It came down to the last round. The Smithtown District gymnastics team waited anxiously on the sideline as the other teams performed their last event. They were home and had the crowd in their favor. All they needed was the judges to also be in their favor.
And they were.
Smithtown, for the first time in the program’s history, is the Suffolk gymnastics team champion, scoring an overall of 172.40 points.
“Its been a long haul,” said Kathy Eagan, who’s coached Smithtown for 30 years. “It was a tough season. We had a lot of injuries . . . but we knew if we got everyone back healthy we’d have a shot to win.”
Two of those injuries included the leaders of Smithtown, Brittney Viera and Katelyn VonGerichten.
Both team captains missed parts of the season, but they didn’t let their issues impact the meet.
Viera placed third, out of the 59 girls in the competition, in the all-around with a score of 36.650. She placed first in beam (9.225), second on floor (9.275) and vault (9.350) and third in bars (8.800).
“I can’t describe in words the feeling of winning especially at home,” said Viera, a Smithtown East senior. “I’m very proud of my team. We stuck 23 out of 24 of our routines.”
VonGerichten didn’t participate in all the events but she placed 10th in beam (8.550) and tied for 15th on floor (8.650). She placed 25th in the all-around with a score of 17.200.
“It feels great to bring a county championship home,” said VonGerichten, a Smithtown West senior. “We relied on every single girl on the team and we all did great.”
Karli Toscano and Cloe Sisca also did well for Smithtown. Toscano finished seventh in the all-around (34.775) and Sisca was 10th (33.650).
Bay Shore/Islip placed second in the competition scoring 166.025. They were lead by Kerin Spadaro and Catherine Lyden. Spadaro was second in the all-around with a 36.700. She also placed first in bars (9.525) and floor (9.450). Lyden placed eighth in the all-around with a 34.375.
The previously undefeated Connetquot team placed third with 165.025 points.
Sarah Moussa and Alexis Smith led Connetquot. Moussa took fifth in the all-around (34.950) and Smith was ninth (34.025).
Nikki Jackson, Bella and Haylie Kelly were in the top 10 all-arounders. Jackson, from Half Hollow Hills, placed first (36.875). Bella and Haylie Kelly, twins from Babylon, were fourth and sixth, respectively.
After finally bringing home a county championship, Smithtown (10-2) is moving on to the Suffolk Individual championship, which takes place Thursday at Hauppauge.
Viera, VonGerichten, Toscano and Sisca will all be in the competition, but for now a team victory is all that’s important.
“I’m honestly so proud of our team,” Viera said. “Everyone plays an important role. Our team has such a positive attitude. Our happiness just effects everyone and really brings the team together.”