Titans gymnasts floor it out of the gate

  • Glenbrook South's Lucas Smalec competes on floor exercise during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview.

      Glenbrook South's Lucas Smalec competes on floor exercise during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook South's Arnold Park competes on floor exercise during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview.

      Glenbrook South's Arnold Park competes on floor exercise during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook South's Jack Downing competes on still rings during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview.

      Glenbrook South's Jack Downing competes on still rings during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook South's Nathan Hwang competes on still rings during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview.

      Glenbrook South's Nathan Hwang competes on still rings during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook South's Leigh Enesio competes on pommel horse during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview.

      Glenbrook South's Leigh Enesio competes on pommel horse during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook South's Alex Ash competes on pommel horse during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview.

      Glenbrook South's Alex Ash competes on pommel horse during Thursday's boys gymnastics meet in Glenview. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/17/2022 9:43 AM

Glenbrook South's boys gymnasts have enjoyed a crisp start to their season.

Entering Tuesday's meet at Evanston, the Titans were 3-0 against Central Suburban League foes with wins over Maine East in a dual meet and against both Niles North and 2019 and 2021 state runner-up Niles West in a tri-meet on March 10.

 

They also competed well at the seven-team Hinsdale Central Invite, which included Titans coach Brandon Tucker's pick as the "number one team in the state," defending state champion Lyons Township.

Senior Jack Downing and junior Alex Ash have led the way, Ash taking the all-around title in the tri-meet on March 10 after winning on floor exercise and placing second on pommel horse, rings and the horizontal bar.

Downing, who Tucker said has installed a set of rings in his garage to tune up outside of practice, won that event and also on parallel bars against Niles West and Niles North.

"I think those two, early on, are most likely our state-bound candidates," Tucker said. "They're looking like they're in a great spot, and they're still going to get better."

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Graduated senior Michael Smalec was Glenbrook South's lone 2021 state qualifier, but his two younger brothers, junior Lucas and freshman Jacob, are continuing the name.

Lucas Smalec tied for second on parallel bars and tied for third in floor in the tri-meet.

Tucker also liked what he saw from Leigh Enesio on pommel horse. The senior won the competition against Maine East and tied with Ash in second place against Niles West and Niles North.

At the start of the season, Tucker said it's been a team effort from his 10 varsity gymnasts.

"These guys are all true high school athletes who learned most of their tricks in our gym working out," Tucker said.

"These seniors, they lost their sophomore year entirely (due to COVID), and last year was still complicated. They kind of stuck around and pushed through it."

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