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Rileys help local gymnasts win state team title

J-D/F-M part of successful Section III side on Long Island

Four long months after the regular season ended, Jamesville-DeWitt/F-M girls gymnasts Taylor Riley and Payton Riley went to Smithtown East High School on Long Island for last Saturday’s state championship meet.

And both of them would come home with state championship medals, having helped the Section III team to the top spot.

The Rileys were part of a squad that included the state all-around champion, New Hartford’s Meghan Pflieger, who would accumulate 38.45 points. McKenna Passalacqua, Jensen Todd, Jenna Zakala, Kami Karwowski, Isha Smith-Ramakrishnan and Amanda Sardo rounded out the roster.

It proved to be a tight team battle between Section III, Section VI (Western New York), Section VIII (Long Island, Nassau County) and the host Section XI, the top four ultimately separated by less than four points.

But Section III held on, and the floor exercise proved crucial. Payton Riley had an 8.525 routine in the only event she entered, while Taylor Riley scored 8.1, all part of a team score of 46.0.

That led to Section III’s final total of 182.35 points. Section XI had 181.975 points (just 0.375 points behind), while Section VI gained 180.40 points and Section VIII had 178.175 points.

Taylor Riley did far more than the floor, too. She had a 9.30 on uneven bars that gave her sixth place and a 9.35 on the vault, putting her in ninth place in that event, plus a 9.075 balance beam routine for eighth place.

Those scores, plus the floor gave her an all-around total of 35.825 points, second to Pflieger on the sectional team and 12th overall. Pflieger’s 38.45 points helped her beat Section XI’s Olivia O’Connor (38.275 points) for that top spot.

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