. But this year, inside the spacious and raucous Long Beach gym, No. 2 Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK (173.275) vaulted over No. 1 Syosset (172.850) with a dominant performance against seven of the best gymnastics squads in the county, winning every discipline.
Fourth-seeded South Side came in third with a score of 164.950.
Powered by Sabrina Ratas, who won the vault (9.15), finished second on the beam (9.175), was second on uneven bars (9.0) and was 10th on floor (8.9), the Hawks got the victory that they weren’t able to obtain last year.
Ratas, a freshman, won the all-around competition with a score of 36.225.
“We worked really hard for it, we put in the [required numbers to win],” she said. “Really practicing our skills to be better than last year.”
Ratas, who is a captain, has been an integral part of the team all year and Thursday night was no different.
“It feels good knowing that I’ve been able to help my team.” she said. “ . . . I just focus on perfecting all the little things, pushing myself, especially on beam.”
Alyssa Sanborn, a fellow freshman at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK who finished fourth on floor exercise with a 9.175, echoed Ratas’ comments, saying that she could feel the match slowly pivoting the Hawks’ way.
“Throughout the meet we just kept getting better and better,” Sanborn said. “We knew [the score] was going to be close.”
Sanborn said that after floor she knew that the judging was going to be stringent, but she also had confidence.
“We knew we had it in us to do well,” she said.
Coach Deb Rut said, “We’re proud of all of them, because each and every one of them added to this team.”
Ratas will go to the state championships, but this is the final event for the team this season.
But what are the gymnasts going to do now while they are still all together?
Said assistant coach Dennis Jones: “Celebrate.”