Boys Gymnastics: Glenbrook South’s Kevin Hamilton stays smart about improvementsHinsdale, 03/04/11--Glenbrook South's Kevin Hamilton competes on the horizontal bar. Hinsdale Central HS hosted the Red Devil Invitational boys gymnastics meet Friday evening. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 10, 2012 7:18PM
Glenbrook South senior gymnast Kevin Hamilton always has worked hard, and this last offseason was no exception.
But Hamilton, who tied for fourth in the state on pommel horse last season, said he also worked smart.
“I tried to work on the events that were my weakest from last year and obtain the skills that would help my routines the best,” said Hamilton, who trained at Buffalo Grove Gymnastics. ”It’s helped with my scores this season. My high bar, p-bars and rings have improved, going up .5 from last year. I guess it was smart working on the things I needed.”
After qualifying for state in all events and the all-around last season, Hamilton is looking to close out his career in style at next month’s state meet by finishing in the top 10, and perhaps top five, in the all-around. He placed 21st last season.
Hamilton also is looking to help lead the Titans back to the state team competition, where they finished eighth a year ago.
The 2011 team was led by superstar Adam Klosowiak, who finished 10th in the all-around. His graduation left a big hole in the lineup, but Hamilton is filling it.
“I don’t know if (Hamilton) saw himself jumping into that role (of superstar),” Glenbrook South’s first-year head coach Brandon Tucker said. “At the same point of the season, Kevin is outperforming where Adam was last year. I don’t know that I’m surprised; I think a lot of people are.”
With Hamilton’s ascent and the contribution of the program’s talented junior class, led by Austin Zimmer, the Titans once are contending for a spot at the state meet.
After opening the season with a score of 120, Glenbrook South has improved steadily. In their last meet on April 3, the Titans posted 142.45 in a win over Niles North (117).
“The team goal is to improve every week, and it’s happened. But it gets harder and harder when you get into the 140s,” Tucker said. “If we can maintain the scores we are getting and improve slightly — at conference and sectionals — if we can improve by the time we get there, I think we can reach our potential.”
The Titans have their biggest meet to date when they host rival Glenbrook North at 5 p.m. Thursday.
“We always want to do our best in meets at home,” Tucker said. “Not that away meets are less important. But it’s something special when you’re in your own gym. We don’t want someone to come into our gym and outperform us.”
Glenbrook South will also celebrate Senior Night by honoring Hamilton and teammate Kevin Smith during a pregame ceremony.
Hamilton no doubt will be lauded for his accomplishments in and out of the gym. In addition to being one of the state’s elite gymnasts and a team captain, he also recently became an Eagle Scout. He’s also an accomplished pianist.
Next year, Hamilton plans to attend Miami (Ohio) University and study accounting. If he competes in gymnastics, it will be on the school’s club team.
Hamilton said both scouting and gymnastics have helped to make him the leader he is today.
“When you are becoming an Eagle Scout, you have an Eagle project and you have to demonstrate leadership to do the project,” he said. “I also demonstrate leadership in the gym. Scouting and gymnasts (complement one another). Through both of them, I’ve learned how to lead.”