Smithtown’s Amanda Burns tied for sixth (9.250) on floor, and...

Smithtown’s Amanda Burns tied for sixth (9.250) on floor, and was fifth in all-around (35.875) at Suffolk team event on Tuesday Nov 1 2022. Credit: Bob Sorensen

A lot has changed since last year for Smithtown girls gymnastics, but what hasn’t changed is their affinity for standing atop the podium.

Nine seniors exited the program and a new coach took over, but Smithtown still posted a second consecutive perfect season by winning the Suffolk team championship on Tuesday at Whitman with a total score of 174.375.  

“The first couple of days were tough, getting into the swing of things,” Amanda Burns said. “Obviously different coaches won’t coach the same, but after the first meet we got comfortable.”

Burns, who is a freshman in her second year on the team, dazzled on bars and earned the fourth highest score (9.075), anchoring her team by earning the fifth-highest all-around score (35.875).  

“Before my routines I always stop and close my eyes, so I can picture my routines,” Burns said. “If I ever slip-up, I picture that part even more, but ultimately I just try to have fun.”  

Grace Brandofino felt the pressure to perform as she is one of the few seniors on the team. She earned the top score for Smithtown on vault, with a 9.050.  

“We had to step in and step up to the plate, trying to do what they did last year,” Brandofino said. “Luckily we ended up with an incredible coach, that helped us repeat as county champs.”

That coach is Jessica Berroyer, who was able to match last year’s success in her first year at the helm. As her team screamed in exaltation, she put her hands to her head, amazed by what they had accomplished.

“I can’t believe it, but I also can believe it, because these girls never stopped working,” a teary-eyed Berroyer said. “They deserved this and I’m so happy they get to experience it.”

Hannah Hughes of Middle Country earned the top all-around score (38.225), finishing with the top score in each event. Commack finished second (174.200) led by Alexa Mezzapesa, who finished in the top-four on floor, bars and vault. Half Hollow Hills followed in third (173.625), led by Adison Eisenberg, who finished with the fourth highest all-around score (36.300).

 

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