Wheaton co-op put itself in position to defend its state title as it dominated Wednesday’s Wheaton Warrenville South sectional with 161 points.
Glenbard West was a distant second with 141.75 points.
It’s the fifth straight season Wheaton co-op has advanced to the IHSA state finals.
“There’s a lot of training and hard work behind the scenes that goes on for us to go every year,” Wheaton co-op junior Ethan Sansone said. “We all love gymnastics and competing and being a part of Wheaton co-op’s legacy.”
Sansone edged teammate David MacDonald to win the all-around title, 55.3 to 55.25, while senior Danny Heller was third with a 49.1. Sansone also claimed top honors on high bar with a 9.3, pommel horse with a 9.4 and the floor exercise with a 9.55.
“I don’t go in to win individual titles, it’s all about the team,” Sansone said. “We’re just going out and doing what we need to do and it’s always good to have high scores to help the team.”
MacDonald was the parallel bars champion with a 9.55.
“Everyone was hitting all over the place tonight,” MacDonald said. “We had the best floor ever tonight and everyone was hitting.”
Also joining in on the fun for the winners were Austin Peabody, who tied for fourth on high bar with a 7.85, and Qarin Johnnic, who tied for sixth on vault with an 8.95.
Glenbard West’s Perry Zumbrook won vault with a personal-high 9.7.
“I just went out there hoping to show I could be a contender for state and I killed it,” Zumbrook said. “I tucked my arm into to my armpit and it set up perfectly, and then I had a solid landing.”
Zumbrook also snagged the fifth and final all-around qualifier with a 47.55.
“It means so much for me,” he said. “Coach said not to worry about Wheaton and just do your thing. Once I started strong on still rings I knew this could be one of my best meets.”
Joey Mandarino won still rings for the Hilltoppers with an 8.75.
“I’ve never taken first in a big meet like this,” he said. “I’ve been doing this set all season and it’s been better so I feel I can do even better at state.”
Also coming up with solid performances for the Hilltoppers were Luke Skala, who was third on pommel horse with an 8.5, and Jon McNamara, who was fourth on parallel bars with an 8.7.
Glenbard North placed third with 136.35 points. Sophomore T.J. Kennedy was third on floor with a 9.35 as well as on parallel bars with an 8.85. He also advanced to state on vault with a 9.25. Senior teammate John Cummins extended his season, placing third on high bar with an 8.75.
Naperville Central took fourth with 135.1 points and was followed by Willowbrook’s 129.95. Willowbrook’s Keawe Winstead had a pair of fifth-place efforts on pommel horse and parallel bars to qualify for state.
Eugene Boguslavsky led Glenbard South, which took sixth place with 127.35 points. Boguslavsky was fourth in the all-around with a 48.95. Teammate Paul Steger tied for second on still rings with an 8.6.
“With Wheaton here I really didn’t expect to advance in the all-around,” Boguslavsky said. “It was a nice surprise. I messed up on vault but the rest of my sets were pretty good.”
Naperville North (115.05), Glenbard East (113.95) and Addison Trail (109.4) rounded out the team competition.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.