There is a familiar saying of a person being a one-man wrecking crew. For Oak Lawn Community High gymnast Harrison Brandt, that saying perfectly describes his situation because he literally is the Spartan one-man wrecking crew. He is the school’s only male gymnast this year.
In fact, he recently proved to be that one-man wrecking crew as he won the individual all-around competition at Glenbrook North against schools like Evanston, Niles North, and host Glenbrook North with an overall score of 44.7. He took first place in both the still rings (8.0) and on the high bar (7.5). He added a second place on the parallel bars (7.9), a third on the floor exercise (8.3), a fourth on vault (8.3), and an eighth on pommel horse.
In the absence of a USGA competitive season, Brandt has been utilizing the facilities at Morgan Park Sports Center in Chicago putting in four days a week and four hours a day. Even though he has not competed in USAG events this past year because of COVID-19 restrictions, he is getting a chance to compete in Illinois High School Associations meets as the lone Spartan.
“It feels weird to be the only one, but it’s also nice to get out there to schools that don’t even know where Oak Lawn is and compete with them,” Brandt said. “I am a level 9 gymnast at MPSC and now a gymnast for our school. It’s going well so far.”
“I’m coming off of a sprained ankle, so I’m easing back into some bigger skills. It’s also been tough with COVID restrictions and the gym being closed. We were back over last summer and closed again before Thanksgiving. We returned in early January and are back to a regular schedule now.”
In another meet for Oak Lawn, this one against Glenbard South, Benet, and Libertyville, Brandt performed well again with a first-place finish on the high bar with a score of 8.4, a fourth-place finish on still rings (7.1), and two fifth-place finishes in floor exercise (8.2) and on parallel bars (6.9).
In addition to competing in gymnastics, Brandt also dives for the OLCHS boys swimming and diving team. And because he is only a freshman, look for this one-man wrecking crew to turn more heads and make more headlines in the years to come. He definitely has a bright future, even if he has to do it alone.