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High score propels Wheaton Co-op to DVC gymnastics title

WHEATON — The Wheaton Co-op boys gymnastics team is getting healthy at just the right time and that is bad news for the rest of the squads in Illinois.

The defending state champions posted a season-high score of 159.250, which is also the top score thus far in the state, to run away with the team title at the DuPage Valley Conference meet Friday.

Glenbard North (133.600) was the runner-up.

"The guys had a really good meet," said Wheaton co-op coach Greg Gebhardt, whose team had posted a previous high mark of 155.60 on April 15.

Ethan Sansone captured the all-around championship with a total of 53.950. Danny Heller (51.100) was the runner-up.

Sansone also first on the pommel horse (9.40) and second on the floor (9.450) while Heller was first on the horizontal bar (9.15) and the runner-up on the pommel horse (9.00).

"Ethan quietly has been doing better," the coach said. "When you are in the high 53s or low 54s, that means you are an elite all-arounder. And Danny doing a 51 is an impressive number as well.

"Danny had his season-high and I think Ethan had his season-high in the all-around. Both had really good nights."

Top all-arounder Dave McDonald, who missed three weeks due to a wrist injury, added first-place showings on the rings (9.30), vault (9.25) and parallel bars (9.05).

"He came back on five events Monday," the coach said, "and then did five events on Friday. It's great to have him back in the line-up. It's a boost to all of the guys."

Mike Rumaro was the runner-up on the rings (8.40), Lucas Cooperman tied for fourth on the floor (8.55), Mike Hands was fifth on the pommel horse (7.75) and Ben Marston tied for fifth on the parallel bars (8.15).

"We also had good specialists help out a lot," Gebhardt said. "We have a group of guys who really do fill in a lot of scores."

Wheaton is now in a stretch of 11 days without a competition before hosting one of the five sectionals on May 1. Other teams in attendance are all four Glenbard schools along with Addison Trail, Willowbrook, Naperville Central and Naperville North.

"It's been kind of a weird year, with injuries and guys going in and out," Gebhardt added. "But it's nice to see all of the guys competing at the same time.

"We just want to continue to improve. There are some really good teams out there that we will see."

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