Boys gymnastics: Titles for D-C's Hudson, Elgin's Williamson and Stevenson's Krames
The final round of the boys gymnastics state meet turned out to be a great one.
Leading the way was Dundee-Crown senior Satchel Hudson, who brought home a total of three medals, including individual state championships on vault with a 9.55, and still rings with a 9.15.
Hudson reached the finals on five of the six events as he also added a fifth-place tie on high bar (8.6) for another medal.
Besides Hudson, Elgin junior Nolan Williamson also shined in the pressure-packed meet as he reached the finals on four events, and he was able to take home the first-place medal on high bar with a 9.0. Williamson also captured third-place on floor exercise with a 9.35.
The finals results could not have made Dundee-Crown/Elgin coach Steve Merena happier for his two elite gymnasts.
"I'm very proud of (Hudson) -- you can't ask for more, and that was very emotional for him," said Merena, who thinks Hudson may compete in college gymnastics at UIC next year. "I didn't expect it (Williamson's crown on high bar), but clean usually wins the day in high school, and he had a beautifully clean routine."
After not competing in gymnastics as a sophomore due to injury, Williamson was really pleased with his return to the big stage Saturday night.
"It was my best (high bar) routine of the year, I tried my best to stay as tight as possible, and I won the event I was looking to win," Williamson said. "I'm definitely coming back again next year, there is no doubt about it."
After tying for first place on pommel horse as a freshman, Cary-Grove sophomore Luka Sisauri did himself on better this time around by winning the state pommel horse title outright with a 9.5. Palatine senior Prakash Nigam earned the third-place medal on pommel horse with a 9.1.
"I'm really very happy, in the prelims I didn't do my best (8.75) so I was very nervous for the finals," said Sisauri, who is coached by his father Levan. "I just thought it was a regular routine working out of my own gym, and if you visualize that and don't think about it too much you will always do your best."
Coach Sisauri knew his son had the ability and the difficulty in his routine to get the job done, and Luka really put everything together at the right time.
"This afternoon he (Luka) struggled from the start," Levan Sisauri said. "But tonight he really showed what he is capable of, and he executed well too."
After a somewhat disappointing 11th-place finish in the all-around competition on Friday, Stevenson junior Matt Krames (sixth overall in 2015) bounced back strong Saturday night by winning the floor exercise championship with a 9.5. Fremd senior Cole Patton was a close second on floor with a 9.45. Krames also added a third-place tie on parallel bars (8.8).
"Last night was definitely a little bit of a disappointment, but today I put everything into floor," said Krames, who beat his previous career-high score of 9.45 on floor. "I knew I was going to have to get a personal best score to win it, and it was probably one of the best feelings I've had for a long time, being able to take the title."
Besides Patton, Fremd also got a fourth-place 9.3 from junior Eric Barnd on vault. It was a great weekend for the Vikings' team as they captured their first boys gymnastics trophy in school history with a third-place finish on Friday.
"It was very competitive, and in our conference (Mid-Suburban League) we went 3-4-5 in state so it was a great year," said Fremd coach Tim Hamman. "Then to add two medalists to that was a great thing to do following a team trophy yesterday, so it's been an exciting weekend."
Schaumburg just missed out on capturing that third-place trophy as Fremd beat the Saxons by a mere .45 points.
Schaumburg senior Dylan Mitchell had a stellar 9.05 routine for second place on still rings while Nigam took the fifth-place medal on that event with an 8.8.
"It was the best routine of his life, and he (Mitchell) really peaked at the right time so you can't ask for anything more," said Schaumburg coach Erik Bostrom. "That was our best meet (on Friday), we had a great showing, and it was the best finish in school history."
Nigam just missed out on a state crown on parallel bars as his second-place 8.85 was just shy of Glenbard West's Timmy Le's winning score of 8.9 on that event.
Hersey senior Matt Phelps and Palatine senior Matthew Wang captured medals with a fifth-place tie on vault (9.25).
Buffalo Grove's Daniel Gerovoy just missed a medal with a sixth on parallel bars (8.55) as did Mundelein's Brandon Swanson with a sixth on still rings (8.7).
Schaumburg's Chasen Chau reached the finals on pommel horse and vault while teammate Anthony Hardin reached the finals on high bar. Barrington's Camron Hardegree reached the finals on pommel horse while Barnd also reached the finals on pommel horse and high bar. Buffalo Grove's Leo Cuellar reached the finals on still rings while Swanson made the finals on high bar.
After winning the all-around title on Friday, Niles West senior Nomondalai Jamiyankhuu did not compete Saturday due to prom.