Boys gymnastics: Palatine's record-setting night nets sectional title
Palatine had a record-setting day Wednesday at the boys gymnastics sectionals.
The Pirates set a school record with 163.40 to win their third consecutive sectional title. Palatine smashed the school record set by the 2007 team that had a 159.80.
That 2007 team still has bragging rights. That team won a state title that season, something this year's team will be looking to do on May 13 at the state finals at Hoffman Estates.
"It was unbelievable," said Palatine coach Scott Hagel, who also coached the 2007 team.
"We had some alumni watching us. It was one of those nights that the guys were just feeding off of each other. This is finally where they put it all together."
Palatine got huge performances from its top three of John Pirone, Trey Wilcox and Dominic Filichia. The trio all finished in the top seven in the all-around. They also had help from Jack Hamman, Riccardo Vital and Jailyn Rover.
"We hope to have one more week of having it all together," Hagel said. "Seeing them progress this much as a team and pulling for each other is really rewarding."
Hoffman Estates finished second with 146.80. Hersey was third (136.05), Buffalo Grove fourth (145.25) and Fremd fifth (133.35).
Hoffman Estates' score puts the Hawks as the second at-large score in the state with two sectionals remaining. The top three at-large teams advance to the state finals.
Hoffman coach Ryan Brown Jr. Is hoping his team can hang on. The Hawks, who have not competed as a team at the state finals since 2000, would also have the ability to compete in their home gym.
"It is a great score," Brown said. "I am proud of everything the boys did. It is not where I wanted to be right now, (but) it is still a great place to be."
Pirone won the all-around title with a 55.75 despite not competing for the last two weeks.
The junior, who is part of a nationally ranked co-ed cheerleading team, was competing in Florida. But Pirone, who worked out daily, was more than ready.
"A lot of this comes from the muscle memory from all the years I competed in club," said Pirone, who also won the pommel horse with 9.60.
"I was working out and getting ready for today while I was with my cheer team. I am so excited for state. I can't wait."
Hoffman's Alex Serkatkiewicz was second in the all-around with a 55.00. He also won the high bar with a 9.55 and the vault with a 9.50.
"I had a lot of fun," Serkatkiewicz said. "I am happy with myself. It was a close meet and that is how it will be at state."
Wilcox was third in the all-around with a 54.80.
"I am super excited for myself and the team," Wilcox said. "This is what all the hard work has been for."
Filichia finished sixth in the all-around with a 53.90. He also won the floor with a 9.55, tying Mundelein's Holden Asbury.
The Mundelein junior, who was the only competing gymnast for the Mustangs, was seventh in the all-around with a 51.90.
"It was a really good day," Asbury said. "I have been working all week on it to tighten up my routines. And I brought my teammates here with me."
Buffalo Grove's Ben Valak, who was fourth in the all-around with a 54.60, won the bars with a 9.55.
Hersey's Nate Mabry was fifth in the all-around with a 53.90. He won the rings with a 9.05.