Boys Gymnastics: Glenbard West’s Alex Diab shines at Conant
Updated: April 13, 2012 10:01PM
Lincoln-Way Co-op senior Ajani Cargle and Glenbard West freshman Alex Diab are expected to battle for the all-around state title this May.
The two went head-to-head during Friday’s 9th Annual Ed Raymond Invite at Conant, but Diab stole the show with a performance that won’t soon be forgotten.
Diab recorded 9.8s on floor, parallel bars and high bar, didn’t score less than a 9.6 on his other three events, and finished with a 58.3. While his all-around winning score isn’t considered an IHSA state record, it should be noted that no gymnast has ever surpassed a 58 in the IHSA state meet.
It wasn’t a one-man show either for the Hilltoppers, as they held off Cargle’s Lincoln-Way Co-op squad, 154.45 to 153.3. Palatine was a distant third with a 144.9.
“We obviously have a good all-arounder with Alex, but our second and third and fourth and even fifth guys are stepping up too,” Hilltoppers coach Frank Novakowski said. “These guys said to themselves, ‘We’re going to bust our butts,’ and they’ve been working hard and it’s paying off.”
Diab won every event except for pommel horse, which Cargle won with a 9.7.
“It was exciting to compete against him,” Diab said. “I went six-for-six again, but I cleaned it up better from last time and got better scores.”
While Diab shined, it took a handful of notable performances from his teammates to nip Lincoln-Way co-op. Senior Perry McCloskey had an 8.65 on parallel bars and 8.55 on floor, David Fisher recorded an 8.3 on pommel horse, Daniel Reichman scored an 8.2 on still rings, Cory Wilfong added a 7.2 on high bar and Perry Zumbrook posted a 9 on vault.
“Everyone in the lineup has made a commitment to improve and it shows,” Novakowski said. “This is a huge win for them. It shows they can do this and I know with the personality of these guys, it’s going to make them work harder.”
Cargle’s biggest miscue came on high bar where he only had an 8. He finished second in the all-around with a 55.85 while Palatine’s Jonah Hinz was third with a 52.75.