CARMEL, N.Y.— Mahopac’s varsity gymnastics team has had plenty of success this season and the Section 1 Championship on Feb. 14 at Carmel High School was no different.
A top-shelf Indian team took home the Section 1 team title for the second-straight season by scoring a total of 167.375 points to beat out both Lakeland/Panas (166.85) and Wappingers.
“At this point in the season you get a little tired,” Mahopac coach Vin Collins said. “But I’ll tell you what, the kids executed well today. It was a competitive meet all the way through. I’m proud of the kids and I told them that.”
Representing the Section 1 state team for Mahopac will be junior Callie Johanson (all-around), freshman Chloe Lee (uneven bars), eighth-grader Jamison Castrataro (uneven bars), junior Sydney Hughes (balance beam) and senior Cassie Traina (vault).
“We also have five girls who are injured,” Collins said. “Many did not compete all season. But we had good sets on bars and we were solid on beam. We executed well on floor and had some nice vaults too. It was a nice way to finish.”
In the all-around competition of the Section 1 championship, Johanson worked for a first-place tie with Wappingers’ Olivia Frederick (37.175). Johanson, who was second to Frederick at divisionals by almost a point, overcame two ligament tears in her ankle this season after suffering the injury last summer.
“I tried to perfect a new skill tonight that I added on bars,” Johanson said. “Shoot-over on the bars, it’s called, which is when you go from the high bar to the low bar. Everyone did really well this year. We just kept practicing and working hard.”
Johanson claimed first place on the balance beam with a 9.2. She also tied her counterpart Frederick for first-place in uneven bars, racking up a 9.55.
“Anytime that Callie competes it’s worthwhile watching,” Collins said. “Because she is going to bring her ‘A’ game. All the girls bring their ‘A’ games. Sydney had a solid meet and Cassie had a good meet. Jamison had a good day too. It was fun to watch.”
Johanson also came in second place in the floor exercise, tallying a 9.275. The junior placed second in the vault (9.15).
Hughes, a fellow junior, finished right behind her in second place on the balance beam with a 9.0.
Lee was fourth in the uneven bars (8.0), tied for sixth place in the beam (8.525) and was ninth in the all-around (32.8). She competed in states last season as an eighth-grader.
“My toe-shoe (release move from low bar to high bar) has gotten a lot better,” Lee said. “It would feel a lot better to do well in states this year. Bars are my favorite skill.”
Hughes tied two other contestants with 33.175 points for a fifth-place standing in the all-around competition. She also tied Lakeland/Panas’ Jana Frattellone for sixth-place in the floor exercise (8.975).
“We all went for our skills tonight,” Hughes said. “On beam, I went for my dismount. I don’t always do that, but I am happy that I did and it went well.”
Castrataro tied for sixth in the uneven bars by notching 7.85 points.
“This season was really fun,” Castrataro said. “I went for a lot more skills this year. I was happy with beam because I was able to do an acro series (two elements in a row) for the first time ever.”
The lone senior, Traina placed fifth in the vault with 8.875 points. She has certainly seen the Indians’ program rise along with her own personal skills.
“The team as a whole has really improved,” Traina said. “From our skill level, to how we practice harder now. We don’t take repetitions as a joke. It’s very serious that we win and do well.”
The state championships will take place at Cold Spring Harbor High School on Long Island on Saturday, March 4.