FRANKFORT – Following in older brother Willie’s footsteps, Perry Zumbrook decided to give gymnastics a try upon entering Glenbard West High School.
Now, just three years later, the Hilltoppers’ junior has earned a spot among the state’s best.
On Saturday at the IHSA state meet, Zumbrook advanced to a pair of event finals, placing sixth on both rings (8.95) and vault (9.10).
“For a kid who is primarily a high school gymnast,” said Glenbard West coach Frank Novakowski, “to make the finals in two events and to place sixth is pretty good. He is competing with a lot of guys who are long-time gymnasts with club experience.”
Zumbrook had mixed feelings about his performance.
“I was satisfied in some areas and a little disappointed in others,” he said. “On rings, my final score turned out really well. With the vault, I was a little disappointed but that will only drive me to do better next year and come back with a vengeance.”
Joining the junior in the event finals was senior Luke Skala, who came in ninth on the pommel horse with a 8.65.
“Luke was one of our captains,” Novakowski said. “He is one of our hardest workers in the gym and that showed. He is another high school gymnast and he was right up there in the finals with everybody else. I know he was super excited as well.”
Also competing in the preliminaries were Joey Mandarino (13th on the still rings), Jon McNamara (28th on the parallel bars) and Jonah Nguyen (36th on the pommel horse).
“We were second at the sectional,” Novakowski said. “Even though we weren’t able to make it at-large as a team, it was a really good season. We had five state qualifiers which is one of the higher numbers for teams in the state.”
And they’re already talking about next year.
“All the returning guys are looking to put in a lot of hours [in the offseason] because we definitely have a strong chance of going to the state meet next year,” Zumbrook said.
The Raiders had a pair of gymnasts advance to Saturday’s event finals.
Eugene Boguslavsky finished seventh on floor exercise with a score of 9.45 while Paul Steger was ninth on rings with a 7.40 after posting an 8.90 in the prelims.