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Suffolk All-Stars finish second at state gymnastics

St. James NY: Ward Melville's Alison LaRocca performs

St. James NY: Ward Melville's Alison LaRocca performs her routine in the Floor Exercise for Suffolk County (Section XI) during the New York State Girls Gymnastics Championship at Smithtown East High School. (Mar. 2nd, 2013) Photo Credit: Daniel De Mato

If home cooking counted in the totals, the Suffolk All-Stars might have won the state gymnastics tile yesterday at Smithtown East.

Suffolk missed the crown by less than a half point, finishing with an aggregate of 181.975 to Central New York's 182.35.

"I'm so excited to get second place," said coach Caryl Crasa of Ward Melville. "We had a nice mix of rookies and veterans and they came together so well. It's amazing."

Paced by Bay Shore's Olivia O'Connor, Ward Melville's Cydney Crasa and Miller Place's Jordan Ceccarini, Suffolk had members place in the top six in all five events.

"It's such a great accomplishment and I'm really happy that we got this far," Ward Melville's Alison LaRocca said.

LaRocca, a senior, competed in the floor exercise and on the uneven bars. In her final appearance at the state championships, she is happy with how she's leaving things.

"We came so close to beating [Central New York] Section III," LaRocca said. "I'm so happy to be finishing senior year with such a great accomplishment."

Nassau finished fourth with 178.175 points. Led by Wantagh's Brianna Quinn and Plainview JFK's Jessica Lopez, both competing in the all-around competition, Nassau placed in the top six in four events.

"Fourth place is a fantastic finish for these girls," coach Eileen Mallon of Sewanhaka said. "We just took it one event at a time and they all really stepped up."

Also with Lopez and Quinn in the all-around was Elmont's Stephanie Jennings, but a late scratch kept her out of Nassau's last event, the vault.

Up stepped Bethpage freshman Alexis Fraher.

Originally only competing in the uneven bars and floor exercise, Fraher, who said she had not practiced her vault with the team, managed to score an 8.600.

"It was hard to do, I haven't done my vault in a month," Fraher said. "But my coach talked me through things and made it easier for me."

Though her score was dropped, her effort was lauded by her coach.

"Alexis did such a great job," Mallon said. "She had a little bobble, but for her to do a difficult trick with no practice was big."

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