Boys Gymnastics: Leahy puts team ahead of self at State
Hinsdale Central senior Karan Mahajan contended for a state title on pommel horse, claiming third place with a 9.55. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:37AM
One of the sure things in high school sports the past couple years has been the vault of Hinsdale Central’s Tyler Leahy.
Leahy was at Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort on Saturday and looking to defend his state vault title. All signs seemed positive after he scored a meet-best 9.65 during Friday’s team and all-around competition, which helped him tie for sixth place in the all-around with a 52.35.
Then, something went wrong during Saturday’s individual event preliminaries.
“I felt like the board was a little too forward so I hit a little back or something and hit really low,” he said. “I missed my hand and my hand was a little low too and fell forward.”
Leahy only received a 9.05 and fell into a 14th-place tie, falling short of finishing in the Top 10 and advancing to the evening’s finals.
“It wasn’t the end of the world and I made finals on an event (parallel bars) that I wanted to do in awhile,” he said. “Besides, I already had my state title and made my own little niche already.”
He was also still thinking of the Red Devils as much as himself, as the team competed on Friday, placing eighth with 145.15 points.
“I think I wasn’t fully there today coming off the team meet where I really gave it 110 percent and my very best for my team,” he said. “When I got there today I don’t think my head was in the right place.”
Leahy would finish his career by placing eighth on parallel bars. He scored a 9.35 during the team competition, a 9.2 in prelims and an 8.6 during finals.
“That was probably the cleanest set that I got down,” he said. “On Friday I broke my school record.”
The feel-good story for the Red Devils came from senior Karan Mahajan who contended for a state title on pommel horse, claiming third place with a 9.55.
Mahajan took 34th place with a 7.55 during last year’s prelims so he made a 2-point leap in one year, while boosting his prelim-to-finals score on Saturday from 9.2 to 9.55.
“My finals one was much better than what I did in prelims,” he said. “It was just a good warm-up and I knew it was now or never to fix it.”
The third Red Devil to advance to the finals in an individual event was sophomore Sam Pielet who took seventh on vault with a 9.15.
Hard work over the past year definitely paved the way for Mahajan to finish with a flourish.
“Being a senior it was sort of a goal to get into finals and stuff,” he said. “I put in a lot of work into it, so yeah, it feels good.”
The other gymnasts who contributed to the team effort on Friday included Robert Day, Laith Dasoqi, Sam Hamilton, Jamel Redmond, Neil Rembos, Jack Schmidt, Dex Spillers, Kevin Vicini, Abdel Zakieh and Ray Zhang.