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updated: 3/20/2014 11:07 PM

Addison Trail overcomes Willowbrook

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By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent

Injuries and obligations elsewhere left Addison Trail and Willowbrook nowhere near full strength during Thursday's West Suburban Gold boys gymnastics meet in Addison.

What it did do is make things rather interesting as the Blazers had to finish strong on high bar and parallel bars to edge Willowbrook 118.5 to 116.6.

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"It was close all the way to the end and both Willowbrook and our team were kind of working on fumes," Addison Trail coach Mike Galfi said. "We had four or five guys out and they're beat up as well, but a win's a win, and at this point we'll take it any way we can get it."

Marco Martinez, the lone all-arounder for the Blazers, closed things out by winning high bar with a 6.6 and parallel bars with a 7.9.

"Marco had a big meet for us," Galfi said. "He threw a tsuk for the first time and had a major parallel bars routine, the last of the night, which essentially won us the meet, so he came through big time."

Martinez's tsuk on vault netted an 8.4. It may only have been the fourth-best vault score of the night, but it was a huge moment for Martinez.

"Galfi says to make your weaknesses your strengths and it will pay off, so I think it paid off tonight," Martinez said. "I was very happy throwing that tsuk for the first time. I had been working on it in practice and finally did it in a meet."

It took contributions from most of the lineup for the Blazers to come away victorious. In addition to Martinez's effort, the team counted scores from Alfredo Torres, Elias Hernandez, Christian Escobar, Saul Rivera, Marcus Rias, Ruben Sanchez and Alex Jankowski.

"The kids that competed really stepped up and filled the spots that needed to be filled," Galfi said. "And a guy like Saul Rivera really is coming up big. He used to just do horse, but he's now filling in on parallel bars, high bar and rings."

Willowbrook standout Keawe Winstead continues to be limited as he returns from an injury. Winstead was only able to compete on horse, winning the event with a 6.8.

The Warriors also had a couple other notable performances as Dillan Jones won floor with an 8.5 and Eduardo Alvarez was impressive in winning vault with an 8.9. The team's only all-arounder, Colton Bach, finished with a 39.3 as he finished in the top three on pommel horse, vault and high bar.

"We just need to keep pushing," Winstead said. "I love this team. We're like a family and love each other like brothers. We lost tonight but we're going to keep pushing to get better. We've got a ways to go still, but we'll get there."

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