Shani Sirota earns state gymnastics title for Roslyn

Teri West
From left, Roslyn High School gymnastics assistant coach Lauren Rupert, junior Alexandra Mastrototaro, freshman Shani Sirota and coach Stephanie Orfini at the NYSPHSAA state championship meet March 2. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Orfini)

Freshman Shani Sirota made history for Roslyn High School this month by becoming the school’s first state champion in gymnastics, coach Stephanie Orsini said.

Her floor routine at the state meet in Cold Spring Harbor March 2 earned her first place and an overall score of 37.625 placed her fourth all-around.

It came at the end of what Orfini said was the most successful season of the nine years she has coached at the school.

Roslyn had two gymnasts qualify for the state meet, representing Nassau County. The county placed third in the state. 

Sirota competed in all four routines – bars, beam, floor and vault – and junior Alexandra Mastrototaro competed in bars and vault.

“I feel proud of myself and accomplished of everything because I knew it was really hard to get there and I’m only a freshman so it’s even harder,” Shani said.

Shani said she felt pretty good on the bars, though it was her lowest score of the meet, and felt a bit shaky on the beam.

But going into the floor routine, her favorite event, her confidence was high, Shani said. She had been practicing a lot and was anticipating success, she said.

Shani knows how to put her game face on, her coach said.

“By the time we got to floor and Shani was up it was just so much energy,” Orfini said. “It got really exciting.”

Shani tied with New Hartford High School’s Miranda Smith for first place with a score of 9.625.

Alexandra placed 11th for her bar routine and 12th in the vault.

Shani and Alexandra compete with the Hotshots club gymnastics team, which they practice with five days a week for a total of 20 hours.

Both started with the sport at age 4.

“It’s definitely a time commitment,” Alexandra said. “During the school season it’s definitely harder because we have to go to school practice and Hotshots practice, but it’s really fun so it’s worth it.”

The two will compete in states for their club team this weekend in Suffern, which is followed by regionals and then nationals.

Shani is now a Level 10 club athlete, the most skilled competition group. She almost made it to nationals last year while in Level 9, she said, and has her eyes on it again this year.

Roslyn High School had four club athletes on its gymnastics team this season who provided guidance to their more novice peers, Orfini said.

Both she and her states competitors are confident that next year the team will be just as strong, if not stronger.

“We’re really just hoping to build on our success from this year,” Orfini said. “We only had one graduating senior. We had a relatively young team, so we can only go up from here.”

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