As Lyons Township High School continues making statements as the state’s top-ranked boys gymnastics team, sophomore Roman Hanyuk made one individually April 8.
When Hanyuk received his three top-10 individual awards at Hinsdale Central’s Canino Invitational, he approached the stand draped in the flag of war-torn Ukraine. He was joined by York High School’s Dennis Sosnovyy, his friend since he was 5 and also of Ukrainian descent.
“Basically, I put it out today because I was trying to make people realize what’s happening now in Ukraine, which is really devastating,” Hanyuk said. “Most of my family [there] had to relocate because of it. I brought it out to support my family and Ukraine itself.”
The Lions (156.90 points) won the Canino Invite title despite far from their best meet. Two days earlier, they scored 163.20 at Glenbard West, only 0.4 points shy of their school-record total from March 5.
Hanyuk earned one top-five medal with fourth on pommel horse (8.1). He said he will continue wearing the flag at meets when he’s able while remaining respectful to others. Hanyuk has both grandmothers, one grandfather and cousins living in Ukraine.
“It’s really scary,” Hanyuk said. “They’re doing OK. We’ve lost one but it’s all right. It’s going to happen. It’s part of life.”
LTHS senior Alec Paras won all-around (54.75), parallel bars (9.55) and vault (9.4) and horizontal bar (9.4). Senior Randy Yonan and sophomore Matt Adler also were top-five medalists. Sophomores Will Taylor and Ryan Evans and senior Shane Kenna earned top-10 ribbons.
Taylor, who competed on four events April 8, is trying to join Paras, Yonan and Adler as 50-plus all-arounders. Taylor’s biggest remaining step is increasing his handspring vault (7.5 start value) to a handspring front (9.3).
“I pretty much have the skill. I just have to go for it. It’s kind of scary so I’m getting a lot of crap from all of the guys about it,” Taylor said. “A lot of guys have skills in the works and we hope to improve our score.”