Boys Gymnastics: Wheaton Co-op snags team title; Glenbard West freshman Alex Diab wins all-aroundWheaton Co-op wins the first place team title during the 2012 IHSA boys gymnastics team and all-around championships at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort Friday, May 11, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 11, 2012 10:42PM
Wheaton Co-op was the highest-scoring team throughout the season so it made sense that it would outscore every opponent during Friday’s IHSA boys gymnastics team and all-around state championship at Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort.
Scoring a season-high 160.8 points, Wheaton Co-op won the second state title in program history. It won its first title in 2005 and finished runner-up last year.
“You finish with your season high by having guys step up and put a meet together,” Wheaton Co-op coach Greg Gebhardt said. “It was not the smoothest meet, but we had great fights from the guys tonight.”
Glenbard West freshman Alex Diab had an uncharacteristic fall on vault which lowered his score to 8.85, but he still edged Lincoln-Way Co-op senior Ajani Cargle for the all-around title, 56.7 to 56.35. Diab’s best effort came on still rings with a 9.7, while Cargle totaled a 9.8 on floor.
Wheaton Co-op pulled off its feat despite losing two standout all-arounders to graduation and adding a new coaching staff. It succeeded as seven gymnasts delivered on an event with a score that contributed to the team total.
Sophomore Ethan Sansone, the team’s lone all-arounder, finished fourth in the all-around competition with a 53.65, despite only leading the team in one event with a third-place 9.2 on high bar.
Danny Heller had a 9.15 on pommel horse, Mark Ciesielski scored 9.5 on vault and 9.6 on floor, and Zach Neal scored a 9.05 on still rings and 9.55 on parallel bars to give the team the depth it needed for the championship.
“Everyone wants a state title, but the guys here on this team really wanted it and put the work and time in for it,” Neal said. “Max [Jurkowski] got us started off on parallel bars and we kept going up from there.”
Defending state champion Lincoln-Way East Co-op placed second for the fourth time in five years with a 157.45 and Downers Grove North was third with a 155.35.