Naperville North captures Foerch Invitational title

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The Foerch Invitational is about family and gymnastics, and perhaps that’s why it rewards the top program, not just the varsity team.

At the 29th annual edition on Saturday at Naperville North, the host Huskies rolled to victory with 313.55 points, while also posting the top varsity score with a season-best 136.4. Runner-up Deerfield had a 299.15 and Niles West was third with a 292.10.

“We just got lucky and fortunate that it worked out this way,” Huskies coach Brad Foerch said. “It’s the last year I’ll host before I retire, so to have it here and win it is pretty nice.”

Brandon Louise led the Huskies, winning vault with an 8.9 and taking second on parallel bars with an 8.3. He was second in the all-around with a 46.

“Less than 24 hours ago, Brandon warmed up and then competed six events at Hinsdale Central,” Foerch said. “That’s hard on the body so that says a lot about what he did today. He deserves a rest.”

Naperville North’s Tommy Hodges won pommel horse with an 8.

Palatine freshman Prakash Nigam snagged the all-around title with a 46.55. He also won still rings with an 8.

“This is still a newer experience for me because when I was in club the guys were usually a bit older than me,” Nigam said. “I’m used to having three guys on my team and today there were about 50 of them supporting me.”

Nigam didn’t fall on any of his events.

“I still have to clean things up better, but it was one of my better meets,” he said.

Niles West senior Harris Khan tied Deerfield senior Jeff Spinello for first place on floor with an 8.7 and won high bar with a 7.5.

“I was surprised I stuck all my passes, which helped me tie for first,” Khan said. “I was a little rough on high bar, but I think the key was I stuck my landing, and having my eagle requirement probably put me over the edge of the other competitors.”

Deerfield senior Brian Spinello won parallel bars with an 8.5.

Dick Foerch, who recently turned 90 years old, was in attendance.

“When we first put it together we just thought it would be fun. We didn’t know how much it would grow,” Deerfield coach Doug Foerch said. “My dad’s philosophy was always to build the program, not just the varsity, but the whole team. I think this fosters that idea.”

Brad Foerch, Doug Foerch and Niles West freshman coach Steve Foerch are all Hall of Fame coaches like their father, Dick.

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