Boys gymnastics: Palatine a sectional champ again
Palatine has its own version of the Pushmi-Pullyu.
Trey Wilcox and Dominic Filichia have been taking turns all season being the top scorer for the Pirates. On Wednesday at the boys gymnastics sectional meet at Palatine, it was Wilcox's turn.
The junior scored a 53.90 to win the sectional all-around title and advance to next week's state finals at Hoffman Estates.
"We love working with each other," said Wilcox, who along with Filichia is a junior. "It doesn't matter who wins, as long as it is one of us."
Filichia was second in the all-around with a 53.70. That comes on the heels of the Mid-Suburban League championship last Saturday where Filichia was first and Wilcox was second.
"Even if I win and he loses or he wins and I lose, we kind of bounce off of each other," Filichia said. "That's how we do better as a team and that is the most important thing."
Palatine coach Scott Hagel said the duo takes care of each other.
"They are a unique combination," Hagel said. "They push each other and at the same time keep things light. When one guy is having a rough day, the other guy pulls them out of it. It is almost impossible for both of them to have a bad day at the same time."
With Wilcox and Filichia leading the way, Palatine won the sectional title with a season-high 151.90. This is the eighth time Palatine has qualified for the state finals under Hagel, with each of those as sectional champs. The Pirates won the state title in 2006 and were third the following year.
Wilcox won the pommel horse (9.20) and tied on the parallel bars (9.25) while Filichia won the high bar (9.45) and the vault (9.45) Carter Christenholz, Jailyn Rover, Nicholas DeNatale and Steve Juarez also scored for Palatine.
Mundelein was second with a 150.80. The Mustangs will have to wait until the final sectional is completed Saturday evening to see if they will pick up one of the two at-large spots for the state finals.
"When things are all said and done, I think it will be good enough to make it," Mundelein coach Jesse Piland said. "We are going to be glued to the scores and watching what happens. But our guys competed out of their minds."
Mundelein was led by Holden Asbury, who was fifth in the all-around with 51.65. Kyle Massel was sixth with a 49.90 and Braden Kratz was seventh with a 49.25. Kratz, who is a freshman, won the rings with an 8.95.
Buffalo Grove was third with a 140.20. Benjamin Valak paced the Bison by finishing third in the all-around with a 52.60. The junior also won the parallel bars (9.25) and the floor (9.55).
Libertyville was fourth with a 138.25 and was led by Robert Cartwright, who was fourth in the all-around with a 52.45.