Boys gymnastics: It's a struggle for third-place Mundelein at York
With some high-scoring teams in the meet, the Mundelein boys gymnastics team hoped to flex its muscles Saturday in the 42nd annual Ken Scorza invitational at York.
And while the Mustangs did have a decent meet, they fell well short of competing with top-ranked Deerfield, which rolled to the championship of the nine-team meet with 157.35 points.
The host Dukes edged Mundelein 150.625 to 148.85 for runner-up honors, while Willowbrook placed fourth with 141.45 points. Rolling Meadows had a solid sixth-placing showing with 135.05 points, and Hersey's heavily depleted lineup had to settle for eighth place with 116.75 points.
Deerfield's Matt Kroscher edged Willowbrook's Adam Sousa 53.8 to 53.45 for the all-around title. Rolling Meadows junior Ben Kowalski had a strong showing to place third overall with 51.75 points (8.63 average).
Mundelein's scoring was carried by its top all-around duo of Kurt Lawrence (8.48 average) in sixth and Tyler Collins in seventh. But Mustangs coach Jesse Piland was disappointed following the high-powered meet.
"We struggled from the moment we started to the moment we finished," said Piland, whose team recorded a season-high 158.625 last weekend. "We have four all-arounders, and in order to do what we want them to do we have to have all of them hit, and we were not able to put together a solid effort today."
Hersey has a season-high score of 151.7, but the Huskies were without Matt Bednar and Garrett Naughton and three other gymnasts who were taking the ACT. Bednar and Naughton were competing in a club meet. They had just two competitors available on pommel horse.
"All of our core guys are gone today so we were more focused on the individuals than the team," said Hersey coach Joon Yun, whose team still scored 25.1 points on floor exercise. "Everyone will be back for the conference (meet) and the state series starts, and we're hoping to be consistent because we've been pretty up and down this season."
Mundelein's scoring also got a boost from junior Will Ferro, who placed 13th in the all-around, while teammate Carson Bernett took 16th.
Rolling Meadows freshman David Rasmussen placed 18th, while sophomore teammate Ryan Rettig was 20th. Stevenson was led by Danny Less in 21st place overall.
"We're implementing some new skills to get them ready for the postseason, and we've got some pretty good depth in the program," said Rolling Meadows coach Mike Costa, whose team has a season-high score of 142.1. "We had a lot of misses and a lot of execution deductions, but we'll get back in the gym and focus on cleaning up their execution."
Kowalski was fantastic on floor exercise with a first-place mark of 9.6. Lawrence took home the championship on high bar with a stellar 9.4 routine.
Kowalski added a second-place 8.75 on pommel horse, and Collins placed third on floor with a 9.2. Kowalski also placed fourth on parallel bars with an 8.6, while Collins was fifth on pommel horse with an 8.4.
Like Hersey, Stevenson's squad was decimated by absences. The Patriots could not field a full lineup of varsity competitors.
"We're building on the season and floor exercise was definitely our best event today," said Stevenson coach Joe Rogalski, whose team scored 23.4 points on floor and 20.9 points on vault. "We're missing most of our team because most of our guys are juniors and they had to take the ACT today."