Boys gymnastics: Glenbard West scores a twofer on the floor
Before Saturday, Glenbard West never had a floor exercise state champion.
Now the Hilltoppers have two.
Senior Aiden Rudolph and sophomore Alexander Demeris each scored a 9.55 during their respective floor routines to become co-champions during the IHSA boys gymnastics individual finals on Saturday in Hoffman Estates.
"I couldn't have asked for a better ending," Rudolph said. "I think with yesterday's performance and today's it was a really good last meet of gymnastics."
Rudolph said he doesn't recall tying Demeris previously but that they usually go back and forth.
"Our scoring is usually similar at the end of meets," he said. " (Demeris) usually scores a little higher."
Demeris believes Rudolph puts on a better show.
"(Rudolph) has the cool tricks," he said. "I guess I'm better with the form."
The judges decided that they were just as good as each other and that's all that mattered.
It proved to be a hugely successful night for DuPage County as 11 gymnastics advanced to the finals, including seven in multiple events.
That includes Downers Grove North senior Lukas Elisha, who won his favorite event, high bar, with a 9.5.
"It's been my favorite event since I was a kid," he said. "I'm still shocked that I pulled that off on the last meet. All these competitors were so exhausted after three meets. It was a clean routine. Right when I stuck it that was the cherry on top there."
Elisha also placed on vault, taking fifth with a 9.2.
Friday's all-around champion, Willowbrook senior Adam Sousa, advanced to the finals in all six events and finished by advancing in 16 of his 18 chances.
He took third on vault with a 9.4 and tied for third on high bar with a 9.2. He also made a trip to the award stand for fifth-place efforts on pommel horse and still rings.
"Coming off the momentum of winning the all-around was special to me, but I wish I would've placed first on a couple of events," he said. "I was proud of myself because I didn't fall on any events here. It was a very good weekend. I'm very tired but I hung in there."
Neuqua Valley freshman Michael Baren moved on to the finals in five events, medaling on pommel horse by tying Sousa and taking second place on vault with a 9.45.
Glenbard West made the most of its three gymnasts who medaled in all six events that it had the opportunity to compete in. Besides the floor-exercise title, Aiden Rudolph took fourth on vault while Demeris tied for second on parallel bars with a 9.5 and also was fifth on high bar. Shea Rudolph finished things up for the Hilltoppers by taking fourth on parallel bars.
"I'm really proud of how the whole team did," Shea Rudolph said. "I got my best score and placed so I was happy about that. I was the last person to qualify after I messed up earlier in prelims, so I was happy to get another chance."
York senior John Gill took third place on still rings with a 9.2.
"It's amazing," he said. "I actually really, really worked hard on it and if I didn't get third, but got fifth or fourth, it wouldn't matter to me because I'm just so happy to place."
Other area competitors included: Addison Trail freshman Matt Wojdak, who tied for sixth on floor; Wheaton co-op senior Joey DiRienzo, who took eighth on pommel horse; Glenbard East senior Marc Le, who qualified on floor and still rings; and Hinsdale Central senior Alex Roca, who competed on high bar and parallel bars.