The Naperville Central boys gymnastics team knows it will usually receive very good scores in all six events from junior Dom Delgrosso and talented freshman Ryan Durkin.
Finding that all-important third counting score was a big question heading into the season. But, for now, the Redhawks have found it as a collective unit.
During Wednesday's lopsided, 133.5 to 105.3 DuPage Valley Conference victory over Glenbard East in Lombard, the Redhawks had six gymnasts other than Delgrosso and Durkin step up and provide a big score. In fact floor specialist Dennis Chase won his event with an 8.7 while Jordi Heeneman, who last fall helped the boys soccer team go 23-2 and finish in second place in Class 3A, won vault with an 8.3.
"It's really nice having those guys in the third spot and they're picking it up," Naperville Central coach Glen Reimers said. "They're seeing the two all-arounders and they're psyched."
Pat Dorn placed second on vault with an 8.1 while Brian Froelich was third on still rings with a 5.9, Keenan Oshiro earned third on pommel horse with a 6.7 and Ryan Geist took third on parallel bars with a 7.2.
"A lot of us are just focusing on what we have to do as individuals," Geist said. "We just want to get our routines better and cleaner."
Patience and focus are pivotal to the success of a specialist. Some might warm up and then sit and wait for two hours before finally competing their one event. Others might have a lengthy gap between events.
"I like to cheer on my teammates and stay involved in the meet, watching how people are doing," Geist said. "I really focus on p-bars since I specialize in them and I'll listen to music to help get me in the zone."
Durkin won the all-around with a 46.3. The only other gymnast to compete in the all-around was Glenbard East's Melik Prum, who had a 34.8. Delgrosso, who will compete as an all-arounder when healthy, was returning from a knee injury and didn't participate in the vault or floor.
"We hoped to be around 130, so we've exceeded our goal already," Delgrosso said. "Now we're just going to see how far this takes us. Plus, with the specialists, we never have to worry about them having an off event. By sectionals they're going to be so good at one event and we'll have a very good team."
Durkin won pommel horse, still rings and high bar while Delgrosso claimed top honors on parallel bars with an 8.6.
Prum and Joey Brauer tied for third place on vault with a pair of 8s to pace the Rams. Prum also took third on floor with an 8.3.
"We don't have the best team, but we're working on getting better," Brauer said. "We just have to push more in practice, do more routines and try to make sure they are clean."
Other notable scores for the Rams included a 7.6 on vault from Dacoda Ross, as well Xavier Ross's 7.5 on floor, Han Luu's 4.8 on pommel horse and senior Tony Caruso's 5 on still rings.
"It went OK, but I could always do better," said Caruso, in only his third season as a gymnast. "I'm still working a lot of double backs and trying to get better each time out. Since it's my last year I'd really like to make it to state."