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Conference dominance

Wheaton co-op gymnasts win DuPage Valley Conference meet

CAROL STREAM – With its defending all-around individual state champion sidelined, the rest of the Wheaton co-op boys gymnastics team picked up the slack at Friday’s DuPage Valley Conference meet.

The squad posted a winning score of 150.60 in the DVC meet at Glenbard North despite not having the services of David MacDonald. The senior suffered a mild concussion during the April 19 Dave Donaldson invitational and the hope is that he will be able to return in some capacity for Wednesday’s sectional meet.

“It is a very tight group and we have a lot of guys who really want to compete,” Wheaton coop coach Greg Gebhardt said. “Some had opportunities that they wouldn’t have had with David in there and they took advantage of them. They take it very seriously and they took care of business.”

One of the top gymnasts in the state himself, Ethan Sansone captured the all-around title and also placed first in every event aside from the rings.

Connor Ritchie was the runner-up on the rings and fourth on the vault, Ben Marston and Ben Szot tied for second on the parallel bars, and Austin Peabody finished second on the high bar. Lucas Cooperman and Szot finished second and third on the floor, respectively.

“We had a good meet,” Gebhardt said. “Other than the pommel horse, I think we just about hit every routine.”

Next up for the team is the sectional it will host Wednesday. Other teams that will compete include Naperville North, Naperville Central, Lincoln-Way co-op and Lake Park.

This week, Wheaton has been focusing on fine-tuning everything for the state series.

“We have to prepare,” Gebhardt said. “We have to try to refine [our routines] and there are a couple of things on high bar we want to add. And with the pommel horse, we want to make sure we have a better meet on that event in the sectional.”

With the postseason getting underway, Wheaton is shooting for its third consecutive state title.

“I’m pleased with their work ethic. They are doing the things they need to do,” Gebhardt said of his team. “It’s going to be tight. Stevenson is [scoring] 157, 158. It’s never easy any year.”

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