Thompson brings elite skills to Red Devils
Hinsdale, IL - Friday, March 1, 2013: Hinsdale Central's Brian Thompson competes on the floor exercise during the Red Devil Invite. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
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Updated: April 8, 2013 6:43AM
If Brian Thompson joined Hinsdale Central’s boys gymnastics team last season, the Devils probably would have finished higher than eighth in the state meet.
Thompson has been a club competitor during his first three years of high school, but decided to join the team this season.
In the past year, the senior from Hinsdale has decided that he does not want to pursue gymnastics in college. As a club competitor, his changes of earning a gymnastics scholarship for college would have been greater while competing at a higher level.
The possibilities are endless for fans wondering what Thompson and former standout Tyler Leahy could accomplished last season together. But it didn’t happen.
Last season, Hinsdale was led by Leahy, a senior, and placed eighth at the state meet. Leahy was the state vault champion two years ago.
With both Thompson and Leahy on the same team, the Devils would have perhaps challenged Glenbard West and Downers Grove North for a conference title instead of tying for third place with Lyons.
Thompson, a Level 10 club gymnast from the Downers Grove-based Premier club, should provide an immediate boost to the Devils.
“It will be different than club,” Thompson said before his first meet. “In my first event, I hope I will be hitting my stride.”
He won the all-around (53.70) Friday night in the season-opening Red Devil Invitational and won still rings (9.2) and high bar (9.3). Thompson was third on pommel horse and parallel bars and fifth on floor exercise.
Hinsdale placed fourth in the meet (135.35 points).
“I’m very excited. I feel we can be very competitive this year with other high schools,” Thompson said.
When Thompson was in middle school, he dreamed of competing in college gymnastics for a top school such as Stanford. But once he reached Level 10 in club gymnastics, the highest ranking possible, Thompson felt his skills started to plateau.
Thompson has not decided what his current plans are.
In the preseason, he talked to Hinsdale coach Mark Wanner and practiced with the team a few times before deciding to make a commitment to the team.
“Everyone is very excited to have me there,” Thompson said. ~.