UTICA, N.Y. - The Section III gymnastics team returned home from Long Island with a little bit more hardware weighing down their trip back from Cold Springs Harbor High School.
With a total score of 184.825, the team, comprised of gymnasts from all over the central New York region, captured the NYSPHSAA All-Around Section Championship, edging out Section VI by 0.625.
"I've been on the team for six years and we've only one as a team once besides this year so winning again was special," said Whitesboro senior, Taylor Bushey. "[Team competition] is really fun because you get to know more people than just people at your school, you form one big team, and just have fun out there."
New Hartford sophomore Miranda Smith stole the show, winning three of four events (uneven parallel bars, balance beam, floor exercise) and took the all-around individual title with a record-setting performance. She only missed a clean sweep with a second place finish in the vault, trailing only by 0.075.
"The past [few] years I have some come so close and this year finally coming in first it was just a really big accomplishment," Smith said. "It's also really exciting to have the team title too because last year we came so close and we all used that as motivation this year."
Smith finished with all-around score of 38.675, setting a new state record and breaking the previous one set by Holland Patent grad Meghan Pflieger in 2013.
"That was really special because Meghan Pflieger is just someone that I've always looked up to," said Smith. "I'm honored to be following in her footsteps."
Now known as Meghan Ellis, the previous record-holder returned to the area following a successful collegiate career at the University of New Hampshire.
She now coaches at Valley Gymnastics alongside the girls who competed in the state championships. She said the experience of holding that record was great, but is happy one of her athletes was the one to break it.
"It was an amazing experience in 2013 and to have my coach text me in college that it's still there it was just fun to think about," Pflieger-Ellis said. "To see Miranda take that record was awesome. She works super hard, she is dedicated, she is confident and committed to the sport so she is doing amazing."
Next up for some of these gymnasts are the club state championships. Despite the success in this year's varsity season, Smith said she has plenty more left to accomplish.
"[Sweeping the events] is definitely one of my goals I want to accomplish," she said. "So maybe [I'll] try and win all of them for next year."
Below are the local competitors on the state championship winning Section III team:
- Miranda Smith, New Hartford
- Madelyn Massoud, New Hartford
- Kennedy Massoud, New Hartford
- Sienna Zuccaro, New Hartford
- Taylor Bushey, Whitesboro
- Kiara Khiamdavanh, Whitesboro
- Sophia Lupia, Whitesboro
- Maddie Scialdone, Whitesboro
For full championship results, click here.