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updated: 3/16/2013 6:56 PM

Boys gymnastics / Scouting Lake County

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By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent

INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE

LIBERTYVILLE

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Coach: Josh Cimo (second season)

Last year's record: sixth in Independent Conference

Top graduated seniors: Evan Policht (2011 state qualifier), Pat Fitzgerald, Christian Bako

Top returning competitors: senior Sergio Ayala (three events), senior Art Hirata, junior Ben Reichert (five events) junior Will Larson, sophomore Mark Pickar (four events)

Key newcomers: junior Jack Burke (four events), junior Christian Womack, junior Rob McCormick, sophomore Ryan Flores (three events), freshman Adrian Metcalf (all-around)

Outlook: After struggling through their routines for the majority of the 2012 season, the Wildcats have bounced back strong in the early stages of the new campaign with a near 20-point jump from their first to second meet already pushing them over the 130-point plateau. Consistency will be a key looking toward the latter stages of the season. But things are looking up with freshman all-arounder Adrian Metcalf getting some solid support from a variety of teammates in numerous events.

MUNDELEIN

Coach: Jesse Piland (fifth season)

Last year's record: seventh in state, first in Independent Conference

Top graduated seniors: Tim Beranek (27th overall in 2011), Maurice Ruff

Top returning competitors: senior Theo Vergis (three events), junior Colin McCarthy (10th in state all-around, second on vault, sixth on parallel bars), junior Cameron Mueller (24th in state all-around, seventh on still rings), junior Jacob Petri (all-around), junior Kevin Franz (three events)

Key newcomers: junior Alex Gomez (four events), junior Gustavo Tercero, junior Carlos Marin, freshman Brandon Swanson (all-around)

Outlook: The Mustangs lost a solid all-arounder in Tim Beranek to graduation. But they are ready to make a big splash again this season behind a great group of juniors led by Colin McCarthy, Cameron Mueller, Jacob Petri and Kevin Franz. Mundelein's program has enjoyed great success over the years, and the Mustangs could be ready to add yet another top-three trophy to their collection. Coach Jesse Piland is just hoping that his team can stay a little healthier than it did last year.

STEVENSON

Coach: Eric Liva (first season)

Last year's record: third in Independent Conference

Top graduated seniors: Josh Tarnoff, Austin Lee, Dan Forsman

Top returning competitors: senior Kyle Weichselbaum (all-around), junior Jacob Guth (25th in state all-around), sophomore Arie Feltman-Frank (20th in state all-around, fourth on high bar, 10th on pommel horse)

Key newcomers: freshman Josh Martin (all-arounder)

Outlook: The Patriots will have little to no depth to fall back on this season. But they do have a solid trio of all-arounders, including Arie Feltman-Frank, who placed fourth in the state last spring on high bar. Former Mundelein coach Eric Liva returns to the gymnastics scene with high hopes as he takes over the reigns from Dexter Victoria. Stevenson will be hard-pressed to contend with defending champion Mundelein and Lake Park in the Independent Conference. But the Patriots should still be competitive along with archrival Libertyville, Glenbard South, and Fenton in the conference.

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