After going head-to-head in the Bob Bohl Invitational just last Friday, Thursday night's Independent Conference dual meet was going to be an interesting rematch between host Mundelein and Stevenson in boys gymnastics.
The final result was very similar in the end, as the Mustangs once again topped the Patriots, this time by a closer 149.4 to 147.0 margin. Mundelein (2-0, 2-0) scored 150.05 in the Bohl meet while amazingly Stevenson posted an identical 147.0 mark.
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The Patriots (2-1, 0-1) also had the same problems with starting on pommel horse Thursday as they did last weekend. After hitting a 20.5 on pommel horse last week, Stevenson posted only a 20.1 in the big showdown Thursday.
Due to nagging wrist and ankle injuries, Mundelein junior standout Colin McCarthy was held out of the all-around competition although he did compete well on three events.
Stevenson sophomore Arie Feltman-Frank won the all-around title 51.1 to 50.6 over Mundelein junior Cameron Mueller.
Stevenson junior Jacob Guth was very close in third overall with 50.2 points followed by Mundelein's Jacob Petri (47.2) in fourth, and Stevenson's Kyle Weichselbaum (45.7) in fifth.
Mueller was the individual champion on still rings (9.2) and pommel horse (7.7) while the rest of the Mustangs' lineup stepped up to the challenge without McCarthy competing in six events.
"Jacob (Petri) has had the potential all year of doing really well and it was Jacob's best meet by far, he was the gymnast of the meet," said Mundelein coach Jesse Piland, whose team scored 26.9 points on parallel bars. "We've already secured a sectional (hosting) and we just want to get him (McCarthy) healthy for the end of the year."
McCarthy did pull through with a big 9.4 for first place on parallel bars while Weichselbaum took home the individual crown on vault with a 9.2.
Feltman-Frank was the champ on high bar with a career-high 9.5 while Guth won floor exercise with a 9.2. After scoring a 52.25 in his last outing, including a 9.0 on pommel horse, Feltman-Frank knew pommel horse really hurt him Thursday.
"I fell off pommel horse twice which really killed me or I could have done better (overall)," said Feltman-Frank, who placed 20th in the state all-around as a freshman. "We have a good chance at state and we just have to keep working. If we hit our routines we can get to state."
Like the Mustangs, Stevenson will also be hosting one of the five sectionals in early May with a real showdown against Glenbrook North potentially deciding which of those two squads will qualify for the Elite Eight.
Stevenson coach Eric Liva has been pretty happy with his lean team so far this spring. But he is hoping everybody can put together a strong meet on the same night and avoid the recent pitfalls on pommel horse.
"We're a 24 (point) pommel horse team, we can go 24, and this is the second straight meet we scored 20," said a frustrated Liva, who is in his first season as head coach for the Pats. "We want to get to 150 and we're solid on the other five events. But horse is killing us."
McCarthy took second on still rings (9.0) and high bar (8.9) while Weichselbaum (9.1) was the runner-up on floor exercise. Guth took second on parallel bars with a 9.2 while Feltman-Frank and Guth (9.0) tied for second on vault. Petri (7.3) took second on p-horse while teammate Brandon Swanson (8.7) placed third on floor.