Boys gymnastics: Niles West tops Schaumburg, Mundelein at Bohl Invite
With Niles West's boys gymnastics team hitting on all cylinders, the Bob Bohl Invitational turned into a battle for second place Friday night at Mundelein.
The Wolves rolled to the championship of the 17-team meet with 152.6 points to better runner-up Schaumburg with 146.425 points.
The Saxons held off the host Mustangs with a third-place score of 144.05 points, while Wheaton-Warrenville co-op (141.7 points) placed fourth, despite not having elite all-arounder Lucas Cooperman due to injury.
Niles West's push for the team title was led by senior Dalai Jamiyankhuu (56.4 points), who easily captured the all-around crown with a 9.40 average. Jamiyankhuu won the state all-around title as a junior when the Wolves placed third in the state for their first top-three trophy since 1975.
Mundelein senior Brandon Swanson took runner-up honors in the all-around with 51.45 points (8.58 average), while Schaumburg junior Chasen Chau placed fourth overall with 49.6 points.
"This is the score I thought we probably deserved last week, so I knew we were going to come down to earth a little bit," said Mundelein coach Jesse Piland, whose team scored a season-high 146.4 points in that meet. "We had a letdown on our last event (high bar), but Brandon (Swanson) hit five out of six events tonight."
Buffalo Grove placed seventh in the meet with 134.2 points to edge eighth-place Libertyville (132.835 points) and ninth-place Hoffman Estates (129.6 points).
Stevenson's young squad had a partial lineup on many events with three gymnasts preparing for the ACT on Saturday. But junior Matt Krames did place sixth overall for the Patriots with 48.9 points.
Besides Chau, Schaumburg's scoring also got a big boost from A.J. Hardin, who placed seventh in the all-around with 47 points.
"I'm happy with how we did tonight, and overall it was a nice team effort after some bobbles in some events," said Schaumburg coach Erik Bostrom, whose team lost up to 2.5 points without specialist Alex Hernandez competing on pommel horse. "(Chau and Hardin) both did a pretty good job tonight, and they're both coming off a couple of weeks not doing the all-around."
Wheaton co-op was led by the all-around duo of Austin Tate (46.5 points) in ninth and Alden Moran (46.4 points) in 10th overall. Cooperman is expected to return to the lineup soon from a shoulder injury that should catapult his squad into a top-three trophy contender as the state meet approaches in mid-May.
"The rest of our squad picked things up tonight, we're always trying to push to be the best we can, and trophies come down to how you finish the season," said Wheaton co-op coach Greg Gebhardt, whose team placed second in the state to Stevenson last spring. "So I'm really pleased with what they're doing even though we have a pretty young team."
Krames placed sixth all-around as a sophomore, and first-year Stevenson coach Joe Rogalski has high hopes for his top competitor again this season.
"Matt (Krames) had a good parallel bars set and a good vault tonight, and he's hoping to finish in the top five in the state his year," said Rogalski, whose team lost two of the top 12 gymnasts in the state to graduation. "It's tough to compete when you have so many holes in your lineup, and we put a lot of our guys down to the fresh-soph meet (Saturday, at 10 a.m.)."
Libertyville was led by A.J. Jacob in 11th place overall, while Hoffman Estates' Will Fernandez placed 13th overall.
Jamiyankhuu won five events, including pommel horse (meet-high 9.7). Mundelein's Greg Godellas placed second on pommel horse with an 8.7, while Jacob and Swanson tied for second on vault with a 9.2.
Swanson also posted second-place marks of 8.85 on parallel bars and 8.3 on high bar. Moran (8.8) placed third on parallel bars, while teammate Joey DiRienzo added a fourth-place 8.55 on pommel horse. Swanson (8.4) placed fourth on still rings, while Hardin and Krames (9.1) tied for fourth on vault.
"It wasn't a bad meet, but it just wasn't nearly as good as we could have been," said Buffalo Grove coach Zack Crandall, whose team has a season-high score of 134.5. "We were trying some new skills on still rings, and now it's a matter of perfecting it and doing it well."