After Friday's practice session, Section VI gymnastics coach Donna Aquino figured her team would struggle on the vault at the next day's competition. She was glad to be wrong.
Section VI won the vault to cap a third place finish at the New York State Gymnastics Championships at Shaker High School in Section II Albany.
"The night before we had our warm-up and had such great work on the beam and floor," said Aquino, who coaches Lancaster. "I don't know if it was the long trip to Albany. . . We were tied. Very few were getting over the horse."
Section VI had five girls finish among the top 10 in the vault, including: runner-up Sarah Nadrowski of Kenmore East, third place Nicole Radon (Frontier), fifth Amanda Recor (Lancaster), sixth Kelsey Kryszak (Frontier) and 10th Megann Kaiser (Clarence).
"They just brought it. They were nailing their vault. It looked beautiful," said Aquino. "Sarah had an outstanding vault."
Section VI got off to a strong start on the beam. Seventh grader Alexis Hennessey of Frontier started the team off scoring a 9.10, which earned her eighth place overall. The best score came courtesy of Recor, who took fifth with a 9.25.
The team placed third on the bars led by Radon in sixth and Nadrowski in eighth. Three girls finished in the top 10 in the floor: Recor (sixth), Nadrowski (8th) and Radon (10th).
The state title is traditionally a battle between Sections XI, I and VI. That held true this year as those sections finished 1-2-3. It's the second year in a row Section VI placed third. Aquino said the competition is always tight and the winner always comes down to execution of the routines and who's a little sharper.
In the all-around Radon was sixth, Nadrowski eighth and Recor ninth.
Josh Gorski won a state title to highlight performances Saturday at the New York State Rifle Regionals at Nassua County Range. The Alden senior won the kneeling competition with a score of 94 with five centers. Gorski becomes the first state champion from Section VI since Recca Gerevics of Alden won air rifle and prone in 2006.
Section VI also won the Sectional competition for the first time since 2006, by a three-point margin. Section VI chairman Paul Borkowski lauded the shooters on his Alden team as well as the brother-sister combination from Orchard Park: Dominique and Santino Mecca. "One shot a 74 and one shot a 75 so they were pretty strong," said Borkowski.
Dominique, the youngest shooter on the team as a freshman, was third in prone, seventh in offhand and eighth in overall. Santino was the Section's top shooter in offhand placing third. Andy Besch of Alden place third in aggregate and Kim Hahn of Clarence turned in a section-best sixth in air rifle.
St. Mary's School for the Deaf beat the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, 56-53, in double overtime in the consolation of the Eastern Schools Deaf Athletic Association Division II basketball tournament in Scranton, Pa.
The game marked the end of two impressive careers for the Saints. Michael Lumley had 23 points to finish his career with a school record 2,030 while David Wantuck netted 29 points to finish with 1,378.
Lumley also had 14 rebounds and six assists for St. Mary's, which ends 7-16.