2015 Champions: Williamsville North took edged out Lancaster, 105.325 to 104.7, to win the Division II title. The Spartans were backed by all-around champion Zoe Kyriakopoulos, who won by the slimmest of margins. Her 37.5 score was just two-tenths better than second place Miranda Roberson. Kyriakopoulos finished first in the vault and the floor routine. Williamsville South's Gabbi Gare had the best score on the bars, while Roberson had the best score on the beam. Orchard Park won the Division I championship a year after the Quakers were promoted for winning the Division II title.
Top 2015 underclassmen: The Section VI state team included Zoe Kyriakopoulos-9 (Williamsville North), Miranda Roberson-11 (Williamsville South), Gabbi Gare-9 (Williamsville South), Trinity Tofaro-9 , Savannah Gonsiorek-11 (Frontier), Madison Penetrante-9 (Williamsville North), Kyella O'Connor-8 (Frontier).
Zoe’s encore: It’s still the Zoe Kyriakopoulos show in Western New York gymnastics. She was the favorite going into 2015 after two straight second-place finishes in the all-around as a middle schooler. She was finally able to break through, winning her first sectional title as a freshman.
Can she live up to the billing: Kyriakopoulos has already achieved greatness in the sport, but now she has to prove she's still the top dog.
"Usually when you have a gymnast as strong as Zoe, she's in contention every year," Section VI chairman Joe Buscaglia said. "She's probably only going to get better. ... She's at a level right now where it's going to be pretty hard to challenge her. She's at an elite level now."
What makes her so great? "The bottom line is, she's very talented," Buscaglia said. "She's very powerful. She's very graceful. If you've been watching the Olympics with Simone Biles, I'm not comparing her to an Olympian, but they're very similar in their skill, power and grace. When you talk about Zoe she has all those components that you need to be successful in gymnastics."
Williamsville Battle: Two of Kyriakopoulos' biggest competitors are on her former team, Williamsville South. Miranda Roberson and Gabbi Gare. The pair of Billies were right on Kyriakopoulos' tail in the all-around, with Roberson scoring a 37.3 and Gare a 36.75.
Returning Talent: All of the Section VI champions are returning this year, as Lancaster's Mackenzie Donner being the only big name to graduate. She was the floor state champion last year.
Can Section VI repeat? Donner wasn't the only Western New Yorker to have success at states last season. Section VI took home the state crown last year thanks to lack of mistakes by the group as a whole. The section bested Section XI by a comfortable margin, 184.75 to 181.85.
Out of commission: Amherst will not be participating in gymnastics this year due to lack of interest. The Tigers previously competed in Division II.
Division Breakdowns: Division I: Frontier, Hamburg, Kenmore, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Williamsville North. Division II: Clarence, Maryvale, Sweet Home, Williamsville East, Williamsville South.
Championship Time: Williamsville South will host the Section VI Championship on Nov. 3. This year's states will be held on March 3 and 4 at Cold Spring Harbor High School on Long Island.
Who’s going to be Prep Talk Player of the Year? Kyriakopoulos is the favorite to repeat. Just like at sectionals, Gare and Roberson are her biggest competition.