HINSDALE — If gymnastics has gym rats, Hinsdale South junior Adrian Siaw is probably one of them.
Siaw can’t get enough of the sport and only started competing when he reached high school. Siaw was a cross country runner as a freshman when now-senior gymnast Dominic Colant suggested that Siaw give gymnastics a try.
Three years later, Siaw seemed an unlikely candidate to reach the state individual finals Saturday at Hinsdale Central, but after he placed among the top 10 in the floor exercise preliminaries, he wound up tied for sixth place (9.1).
“The crazy thing is that last year I tied for 10th in the conference on the floor exercise and now I’m in the state finals,” Siaw said. “That’s awesome.”
Even crazier is that Siaw came one place finish and 0.5 points away from earning a top-five medal.
The turning point in Siaw’s floor routine came earlier in the season when coach Jarrod Amolsch suggested adding a fourth tumbling pass. Next thing he knew, Siaw started scoring 9s instead of 8s with minimal deductions.
He debuted his new floor routine April 11 at Hinsdale Central’s Canino Invitational and finished second (9.15).
At Hinsdale South’s next meet, Siaw won the floor (9.3) and vault (9.3) at the Hornet Invitational April 14.
“I’m proud of him,” Amolsch said. “He’s come a long way in a short amount of time.”
Siaw was a cross country runner for four years, beginning at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Plainfield before moving to Willowbrook. He said his father, Peter Siaw, prepared his son for gymnastics by encouraging him to try playground obstacle courses for fun as a youngster.
Siaw quit cross country and joined the Action Gymnastics club, which is run by Hinsdale South assistant coach Jody Raymond. Siaw, who can’t get enough of the gymnastics room, has become an instructor for the club’s youth program.
“I think if you gave him a refrigerator and a couch, he would live there [at school],” Amolsch said. “Some kids need video games. He needs a trampoline and a floor.”