Boys gymnastics: Lake Park's dominant performance nets 1st state title
It was a first-rate performance by Lake Park Saturday at the boys gymnastics team and individual finals in Hoffman Estates.
The Lancers were dominant, scoring a school-record 162.95 to win the title by nearly seven points. It was also the first state title in school history for Lake Park, which was second in the state last year.
"Our guys were really excited about the opportunity," Lake Park coach Frank Novakowski said. "We tried to talk about not overperforming. We had to do the same thing we did Friday night and the results will fall in. And that's what we did. They are really happy with their performance and so am I."
It was also a huge day individually for the Lancers.
With all six routine titles at stake, Lake Park won two of them with Bryce Mensik winning the parallel bars and Karl Vachlin winning the high bar for the second year in a row.
Of the 32 medals awarded in the six events, Lake Park won 10 of them.
Mensik won the parallel bars with a 9.60. He was also fourth in the pommel horse and fifth on the rings.
"It has been a lot of hard work," said Mensik, who is a sophomore. "I was trying to limit deductions and be there at the end."
Vachlin, who was second in the all-around Friday, followed that up Saturday with a win on the high bar with a score of 9.55. He also was second on the rings.
"If you look at the scores today and a lot of the medalists, a lot of them are Lake Park," said Vachlin, who is a junior. "It's says something when many of your teammates are getting medals."
Also hitting the medal stand for the Lancers was Tyan Czech, who was third in the all-around Friday. Czech was fourth on the floor, second on the parallel bars and fourth on the high bar.
Luca Marzullo was second on the floor while Sergio Hernandez was tied for fifth on the parallel bars.
Lyons used a balanced lineup and return from one its gymnasts to claim second place with a score of 156.20.
Lyons was led by Will Taylor, Devin McKenzie, Nick Giordano, Brian Kloes, Ryan Renderma, Roman Hanyuk, TJ Carr, Drake Levreau, Ryan Evans, Sean McCabe, Ryan Johnson, Calum Rogers and Matthew Adler, who returned from nationals in Oklahoma City, to give his team a boost.
Hanyuk was fifth in the pommel horse,
"This is amazing," Lyons coach Sam Zeman said. "Matt (Adler) coming back was huge for us. He had a full plate. We knew it was going to be tight and we got great efforts from all of our guys."
Hersey finished third with a 155.25. It was the highest finish by a Hersey team since the Huskies won a state title in 1984.
"I will take it," Hersey coach Joon Yun said. "The guys stepped up and they had a lot of heart. We are bringing home a trophy, so we are proud of that."
The Huskies were led by Nate Mabry. Fresh off his all-around title on Friday, Mabry also won the rings with a 9.50 and the vault with a 9.50.
"It was awesome," Mabry said. "We are so proud if what we accomplished as a team. We had a couple of falls, but we are happy with third."
The Huskies also got help from CJ Sayavongsa, Drew Netolicky, Syergii Demianchuk, Victor Pavlov and Logan Riley.
Wheaton Warrenville South was fourth with a 151.90 and Stevenson was fifth with a 150.80. They were followed by Fremd (145.180), Downers Grove North (144.25) and Naperville North (140.90).
Glenbard East's Vaden Srey is the epitome of falling off your horse and getting right back up and ride again.
Srey fell not once but twice Friday night on the pommel horse. Srey, who is a junior, still was able to qualify for the Saturday's finals. That's where he put together a terrific ride, and won the state title with a score of 9.45.
"I fell twice yesterday," Srey said. "But today, I got it out of my head, it was a new day. You just have to keep going and keep fighting and not give up."
Kaneland's Ethan Yost made sure that his final meet before he heads of to St. Louis University to study premed was a healthy one. Yost was surgical in his performance and won the floor title with a 9.50.
"I am so excited," said Yost, who was third in the prelims on Friday.
"I was not expecting anything. But I stuck my passes today which was definitely an improvement from Friday."