For Ben Taylor ‘21, who has been a member of LT varsity gymnastics for three years on all six events, last season was a success. Taylor qualified for state finals and made it to the event finals where he placed seventh on parallel bars, with a high score of 9.4/10. As a team, LT also qualified for state and placed fourth.
“We are very proud of this accomplishment,” head varsity coach Sam Zeman said.
Although the team did well last year, they are excited to get back in the gym to further improve this season, Taylor said.
“This season, I’ve been working really hard to add [more advanced] skills to my routines, as well as working on my form and technique a lot,” Taylor said.
This year’s team will have less gymnasts than last season due to the significant amount of seniors who graduated last year; however, with the same amount of coaches that leaves more one-on-one practice for the remaining athletes to develop and work new skills, Genaro Giovingo-Mino ‘20 said.
During their off-season period, a few gymnasts practice and compete at the club level working to expand and improve their skills, Taylor said.
“We practice year-round, so several team members have gotten new skills that they didn’t compete last year,” Giovingo-Mino said. “I think everyone’s excited to make their own routines with the skills they’ve learned.”
As practices start and the team begins to assemble, the biggest competition this year will most likely be the top contenders from last year; Libertyville High School and Niles West High School. However, there has also been a rivalry with Glenbard West High School, who is projected to perform strongly as well, Giovingo-Mino said.
Some promising athletes on the team include Randy Yonan ‘22, who is predicted to compete all-around for varsity this year, Taylor said. As well as, exceptional strength expected from Giovingo-Mino as he heads into his last season at LT, Taylor said.
“He’s strong on parallel bars and high bar and should be putting up some good scores,” Taylor said.
Giovingo-Mino’s individual hopes for the season includes qualifying for state for the final time. Since he has been on the team for all of his highschool career, if he were to qualify for state this season he would be the only gymnast in LT history to compete at the state level all four years, Giovingo-Mino said.
“I feel lucky to have been on the team for four years,” Giovingo-Mino said. “I’ve known so many talented gymnasts that have already graduated and performed well at state, so I’m trying to create the atmosphere they did when I was a freshman.”
If the team were to qualify for state this season as well, it would be the first time in school history the team would qualify for state four years in a row, Zeman said. It would also be the sixth time within the past eight years that they would qualify for state.
“We will continue to build a strong and successful tradition one year at a time,” Zeman said.
The first boy’s gymnastics meet will be at Hinsdale Central High School on March 6, and a home meet the following Friday on March 13.
“I’m definitely looking forward to our first home meet, because there aren’t a lot of times my friends get to see me compete for club gymnastics, and it feels good to represent the school,” Taylor said.