Boys gymnastics: A 'sweet' sectional title for Nyborg, Schaumburg
Brandon Nyborg is the cookie man.
The Schaumburg gymnast has a tradition of bringing cookies to share with teammates and fellow competitors after each meet. He likes to make different cookies for each meet.
"Everyone is hungry here after the meet," said Nyborg, who brought sugar cookies Friday with frosting and sprinkles.
"They have worked real hard. I like to bring different ones each time to change things up."
Nyborg's performance was sweet enough to win the all-around title Friday at the Schaumburg sectional with a score of 54.85.
"Tonight felt great," said Nyborg, who also won the rings with a 9.40. "I was so hyped the entire time."
Nyborg, along with Oscar Kulesza who won the parallel bars with a 9.45, helped lead Schaumburg to its second consecutive sectional title with a season-best 157.60. The Saxons also got strong performances from Nathan Frank, Trever Baynes, Cole Mache, Trent Ramirez, Rundra Anumala, Dylan Ridenour, Thomas Stephens, Brody Adelman, Giancarlo Sarasti and Bruno Gandara.
"I am very pleased by going with our second high by three points," said Schaumburg coach Erik Bostrom, whose team will be making its fifth consecutive appearance at state.
"And for it to happen at a sectional meet is pretty awesome. It was good to have everyone in the lineup and we had a couple of new skills."
It was also a huge day for Rolling Meadows. The Mustangs, who have not qualified for the state meet since 1993, appear to be on the cusp of breaking that streak. They scored a 152.45, moving them into the second position of at-large scores. The top three at-large scores advance to next week's state finals. There is just the Hersey sectional remaining on Saturday, so the Mustangs' prospects look very good.
"We worked all season for this day," Rolling Meadows coach Michael Costa said. "Nothing else matters. We trained specifically for today to get the team through to state."
The Mustangs were led by Ben Kowlaski, who was second in the all-around with a 54.55. Justin Kurak, Mikael Dukes, David Rasmussen, Ryan Rettig and Shivam Patel also came up big for Rolling Meadows.
"I was pretty consistent," said Kowlaski, who won the pommel horse with a 9.30 and the high bar with a 9.40.
"It was a very long time ago since we made state. It would be a huge accomplishment for us to do that."
Lake Park's Louie Ranieri ended up doing a different vault than he had expected to do and came away with a sectional title with his 9.50 score.
"I was going to do a pike-tsuk," Ranieri said. "But it ended up being a layout-pike, which is three-tenths higher. I stuck it perfectly. I have never landed it. It was such a great moment."
Also having a great moment was Addison Trail's Matt Wojdak. The sophomore had struggled in his first two events, the parallel bars and high bar. It fired him up to have a huge floor routine and he won the sectional title with a 9.45.
"After struggling, it really pushed me," said Wojdak, who qualified for state last year on the floor. "I took how upset I was and angry for not doing it well and I put it into my floor routine. That really helped me out."
Kulesza was third in the all-around with a 53.70. He was followed by Hoffman Estates' Alex Collier, who scored a 51.50 and Kurak, who scored a 50.40.
Hinsdale Central finished third with a 137.65. The Red Devils were followed by Lake Park, which scored a 137.30, Hoffman Estates which finished with a 135.49 and Addison Trail which scored a 130.35.