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updated: 4/18/2013 9:07 PM

Focused Stevenson delivers a can't-miss performance

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By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent

It's not very often you hear a boys gymnastics coach say "we can't miss" during a meet.

But that was the way Stevenson coach Eric Liva felt after five events of his Independent Conference dual meet against rival Libertyville on Thursday night.

The Patriots had just finished their parallel bars routines with a sparkling 27.1 points to go a perfect 15-for-15 hitting routines up to that point with a score of 132.2 going into their final event.

Stevenson (3-1, 1-1) proved Liva's premonition was right as the Pats closed out the meet with a 3-for-3, 25.5 score on high bar to put the finishing touches on a very rare 18-for-18 meet for any high school squad.

Those great routines resulted in the Patriots soaring to a season-high 157.7 points to obliterate their previous high scores of 149.6 and 147 twice in recent weeks.

Thursday's meet was also a very good one for Libertyville (0-4, 0-2) as the Wildcats soared to a season-high 133.5 mark.

But with Stevenson really gearing up for its own sectional meet in two weeks there was no stopping the Pats on this historic senior night.

If the Patriots can somehow keep up their current pace they will be a force to be reckoned with not only at sectionals, but even at state against the likes of top teams Wheaton co-op, Conant, Downers Grove North and Mundelein.

"We went 18-for-18 and I'm just afraid we peaked too soon," said Liva, whose team improved dramatically on pommel horse with a 25.8. "That is the best these kids have ever done, even in practice, and that is how you draw it up."

The usual three keys to victory for Stevenson were the all-around trio of sophomore Arie Feltman-Frank (53.6 points) in first place overall, junior Jacob Guth (53.0 points) in second, and senior Kyle Weichselbaum (51.1) in third.

Guth was the pommel horse champion with an 8.8 while Feltman-Frank took home first place with a nice release move on high bar (9.5). Feltman-Frank was also the champ on still rings with an 8.9 while Weichselbaum won floor exercise (9.5) and parallel bars (9.2)

Libertyville's Jack Burke (9.3) captured the vaulting crown.

"We hit pretty much every one of our sets clean and that really contributed to our high score tonight," said Guth, who also took second on floor, vault, parallel bars, and high bar. "We just need to work on our sets in practice with muscle memory and hopefully that will get us to state."

Libertyville freshman Adrian Metcalf took fourth place in the all-around competition with 39.3 points. Metcalf and Weichselbaum (9.2) tied for second place on still rings.

"We started off sloppy on the first two events and on the last four events we hit," said Libertyville coach Josh Cimo, whose team scored 25.7 points on vault. "Adrian (Metcalf) has been very consistent for us and Jack (Burke) hit a hand-spring front on vault today so that really helped the team."

The Pats swept the top three places on floor, p-horse, vault (Feltman-Frank and Weichselbaum tied for third), p-bars, and high bar in rolling to their top-notch performance.

"Now we have to see if we can do this again," said Liva, whose team competes in the conference meet next week. "Each kid has never done a set that well, even in practice. I just hope we're not peaking too soon."

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