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Lincoln-Way Adds Three Individual State Gymnastics Titles to Team Championship

Ryan Reif and Ajani Cargle earn first-place finishes Saturday, adding to the accomplishments of the team that won the state title on Friday.

The Lincoln-Way Co-op boys gymnastics team now has three more reasons to celebrate during today's parade.

One night after , three team members won individual state titles.

Senior Ryan Reif won on still rings (9.6), junior Ajani Cargle won the horizontal bar title (9.4) and Cargle shared the crown in floor exercise (9.65) with Libertyville's Craig Breckenridge during Saturday's IHSA state boys gymnastics individual championships at Lincoln-Way East.

"I had ideas of winning but didn't set a goal for it until my teammates and coach said I could do it," Reif said. "I honestly didn't think I could and it didn't cross my mind, and then they said you're going to get first and I was like, 'What?' and I started working towards it and that's how I got here."

Reif said it wasn't until late Friday night that he felt like he really had a shot at winning an individual state title.

"Last night it seemed like everything was falling into place," he said. "I finally said to myself, 'This is really going to happen.'"

Cargle won an all-around title on Friday and two events on Saturday, but the perfectionist still wasn't overly pleased with his performance in the finals, which included a couple of mistakes on pommel horse.

"It's been a rough two days and it didn't help that I had ACTs earlier this week," he said. "But I am happy. It hasn't all sunk in yet and hopefully next year I can win all six events."

Cargle tied for third on vault with a 9.45, tied for fourth on still rings with a 9.25 and finished 10th on pommel horse with an 8.05.

Lincoln-Way’s Jake Gratkowski took 11th place on parallel bars with an 8.35. The senior had to wait around for the meet to be nearly over before he finally had his chance to compete.

"It didn't go according to plan, but what I prepared for throughout the year was for the team (competition)," he said. "I didn't consider myself to be a part of the crowd that makes the finals and it doesn't cut it when you're competing against these fantastic kids."

Tyler Yost concluded his Lincoln-Way gymnastics career by taking sixth on the floor exercise with a 9.3.

"I did what I was supposed to do, but that stick I had this morning was a surprise and I wasn't sure how I did it," he said. "I thought I could stick it again but didn't think about the basics of what I was doing, but it came out 9.3, which is what I've been doing all season."

Evan Hosman was the fifth and final Lincoln-Way gymnast to advance to the individual state championships. Hosman tied for seventh place on still rings with a 9.050.

The school district has posted Sunday parade plans  on its website.

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