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updated: 4/13/2013 9:46 PM

Sansone, Heller lead the way in Wheaton co-op victory

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By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent

The Wheaton co-op boys gymnastics has had a great deal of success this season.

It hasn't necessarily come easily, though, as Wheaton has had to overcome its share adversity throughout the spring.

The was the case Saturday's in the 14-team Donaldson Invitational at Wheaton Warrenville South.

Despite being without leading all-arounder David MacDonald and key specialist Connor Ritchie, Wheaton was able to hold off Glenbrook North 148.675 to 147.525 for the title.

Junior Ethan Sansone led the team by taking third in the all-around with a 51.9.

"We did some good things and also saw some of the things we need to continue to work on," Sansone said. "This is always a fun meet that we look forward to."

Wheaton co-op senior Danny Heller was third on vault with a 9.2 and second on high bar with a 9.35.

"It's going to start to get interesting know heading into sectionals and then state," Heller said. "I was pretty happy with things and we're just trying to focus on what we can do and not what the other teams are doing."

Hinsdale Central senior Brian Thompson was the top individual, winning pommel horse with a 9.25, still rings with a 9.35 and high bar with a 9.55. He also claimed the all-around with a 55.5 but didn't get to go head-to-head with Wheaton's MacDonald.

"I was Google searching him on the bus ride here and saw he had a 56.6, which is very high," Thompson said. "I was pretty happy with this win, though. I feel like I've found my stride and my goal for goal high school has been to go six-for-six in every meet."

The Red Devils placed fourth with a total of 144.05.

Glenbard West's turned some heads with a 143.5 in a dual against Downers Grove North on Tuesday but dropped nearly 10 points to a 134.175 and sixth place. Perry Zumbrook led the Hilltoppers, taking ninth in the all-around with a 46.975.

"We had the Conant Invite last night and the kids were tired," Hilltoppers coach Frank Novakowski said. "We talked about focusing and trying to stay clean and had the two toughest days of practice on Wednesday and Thursday. They were just too tired today."

Shorthanded Naperville Central placed eighth with a 124.95. Ryan Durkin took 10th in the all-around with a 46.35 to lead the Redhawks.

Glenbard North placed ninth with a 118.95 but sophomore T.J Kennedy won the floor exercise with a 9.55. Kennedy's been out for most of the season with an injury and was limited to a single event on Saturday. He's hopeful to get medical clearance to return as an all-arounder as soon as next Friday's DVC meet or, at the very least, sectionals in May.

"Unless I do something to it in practice or a meet, I should be back soon," Kennedy said. "I started doing floor about a week ago and was going to go in slowly but instead went right to the harder tricks, double fulls to start and then back to double backs."

Willowbrook was 10th with a 117.

Lake Park was without its top all-arounder, Sam Flory, and took 11th with a 114.2. Flory isn't injured and should be available the rest of the spring

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