Gymnasts take 4th place in state

Maggie Kahn, Reporter

After a successful previous season with Matthew O’Malley ‘19 winning a vault title at state, the boys gymnastics team continued to improve its skills and work towards advancing in the sectional and state meets.

The team placed fourth overall in the state meet on May 10 and 11 at Hoffman Estates High School, with team captain John Quinlan ‘19 placing fourth in the floor event, O’Malley placing second in the vault event, and Julian Campbell ‘19 placing second on rings.

“I think our determination is what made us win so many meets,” Genaro Giovingo Mino ‘20, who competes in rings, high bar, parallel bars and vault, said. “We’ve been so close to being state champions in the past few years, so everyone started the season hoping this would be the year that we won.”

The team worked towards this goal by team focusing on improving the program as a whole by guiding the sophomores on the team, rather than just having individual competitors concentrate only on themselves, Giovingo Mino said.

“[Head Varsity Coach Sam Zeman] did something different with me and one of the other specialists on varsity,” Quinlan, who performs in floor and vault events, said. “I warm up with everybody, and then I coach for 30 minutes, so it helps develop the JV and varsity team a little bit more. I think it’s been really helpful because a lot of [my teammates] have gotten a lot better.”

The change in training along with some incredible all-around competitors such as Alec Paras ‘22 contributed to the team winning conference on April 26, Quinlan said.

“Our conference is pretty competitive,” Quinlan said. “We’ve always been competing really intensely against Glenbard West [High School], but we beat them this year, which was pretty cool.”

After winning conference, the team placed second to Niles West in its sectional meet on Tuesday, April 30.

“Our score itself definitely could have been better,” Quinlan said. “We scored kind of low on pommelhorse and high bar, which has been kind of a chronic thing, but especially at this meet, it didn’t go as well as we had wanted.”

However, the team was placed in the earliest sectional meet, giving them a week and a half to correct mistakes and come to state ready to compete, Quinlan said.

Zeman was pleased with the team’s finish at the state meet, he said.

“After being state runner ups in 2017 and 3rd in state last year, our goal was to get back to state and place among the top 5,” he said. “So yes, we did achieve our goal as a team.”

The team will lose their three individual medallists, but have hopes that their strong underclassmen all-arounders will continue to grow in the coming seasons, Giovingo Mino said.