HINSDALE — Niles West’s Dalai Jamiyankhuu came into the boys gymnastics state meet last weekend with a fracture in his right wrist. Though practicing with the wrist was tough, and the injury forced him to scrap a few tricks in some of his routines, Jamiyankhuu decided to fight through.
“I just thought to myself, ‘This is the last part I need to do before it gets better,’ so I just finished the season up with a good finish,” Jamiyankhuu said. “Then I can rest.”
He didn’t exactly take it easy and he amazed at the state finals. He won the state title in the horizontal bar and placed in the top six of every other event he participated in — the team event, the all-around, parallel bars, vault, still rings, floor exercise and pommel horse.
“He came out on fire,” Niles West coach Adrian Batista said. “Every event he hit. He went 6-for-6. He really wanted it. He had the determination to hit every event, and that’s a lot to do.”
Jamiyankhuu said he isn’t the strongest or the most flexible gymnast, but Batista said he’s a natural gymnast and a gifted swinger who can thrive in every event he participates in.
“His technique is just flawless on many events, and that’s what we strive for all our gymnasts to do but very few of them can,” Batista said.
In the horizontal bar, Jamiyankhuu scored a 9.2, topping the second-place finisher by 0.35 points. He finished second in the floor exercise (9.4) and pommel horse (9.35); tied for second on parallel bars (9.25); third in vault (9.6); tied for fourth in still rings (8.85); and sixth in the all-around (52.55).
He was part of the Niles West side that finished fifth (146.6) in the team event. It was the first time Niles West competed in the team event at state in 28 years.
Jamiyankhuu brought scoring and intangibles to the team.
“Seeing him just pushed us a little bit more, so it made our gymnastics a little bit better,” senior Paul Dugo said. “That’s why we’re here now.”
This summer, Jamiyankhuu said he will work out twice a day, the first for skills and the second for strength and conditioning. But first, some rest: He was scheduled to have a cast put on his wrist this week and it is to stay on for nearly a month.
After the team and all-around competitions on May 16, Jamiyankhuu said that he wasn’t experiencing his second state finals trip to the fullest because of his bum wrist. Saturday’s performance, though, changed everything.
“I’m glad I did it,” Jamiyankhuu said. “Winning state it just felt really good that I actually forgot about my pain.”