As the sun went down and the temperature dropped outside on Wednesday night, Frost finally had his time to shine.
Stephen Frost, that is, the Williamsville East senior who won his first Section VI boys gymnastics all-around title inside the Williamsville South High School gym on Wednesday.
“It’s a long time coming,” Frost said. “It feels good to finally have my moment.”
Frost finally won the all-around with a 54.80 score that included a medal in parallel bars (8.95) and a pair of dazzling performances in the floor exercise (9.10) and rings (9.35).
“He’s worked hard for six years,” Williamsville gymnastics coach Joe Buscaglia said. “Every year he’s had a great year, but there’s always been that one guy that’s had a little better year because of more experience or being older.”
Last year Frost finished second all-around (53.7) to Will South’s Noah Roberson, who won his second straight Section VI title with a section record 57.85.
Before that it was Clarence’s Jonathan Zirna, who dominated Western New York gymnastics.
Buscaglia thinks Frost’s patience and work ethic made all the difference in building momentum for his triumph as a senior.
“I think being in the shadow of Roberson or Zirna has pushed him,” Buscaglia said. “He’s been good about being able to focus and look to the end, and I think he truly believed ‘One day I’ll be there. I just have to keep working hard and it’ll come.’ ”
Last year Frost won the pommel horse (8.9), horizontal bars (7.9) and parallel bars (8.5) sectional titles but decided to count a more complex routine on the rings in his medaled events as a senior. He was dominant throughout the evening, but after a slip up on the parallel bars he wanted to finish strong in his last event: high bar.
“I wanted to make sure it was good,” Frost said. “I was thinking ‘This is it. Let’s make the best of it. This is my last time here so let’s go out with a bang.’ ”
Frost survived some friendly competition from Flames eighth-grader Josh Reinstein, who finished just over four points off the pace with an all-around score of 50.45. Williamsville North freshman Declan Henriques finished third with 42.25, while Billies senior Nick Darling finished fourth all-around.
Frost said he was happy to win after his eighth-grade teammate predicted an upset at Sectionals.
Reinstein “was bugging me about that all day, saying ‘I’m going to beat you, I’m going to beat you,’ ” said Frost, who also took home the Mark Monaco Gymnast of the Year award. “I didn’t let it get to me because he’s really good at playing mind games.”
Reinstein medaled in three events: high bar (7.00), vault (9.30) and pommel horse (9.00).
Frost’s departure sets up some exciting showdowns between Reinstein and Henriques in the coming years.
“Me and Josh,” Henriques said, “We’re going to have some fun next year.”
Buscaglia is confident that Frost, who is considering Penn State and Springfield College next year, will compete at the collegiate level.
“He’s definitely going to move on to college gymnastics somewhere,” Buscaglia said.