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updated: 5/16/2014 11:16 PM

In the end it's Wheaton again

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  • Wheaton Warrenville co-op's David MacDonald celebrates his parallel bars routine during the boys state gymnastics preliminary events, Friday at Hinsdale Central.

       Wheaton Warrenville co-op's David MacDonald celebrates his parallel bars routine during the boys state gymnastics preliminary events, Friday at Hinsdale Central.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent

Ben Szot wasn't on the Wheaton co-op boys gymnastics team last year.

David MacDonald was in a hospital less than a month ago.

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Austin Peabody had never done gymnastics four years ago.

All that mattered was that the three of them were at Hinsdale Central on Friday night along with their teammates for the IHSA boys gymnastics team and all-around championships.

Behind MacDonald winning his second straight all-around title with a 56.1, and fellow senior Ethan Sansone placing second with a 54.2, Wheaton co-op became the first team since Stevenson (2002-04) to win three consecutive state championships.

Scoring a season-high 161.550 points, Wheaton co-op breezed to the title, finishing 7.8 points in front of runner-up Stevenson's 153.7. Lyons was third with a 153.65.

It was the biggest blowout since 1982, when Addison Trail finished 12.442 points better than second-place Niles North.

"There's nothing more that I can ask for now," Sansone said. "It's literally the perfect way to end all four years of high school."

MacDonald also joined an elite club, becoming the ninth gymnast to win back-to-back all-around titles, and the first since Glenbrook North's Mike Boyer did it in 2003-04.

"It's probably the perfect ending of the season," MacDonald said. "We've never had a meet where we've hit like this. Everyone just did so well. I think we hit 27 out of 30. That's like a 90 percent rate. I'm like, 'Wow, what a day.'"

Ben Szot has definitely been overlooked as the team's third-best all-arounder this season. He delivered some key scores again on Friday, including an 8.35 on still rings and an 8.25 on pommel horse

"We put in three hours a day, six days a week to get here," Szot said. "Earning this trophy is just the icing on the cake."

Peabody offered an 8.9 on floor and an 8.7 on parallel bars.

"I hit all my sets and it just worked out great," Peabody said. "This is ridiculous. It's probably the best feeling ever."

Qarin Johnnic, Lucas Cooperman, Connor Ritchie, among others, were specialists who delivered for the champs.

"We talk a lot about having fun, but we worked really hard to get here and to enjoy this," Wheaton co-op coach Greg Gebhardt said. "They've had the right attitude all season and now get to enjoy this."

Glenbard West fell short of bringing home a trophy, taking fourth place with a 151.9.

Freshman Max Diab was seventh in the all-around for the Hilltoppers with a 52.25.

"They had a great meet and they fought hard, but unfortunately ended up on the short end," Hilltoppers coach Frank Novakowski said. "Sure we could have stuck a dismount here or there, but that's the way it goes sometimes."

Glenbard South senior Eugene Boguslavsky took ninth in the all-around with 50.4, which included a 9.2 on floor and an 8.65 on high bar.

"As great as this meet was, and I did pretty well, high bar was just a crowning achievement," he said. "I got my all-time high score on high bar and it felt so good because I had been working this move like forever and finally got a chance to do it."

Naperville Central sophomore Ryan Durkin was 10th with a 50.1.

"You always look at some things that you can do better," he said. "I still broke a 50 today, which is pretty good for me, especially considering three falls."

Durkin's teammate, senior Dom Delgrosso, was 13th with a 48.75.

York's Sam Bode and Bryce Simpson finished in 20th and 21st, respectively, with a 47.9 and 47.7.

Downers Grove North's Strah Sopcic, who had made this trip to state with his team the past three years, found himself competing solo. He was 22nd with a 47.35.

"That was probably the best finish I could give out right now," Sopcic said.

Other area competitors included Hinsdale Central's Ryan Leahy, Hinsdale South's Ryan Alsip and Downers Grove South's Brock Herion.

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