Lake Park wants to prove that it belongs among the elite teams in the state this season.
The Lancers will look to do that Friday when they host the Ralph Krupke Invitational.
In preparation for Friday’s competition, which will feature top teams such as Mundelein, Conant, Downers Grove North and Wheaton co-op, the Lancers disposed of Lincoln-Way co-op, the 2011 state champion, along with Hinsdale South in Tuesday’s triangular in Roselle.
The Lancers won handily with 135.5 points, while Lincoln-Way co-op had a 126.4 and the Hornets closed out the competition with a 111.6.
“The Krupke is one of the biggest pre-state tournament meets in the state, and we’ll have five of the top teams in the state there,” Lake Park coach Keith Matune said. “It’s going to be a good test to see where we’re at during this point in the season.”
The Lancers fizzled a bit last Friday at Leyden’s Eagle Invitational, but they were also without standout senior Mac Allen (illness), one of the team’s most vocal leaders.
Allen was back in the lineup on Tuesday, placing third on parallel bars with a 7.9 and dominating still rings, his best event, with a 9.3.
“It was pretty fantastic,” Allen said. “You’ve got to enjoy the home meets, those are always good.”
As a senior Allen’s been selflessly giving whatever he can to help the team’s score. While he could selfishly focus on individual accomplishments on still rings, Allen’s competing on every event save for floor.
“When I first joined my freshmen year I thought it was just an individual sport,” he said. “But then I realized that it wasn’t. I don’t even like high bar, but I do it because it helps the team. The same thing with (pommel) horse because we need a backup score.”
Sam Flory led the Lancers, winning all-around with a 47.2, as well as pommel horse with an 8.3. Sophomore Shea Smiley stepped up to win floor with a 9.1.
“(Shea) came up toward the end of last year and has been doing well this year,” Matune said. “He looks like he’s been out there a couple years, but up and down we had some excellent performances, so I’ve very excited.”
Chris Avvisati won high bar with a 6.8 and finished third in the all-around with a 42.7.
“High bar was good and floor and vault were highlights too,” Avvisati said. “I feel good and this is definitely a confidence-builder going into Friday. We made a lot of mistakes (last Friday), so we needed this tonight.”
Lincoln-Way co-op’s Brent Schneider won parallel bars with an 8.4 and was second in the all-around with a 46.4. Teammate Brett Arias won vault with a 9.
Brent Alsip who was fourth in the all-around with a 40.8 for Hinsdale South.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.