Boys gymnastics: Palatine reigns at Mid-Suburban League meet
After a year of dormancy, the Mid-Suburban League's boys gymnastics meet was back Saturday in Elk Grove. It had a different look and feel with no fans and not being held in the traditional main gym.
But with an outstanding layout and bright lights in airy house, the resurrection was complete.
Palatine, which had not won the MSL meet since 2017, won on Saturday with a 146.40. Buffalo Grove was second with a 137.90 and Prospect third with a 137.55.
"It was outstanding," Palatine coach Scott Hagel said. "We have been training for this all week. We have been trying to simulate the warmup times and the pressure they would have and I think they responded real well."
The Pirates were led by junior all-arounders Dominic Filichia and Trey Wilcox, who finished first and second respectively. Hagel said that he was impressed with his two all-arounders, but also credited the rest of his team for picking up the title.
"It takes three on each event," said Hagel, who had Carter Christenholz and Nicholas DeNatale pick up the third score for the Pirates. "That was huge for us today."
Filichia was solid, scoring a 52.50.
"It's nice to be back in season and participate in something that is so special," said Filichia, who tied Buffalo Grove's Ben Valak on the floor with a 9.55.
"I felt very isolated last year. But in my offseason. I worked out at a couple of clubs. I think that helped a lot. It was an open and free environment to try and do what we want."
Wilcox scored 52.00 in the all-around to finish second. He also won the pommel horse (8.30) and was second in the vault and parallel bars.
"We have been working very hard in the offseason as a team," Wilcox said. "We have been preparing for this. It is great to see that our hard work is coming into the light."
Buffalo Grove, which beat Palatine in a meet earlier in the week, finished off a great week with its second-place finish.
"The guys have been working hard," Buffalo Grove coach Zach Crandall said. "After missing last season, it was tough because they lost an entire year of training. They came in this year rusty, but determined to get better."
Valak led the Bison with three individual wins and a fourth-place finish in the all-around. Besides tying for the floor title, Valak won the rings (8.65) and the parallel bars (9.25). Teammate Jesus Vizcarra was sixth in the all-around with a 43.00.
"It was a great meet," said Valak, who scored a 50.85 in the all-around. "I tried my best and it resulted in a real good score."
Prospect, which had won the East regular season title, faltered on the pommel horse to finish third.
"We left like 8 to 9 points on the pommel horse," Prospect coach Julian Beesler said. "It was our worst meet of the season. I would rather lose today than at the state meet."
Prospect was led by Joe Kal, who was third in the all-around with a 51.45 and won the vault (9.30) and the high bar (8.80). Teammate Callahan Kraft was fifth in the all-around with a 46.65.
Fremd, led by Aidan McCall and Joey Ferlita, was fourth with a 113.85 and Elk Grove was fifth with a 113.70.