With conference meets just two weeks away, area boys gymnastics teams continued to fine-tune their routines Saturday afternoon at the 37th Annual Ken Scorza Invitational hosted by York.
And it turned out to be another banner day for No. 2-ranked Stevenson as the Patriots rolled to the championship of the 10-team meet with 150.2 points.
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Short-handed Mundelein captured second place with 140.9 points followed by Deerfield (133.5 points) in third, and Highland Park (132.2) in fourth. Hersey rounded out the top five squads with 129.65 points.
Stevenson senior Zack Gilbert captured the all-around title with 52.2 points (8.70 average) with Mundelein senior Cameron Mueller (7.98 average) taking second place overall.
The Patriots also got a solid overall performance from senior Jacob Guth (7.88 average), who placed third in the all-around.
"We went 23 on pommel horse and 23 on still rings, but we picked it up in other areas," said Stevenson coach Eric Liva, whose team scored 27.3 points on vault. "So I'm happy with them, they picked it up and scored 150 again."
Due to ankle injuries, elite Mundelein senior Colin McCarthy was limited to only four events Saturday as he was held out of floor exercise and vault.
McCarthy and the Mustangs found out recently that under the new IHSA rules, McCarthy will not be allowed to compete in the sectional meet.
Once the state series begins on May 7, no gymnasts can compete in any other meet, and McCarthy will be heading out for the USA nationals in California from May 8 to May 10. The Mustangs will be hosting their own sectional on May 10.
Mundelein still may have just enough depth and talent to reach the Elite Eight in spite of not having McCarthy available for the sectionals, but it will make the task much more difficult.
"Unfortunately, we're not very healthy as we head into the home stretch," said Mundelein coach Jesse Piland, whose team placed fourth in the state last year. "It's unfortunate that a kid (McCarthy) that has been one of the most dedicated teammates I've ever coached is unable to finish his high school season."
"We'll still get guys down to state, but it definitely hurts our chances of getting to compete for a state trophy which we had aspirations of at the beginning of the year," added Piland.
McCarthy took first place on parallel bars Saturday with a 9.0 while placing second on pommel horse with an 8.1. After placing fourth in the state all-around last year, McCarthy was hoping to move even higher up the state standings this spring.
The IHSA rule will affect a handful of gymnasts who would have been able to compete in both the state series and national meets.
"I'm disappointed because I can't help my team like I'm used to, but they have the depth and talent to do it without me," said McCarthy, who also placed fourth on high bar. "Last year I was capable of doing it and it's weird how they're not going to be able to do it permission-wise."
The host Dukes placed sixth with 129.6 points followed by Addison Trail (127.1) in seventh, Naperville North (116.7) in ninth, and Rolling Meadows (108.8) in 10th.
Hersey's solid effort was led by Angelo Tenerelli, who placed second on floor exercise with an 8.7 and Matt Swanson, who tied for fourth on vault with an 8.9.
"We had a lot of small, simple mistakes and they all add up," said Hersey coach Mason Vernon, whose team reached the 140-point plateau earlier this season. "We're just putting in some new skills before the conference meet and I think we have to work on endurance and repetition to be ready for the state meet."
Gilbert took first place on vault (9.2), floor exercise (9.1), and pommel horse (8.6) while junior teammate Arie Feltman-Frank was the high bar champ with an 8.6.
Gilbert added second-place marks on parallel bars (8.7) and high bar (8.5) while Feltman-Frank was the runner-up on still rings with an.8.25. Mueller took home first place on still rings with an 8.8.
Stevenson's Matt Krames added a second-place 9.1 on vault. Mundelein's Greg Godellas was eighth overall to edge Addison Trail's Marco Martinez in ninth. The Mustangs are going to find out the injury status of key sophomore all-arounder Brandon Swanson early next week.
"We were hoping to get into the 130's, but we had a pretty good meet," said Addison Trail assistant coach Nick Criel. "Our best event was floor exercise and we were pretty strong on vault and parallel bars."