by Mike Slodki
This past Saturday, Geneva was crowned the overall winner of the 32nd Holmes Invitational for the second straight season thanks to a 147.75 point output.
West Aurora came in second with a 123.5 point day. Rosary of Aurora finished third with 59.5 points, followed by fourth-place Rockton Hononegah at 52. The Lady Knights finished fifth overall in the 16-team invite with a total of 48.5 points, tied with Lockport. Oswego East finished sixth with 40 points. Western Sun Conference rivals Sycamore (22) and DeKalb (21) finished 12th and 13th, respectively.
Tuesday had the Lady Knights appear at a Western Sun Conference clash in Rochelle along with Batavia. Kaneland finished third with 43 points, compared to Batavia’s 73 and Rochelle’s 63.
The Lady Knights had plenty of representation in the final heats on Saturday, improving their standings. University of Northern Iowa-bound senior Lindsay Gierke took the 100 meter dash event with a final time of 12.84 seconds, edging Geneva’s Sammi Hill by .17 seconds. Gierke finished third in the 200m dash finals at 26.30 seconds, behind Hononegah’s Ana Armitage (25.95) and Geneva’s Erica Miller (25.93).
Lisa Roberson finished a solid fifth in the 800m run with a final time of 2:27.33. The 4×100 relay foursome of Gierke, Sydney Bilotta, Jordyn Lawrence and Arianna Espino finished sixth in 52.99 seconds. The 4×400 squad of Bilotta, Gierke, Lawrence and Roberson finished third at 4:19.15.
Roberson, Andie Strang, Kris Bowen and Kelly Evers put in a third-place result in the 4x800m event with a time of 10:04.40. Junior Sara Wallace took sixth place in the pole vault with a eight-foot vault in the final. The discus had a strong Kaneland flourish as Lauren Whittaker finished second with a final throw of 96 feet-6 inches, and Katie Weiss finished sixth at 91-1.
With the throwing ranks of Kaneland showing big numbers in the early outset of the season, the discus troops were encouraged by Saturday’s showing.
“You can kind of tell how the day will go by how you feel right then, and I thought my last throw was better,” Whittaker said.
Main keys were coaching and preparation.
“(Pat) Sheetz encourages us the whole time, and he’s a great coach,” Weiss said. “It’s been great because we use what he says and we see what the other throwers on the team do and feed off of that.”
In Rochelle, Gierke was up to more of her old tricks and ran to a first in the 100m high hurdles (15.45).
Gierke also won the 300m low hurdles at 47.87 seconds. Strang was crowned the winner of the 1600m run at 5:40.69.
Pole vaulter Jordan Pinkston won the event at 9 feet, six inches.
The Lady Knights look to impress at Jenni’s ABC Invite at Kaneland on Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. They’ll also travel to Glenbard South on Tuesday, April 21.
Lindsay Gierke makes quick work of the 200m dash field in her first victorious heat at the Jill Holmes Invitational on Saturday at Kaneland. Photo by John DiDonna