The Conant boys gymnastics team tuned up in fine fashion Friday at the Hawk Invitational in Hoffman Estates.
With Joey Mauk sidelined from two events because of a sore Achilles tendon and Brandon Metcalf sitting out the meet because of an auto accident on Thursday, the Cougars still reached back to score a season-best 156.10 and win the meet.
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"I told them to have fun and stay healthy," said Conant coach Mike Opsal, whose team competes at the Mid-Suburban League meet next Friday, following with sectionals and the state meet. "I am giving them the day off tomorrow just to heal a bit, and then the big push begins."
Brian Reedy scored a career-best 9.30 to win the high bar and finished second in the all-around with a 51.45.
"I was feeling good going into it," Reedy said. "I knew I could hit it and I have been working on it in practice all week. That moment when I was going over, I knew I was good."
Josh Hoppe won the floor with a 9.00 while Blake Rossdeutcher coming up big on the rings (8.60) and the vault (8.65).
Mauk, meanwhile, won the parallel bars, scoring a 9.70 for the fourth time this year.
"I am happy with the score, I just think I can do better," said Mauk, who also won the rings with a 9.30. "I just missed sticking my landing, so I know I can get my score to go up."
Also stuck at 9.70 was Fremd's C.J. Patton, who won the pommel horse. But while Patton's score remained steady on the horse, the senior picked up points in the five other events, to score a 52.80 and win the all-around.
"I can't seem to break that, but it is OK," Patton said. "It is still really awesome. I am happy with the rest of my meet."
Patton along with Doug Leatherman, Cole Patton and Anthony Langas helped Fremd to a season-best 134.50. The Vikings were able to score that despite competing without Noah Ciborowski, who was nursing a bad back.
"We are a little dinged up," Fremd coach Tim Hamman said. "I talked to the guys on the bus over here about overcoming adversity. And our score today shows that they can."
Palatine took an opposite approach to the meet. Coach Scott Hagel had his Pirates pushing through their new skills.
The tactic worked as Austin Hoening won the vault with an 8.65 while Lucas Price, Pratick Patel, Ben Dibuz and Matt Collum helped led the Pirates to a second-place finish with a 138.15.
"We definitely tried some new tricks," Hagel said. "We treated this past week as a second chance to try some new things after spring break. And it went well for the most part. We will just be trying to clean things up from here."
Schaumburg's Elliot Lam limited his performances due to a nagging back injury. The young Saxons responded by scoring a season-best 122.05 with strong performances from Mat Sigler, Kyle Reid and Jason Bethea.
"We were holding back a little bit," Schaumburg coach Erik Bostrom. "Still, we had people step up and that was encouraging."
Hoffman Estates overcame injuries and academic ineligibility to score a 120.60.
Andres Cueva (third in the vault with an 8.70), Alan Peralta (fifth on the rings with an 8.10), Michael Rodriguez, Bartosz Widelak and Anthony Halbisch picked up the slack for the Hawks.
"There were guys in our lineup who never competed before this year," Hoffman Estates coach Ryan Brown Jr. said. "And we were just 2 points below our season-high. It bodes well for our future."