Boys Gymnastics: Future is now for Niles North’s Mendel Moskovits04/28/2011 Evanston
Niles North junior Mendel Moskovits competes on the parallel bars during the CLS Varsity Conference Championships at Evanston High School on Thursday, April 28, 2011.
| Michael Jarecki ~ for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 24, 2012 7:01PM
Niles North boys gymnast Mendel Moskovits believes the Vikings’ program has a bright future.
However, that will not include Moskovits.
Instead, the future is now for the senior, who begins the home stretch of his career at the CSL Meet, 6 p.m. today (Thursday) at Niles West.
A week later, Moskovits and his teammates will compete in the Lincoln-Way East Sectional, where the senior will look to book a return trip to the IHSA state meet — also at Lincoln-Way East — May 10 and 11.
After competing at State on parallel bars last season, Moskovits said he’s looking to be busier this time around.
“I’m hoping to get back Downstate, not only on p-bars, but I’m hoping to get there on three — if not four — events, maybe even the all-around,” Moskovits said. “I’m not that strong on vault or (pommel) horse, but I’m hoping it all comes together. (At this point in the season) it’s all about hitting (the routines), just consistent hitting.”
Niles North head coach Rick Meyer said that Moskovits’ big-meet experience should benefit the gymnast in the coming weeks.
“He has that experience of being there before,” the coach said. “We’re just hoping that is going to pay off for him down the stretch, when he gets to the (sectional) and doesn’t get himself all worked up in nerves. That happens to a lot of gymnasts who are there for the first time. It’s a pressure-cooker.”
Meyer speaks glowingly about the way Moskovits has evolved over the course of his career.
“Mendel loves the sport, and he’s come a long way in high school,” the coach said. “I’m very proud of him for how far he’s come as an individual and a gymnast. He’s really done a good job.”
Moskovits and classmate Kin-Man Lee are the Vikings most likely to reach the state meet. The rest of the team is young, and the Vikings have been inconsistent. But Moskovits said there has been improvement, and he looks forward to seeing the group’s continued progression in the coming seasons.
“When I’m in college, I’m definitely going to come back and help out next year,” said Moskovits, who hopes to study kinesiology. “I think we’re going to have a strong team. I really believe that. We have a really strong freshman team this year, and some of the sophomores have come up to varsity level. I think we’re going to have a really strong team (in the future).”
The Vikings (119.3) finished sixth at Friday’s 12-team John Cress Invite, hosted by Niles North.
Moskovits was solid, placing eighth in all-around (44.1), sixth on p-bars (8.65), eighth on horizontal bar (6.6) and 10th on still rings (8.05). He was the only Niles North gymnast place in the top-10.
Lee finished 17th on horizontal bar (4.3), sophomore Scott Wong took 17th on pommel horse (6.0) and junior Marco Verceles was 18th on horizontal bar (4.2).
“The kids had a good meet,” Meyer said. “We’re young. I can’t say it any more plain than that. It’s going to take time for the kids to get where they need to be.”
During the conference meet, the top five seniors in each event will qualify for the John Brinkworth Invite, May 19 at Niles North. The meet brings together senior all-star teams from several conferences from around the state.