A pair of freshman dominated the Glenbard West Sectional on Saturday night in Glen Ellyn.
Glenbard West’s Max Diab outdid fellow newcomer Dominic Tommasone from Downers South, 53.2 to 51.9 in the all-around to lead the Hilltoppers past the Mustangs for the title with a season-high 155.2 points.
Downers South finished with 143.2 points, which allowed the Mustangs to qualify for next weekend’s state finals at Hinsdale Central. It’s the first time in school history that the Mustangs have advanced to state.
“I’m happy for the kids,” Downers South coach Bill Norris said. “At the beginning of the year we didn’t even know if we were going to have a team because the other coach had to leave, so it says a lot about how these kids have worked.”
While history may have been made at Downers South, the Mustangs were no real competition for the Hilltoppers.
Diab won the still rings with a 9.55, floor with a 9.45, parallel bars with an 8.85 and tied teammate Perry Zumbrook for top honors on vault with a 9.5.
“This was, by far, our best meet of all season, Diab season. “I think the hard work we’ve had in practice really paid off. It’s been a lot of focus and concentration.”
The Hilltoppers also received big contributions from freshman Eric Samuta, who had a 9.1 on floor, 7.95 on pommel horse and 7.65 on high bar, Zumbrook, who added a 9.05 on floor and 8.65 on parallel bars and Joey Mandarino who registered a 9.4 on still rings.
“We’ve been working hard all season on our sets and it paid off tonight,” Zumbrook said. “This was a great meet for us and I’m so looking forward to state now.”
Tommasone won high bar with a 9.15.
“It was pretty good,” Tommasone said. “We were down from the other guys so I tried to step it up and make my routine as clean as possible.”
Willowbrook junior Keawe Winstead won the pommel horse with an 8.65.
Since this was the final sectional in the state series, it was determined that the three at-large teams to qualify for state are Niles West, Downers South and Deerfield. They will join automatic qualifiers Wheaton Co-op, Lyons, Stevenson, Libertyville and Glenbard West in the team state finals.