In past years, junior Nick Peterson observed the postseason success of the Lyons Township High School boys gymnastics team. The varsity newcomer played a big role April 28 at the West Suburban Conference Silver Division Meet at Hinsdale Central.
Peterson was among six Lions who earned top-five, individual all-conference medals as they roared to a season-high 154.65 points to win the meet and secure their fifth straight undefeated overall title.
“It was electric because the entire team was pumped. I think we have a lot of momentum for the season ahead,” said Peterson, who was fourth on parallel bars with a personal-best 7.95.
Juniors Matt Adler (55.30) and Will Taylor (50.25) finished 1-2 in all-around.
Adler (9.15), Taylor (8.4) and junior Ryan Evans (7.9) swept the top three places on still rings. Adler (9.15) and Taylor (8.6) were 1-2 on parallel bars.
Adler also won high bar (9.35) and pommel horse (9.1) and was second on vault (9.25) and third on floor exercise (9.3).
Roman Hanyuk tied for second on high bar (8.25), Ryan Johnson was fourth on vault (8.85) and high bar (8.2) and Taylor was fourth on floor (9.25).
“We’re consistently now in the 154s and I’m trying everything I can do to get us up to a 157,” LTHS coach Sam Zeman said. “The beauty of it is the guys believe in themselves and they’re ready for what’s coming.”
Based on season scores, the Lions are seeded No. 3 in the state behind top-rated Lake Park and Hersey with the IHSA Sectional at 6:30 p.m. on May 3 at LTHS.
Adler will miss sectionals, but the Lions still are favored to win and automatically earn a berth to the eight-team state meet May 12-13 at Hoffman Estates.
Adler would return from USA Gymnastics club nationals to compete at state for the team. Junior varsity gymnasts Ryan Renderman, T.J. Carr and Sean McCabe probably will compete at sectionals.
In 2022, Peterson was second at the junior varsity WSC Silver Meet on parallel bars (6.8) and fourth on still rings (6.75). Before April 28, Peterson’s high score on parallel bars was 7.4.
“I’d gotten into the habit of hitting [my routine] in warmups and then messing up some way in the meet,” Peterson said. “A lot of times Coach Zeman said you have to practice how you compete. If you don’t, you can’t complain how you do in the meet. So I’ve been doing lot of sets in practice and working on what I need to improve my score.”
“That [7.95] was great because of all of the time he’s committed to the sport,” Zeman added. “He’s a true high school gymnast who has just worked his way up.”