Hudson Valley
Roy C Ketcham

Calandra headlines gymnastics championships

by Rob DiAntonio on
Thu, Feb 9, 2012 11:49 PM

Updated Fri, Jun 8, 2012 7:08 PM

CARMEL, N.Y. — After winning all four events at the Division II championships on Tuesday, Suffern eighth-grader Alexa Calandra was very confident heading into the Section 1 championships on Thursday.

That confidence translated into first place in the all-around as Calandra netted a score of 38.225. She won three out of the four events (vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise).

“I’m very happy,” said Calandra, who captured the school's first-ever all-around title after finishing second at sectionals last season. “I came out here knowing that I wanted to win and that’s what I did. I just wanted to stay focused throughout the whole meet and do the best that I can.”

Heading into her final event, the all-around score was fairly close but Calandra came through with a 9.5 on the uneven bars.

Calanda scored a very impressive 9.775 on the vault and 9.575 on the floor.

“I’ve been practicing my vault back at my club gym Galaxy,” said Calandra, who will compete in the all-around at states. “I just focus on keeping my legs straight and pushing up and landing right.”

The eighth-grader is hoping her string of success continues at states.

“My goal is to do as well as I did tonight and place in the top five,” she said.

Wappingers junior Alexis Mena finished second in the all-around with a score of 37.75. She placed first in the balance beam with a solid 9.7.

“This was my best meet this year,” said Mena, who qualified for states in the all-around. “I’m happy with second in the all-around. I was pretty surprised about my beam. I did really well and I didn’t think I’d get a 9.7, but I had a feeling it would be good because I was super serious. I landed everything the best I could.”

The state tournament will take place on March 3 at Shaker High School in Latham.

“I want to do my best,” said Mena, who is headed to states for the third time. “I kind of want to win. I don’t know if I will, but I want everybody to do their best.”

Clarkstown capped off an undefeated season by earning the Section 1 team title, edging out last year’s champion Wappingers, 171.225-166.45.

“It means a lot,” said Clarkstown’s Olivia Blachno, who finished sixth in the all-around. “All the gymnasts worked really hard this season to stay undefeated. We all tried our best and we all came out and did what we needed to do.”

Blachno made the state team in the balance beam. She placed second at sectionals in the event with a 9.55.

“I work really hard on beam every day,” said Blachno, who will be headed to states for the fourth time. “Today, making my series was the hardest part. Once I got through that I was really hoping I wouldn’t make a stupid mistake. I didn’t, so that’s a good thing.”

Clarkstown had two other competitors qualify for states in Samantha Haber (bars) and Shannon Berrigan (beam). Haber, a seventh-grader, took fifth in the all-around. She placed second in the vault and the floor exercise.

Yorktown’s Kasey Genovese also qualified for states in the all-around by placing third at sectionals with a 36.925.

Brewster’s Laura Safford was fourth in the all-around with a 36.525. She made states in the uneven bars after taking second at sectionals (9.425).

Qualifying for states in the floor exercise was Tappan Zee’s Kaylie McGivney, Pelham’s Taylor Sansone and Suffern’s Tonianne Magnelli.

In the vault, Somers’ Stephanie Lombardo, Edgemont’s Isabella Puig and Wappingers’ Kristen Cirincione were selected for the state team.

Lakeland/Panas’ Jennifer DeMaria was chosen for the state squad in the uneven bars. In the balance beam, Mahopac’s Carly Celestino also made the state team.

Team Standings
1. Clarkstown – 171.225 points
2. Wappingers – 166.45
3. Mahopac – 162.875
4. Lakeland/Panas – 160.75

1. Suffern’s Alexa Calandra – 38.225
2. Wappingers’ Alexis Mena – 37.75
3. Yorktown’s Kasey Genovese – 36.925
4. Brewster’s Laura Safford – 36.525
5. Clarkstown’s Samantha Haber – 36.375
6. Clarkstown’s Olivia Blachno – 36.025

1. Suffern’s Alexa Calandra – 9.775
2. Clarkstown’s Samantha Haber – 9.475
3. Tappan Zee’s Kaylie McGivney – 9.450
4. Somers’ Stephanie Lombardo – 9.4
5T. Clarkstown’s Shannon Berrigan – 9.3
5T. Wappingers’ Alexis Mena – 9.3

Uneven Bars
1. Suffern’s Alexa Calandra – 9.5
2. Brewster’s Laura Safford – 9.425
3. Wappingers’ Alexis Mena – 9.325
4. Yorktown’s Kasey Genovese – 9.325
5. Lakeland/Panas’ Jennifer DeMaria – 9.0
6. Clarkstown’s Samantha Haber – 8.9

Balance Beam
1. Wappingers’ Alexis Mena – 9.7
2. Clarkstown’s Olivia Blachno – 9.55
3. Suffern’s Alexa Calandra – 9.375
4. Yorktown’s Kasey Genovese – 9.35
5. Lakeland/Panas’ Jennifer DeMaria – 9.225
6. Clarkstown’s Shannon Berrigan – 9.1

Floor Exercise
1. Suffern’s Alexa Calandra – 9.575
2. Clarkstown’s Samantha Haber – 9.525
3. Clarkstown’s Shannon Berrigan – 9.475
4. Wappingers’ Alexis Mena – 9.425
5. Clarkstown’s Olivia Blachno – 9.375
6. Tappan Zee’s Kaylie McGivney – 9.3

Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD


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