Category Archives: Girls Cross Country

Girls XC sees high end work at Wauconda

WAUCONDA—If this is what a team effort looks like, the opponents in the way of Kaneland girls cross country best beware.

With a second-place finish out of 25 rosters, the Lady Knights enjoyed its highest team finish in the race to the north since 1991.

The score of 103 was second behind top school Crystal Lake Central’s 64.

Glenbard East had 130 points for third and Cary-Grove had 168 points which rounded out the top four.

The overall winner was Glenbard East’s Lindsey Rakosnik in 17 minutes, 40.1 seconds.

The top KHS finisher was junior Abby Dodis, who ran a personal best in 10th at 19:21.2.

Following closely was freshman Victoria Clinton, who placed 11th in her first varsity race at 19:25.66.

Junior Maggie Brundige accomplished a personal best with a time of 19:49.7, good for 17th place.

Aislinn Ludwig, touted as someone continuing to improve with each race, took 30th at 20:22.1.

The next hill to climb is the annual Eddington Invite on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Kaneland girls XC runs roughshod over foes

KANELAND—It might be too early to measure Kaneland girls cross country’s progress on the basis of Tuesday’s encounter with East Aurora and the JV squad from Yorkville, but the Lady Knights will take the good fortune where they can find it at this early juncture.

Sweeping the first five spots made for a score of 15, besting the Lady Tomcats’ 87, and the Foxes’ 64.

Sophomore Sydney Strang’s 20 minute, 14.6 second time was tops of the field, followed by Victoria Clinton’s 20:17.1, and Abby Dodis’ 20:23.8. Maggie Brundige also excelled at 20:47.

Rounding out the top five was Aislinn Lodwig’s 21:30.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a trip up north to the Wauconda Invite at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Girls XC gets by two opponents

KANELAND—A seasonable Tuesday yielded an ideal result for Lady Knights cross-country on Tuesday.

With opponents West Chicago and Wheaton Academy invading Elburn Woods on Tuesday, Kaneland’s 31 points bested West Chicago’s 37 and Wheaton Academy’s 58 points.

Leading the way was sophomore Sydney Strang, whose time of 15 minutes, 22.2 seconds was tops in her field.

In second place was teammate Abby Dodis, who finished the Elburn Woods landscape at 15:32.9. After three opposing runners crossed, Lady Knight Maggie Brundige took sixth at 16:44.9, while fellow KHS counterpart Aislinn Lodwig took seventh at 16:45.1.

Girls cross-country now gears up for the Oregon Invite on Saturday, Sept. 3.

That is followed by a home matchup on Tuesday, Sept. 6, with East Aurora and Yorkville.

Photo Gallery: Thursday Night Lights

Kaneland Knights football gets a pre-season workout in friendly territory during Thursday’s annual Knights Under the Lights event in Maple Park. The Knights’ first step to try and duplicate regular season success of a year ago occurs on Friday, Aug. 26, against Chicago’s Brooks Prep. This will be the first opening night encounter against someone other than Burlington Central since 2003, when KHS lost a 14-6 battle with defunct Driscoll Catholic. Photos by Madi Cole

Girls XC looks to better health for success

Photo: Abby Dodis looks to provide a spark with her talent for Kaneland girls cross-country. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s been ideal running weather in mid-August.

Good enough for KHS coach Doug Ecker and the Lady Knights cross-country team to take advantage of.

“So far we’ve been pretty healthy,” Ecker said. “They’ve worked real hard and done a lot of strengthening. Hopefully we’ll stay away from the injuries and sickness that has plagued some of these girls the last three years.”

With the exception of junior all-conference selection Ashley Castellanos’ stress fracture and junior Abby Dodis’ hip injury, the squad can make up for key departures.

“Abby is looking good so far, and Ashley is a competitor. When the time comes, they’ll be ready to race,” Ecker said.

Former State-qualifier Andie Strang and Kris Bowen depart for the university settings, and last-year’s 51st-best runner in Class 2A, Jen Howland, graduated early.

“Three of our top six runners were out at the end of the year, and we still managed to finish fourth in conference and sixth in Sectionals. When they’re healthy, they’re a pretty formidable group,” Ecker said.

Key returnees include Sydney Strang, a sophomore, who is hot off a productive track campaign in the spring, and recovered from injuries.

The Lady Knights will also be looking toward Maggie Brundige for exceptional times, as well.

Ecker also noted select freshmen who have looked like Lady Knight contributors.

“Victoria Clinton and Aislinn Ludwig have worked hard and are looking good right now,” Ecker said.

Clinton comes off of an exceptional middle school career and also the triathlon circuit.

The lone senior on the squad is returnee Carolina Tovar.

“Even though it seems like we lost a lot, we’ll be fine as far as experience goes,” Ecker said.

The 2011 campaign kicks off on Tuesday, Aug. 30, against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy at Elburn Woods, while the first Northern Illinois Big XII taste happens a week later against the Yorkville Lady Foxes and East Aurora.

“Yorkville is the cream of the crop, Dixon is very talented and Geneseo is very good—all very good programs, and I think without the health issues we’ve faced we’ll do well,” Ecker said.

Kaneland’s Road to Fall begins shortly

KANELAND—Kaneland High School released its Fall Sports signup information last week.

•You must have a current physical on file in order to try out to practice. There will be no exceptions. Physicals are good for one calendar year.

• A participation fee of $100 per sport, $100 per season for cheerleaders (please indicate season on check), and $100 for pompons per season.

The Kaneland High School Athletic Department will host a mandatory preseason meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. for fall athletes. One or both parents are required to attend a meeting with their athlete in order to meet Kaneland High School’s eligibility requirements. Parents and students will meet with their fall coaches. The second part of the mandatory meeting will be available on the Kaneland website by Aug. 1, as a podcast that fall parents and students must listen to by Saturday, Aug. 27.

FOOTBALL—Equipment handed out on Monday, Aug. 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. Football insurance is available, or parents may sign a waiver and use their own medical insurance.
Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels must meet in the East Gym at 7:30 a.m. Practice for lower levels will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Lower levels should bring their lunch. Practice for varsity is 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Meetings will take place at 2:15 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL—Tryouts are Aug. 10 through Aug. 12 for all levels from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Bring a water bottle and light snack. Activity will take place in the East Gym. Varsity conditioning is from 3 to 5 p.m.

TENNIS—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the tennis courts behind the high school.

GOLF—Meeting takes place on Monday, Aug. 8, at 8 a.m., in room C114. Players will not golf at this time, but will turn in physicals, receive practice schedules and go over team expectations. Tryouts take place on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11, at 6 a.m. at Hughes Creek.

SOCCER—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels will have tryouts from 9 to 11 a.m., and from 3 to 5 p.m., at the KHS soccer fields.

All players must purchase a spirit pack from the school. Bring cleats, shin guards, water, and gym shoes (in case of inclement weather). Parents who have questions can e-mail coach Scott Parillo at Scott.parillo@kaneland.org.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7 a.m. The team meets in the high school cafeteria. The team will also embark on an overnight camping trip from Aug. 11 to 12. Parents with questions can e-mail coach Chad Clarey at theclarey5@yahoo.com.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The team meets in the commons at 6:30 a.m.

POMS—Mandatory practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 8 to 11 a.m., and the team meets in the high school commons.

CHEERS—Mandatory practices begin on Thursday, Aug. 11, from 7:30 to 10:15 a.m., and the team meets in the East Gym balcony. Also, the cheerleaders will be in the Elburn Days parade and host the annual dunk tank.

Additionally for all fall sports, Knights Under the Lights takes place on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m.

‘Grand’ accomplishment


The Kaneland Sports Boosters offer four $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors each year. The student write an essay with the theme “Lessons learned in victory and defeat”. These scholarships were awarded at the Senior Athletic Banquet sponsored by the boosters and the athletic office on May 25th. The winners this year were: (from left) Curtis Secrest, Andrea Strang, Kristina Bowen and Trevor Holm. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland High School rises up with fall sports awards

Photo: Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton, was one of the highlighted athletes recognized for her State trip during the fall season for girls’ golf. File Photo

KANELAND—It was time to think warmer thoughts at Kaneland High School, as Friday had the release of the Kaneland High School Fall Sports Awards.

The awards were announced at this late date due to the postseason success of the football squad.

For girls cross-country, the captain trio of Andie Strang, Jessica Stouffer and Kris Bowen were recognized for its service.

Shaela Collins and Kaitlin Munyon took home the most improved runners honor, and Strang was named most valuable runner. Strang, Ashley Castellanos and Jennifer Howland were named to the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference squad, and Howland was honored for her State qualifying appearance in Nov.

For the boys cross-country side, Trevor Holm was picked as most valuable runner. and Ryan Paulson took home the most improved runner honor. The Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength went to Tommy Whittaker. Grant Alef, Holm and Whittaker were recognized as captains.

The Golden Knight award, given to one runner in each grade level, was bestowed upon freshman Dylan Kuipers, sophomore Christopher Wido, junior Clayton Brundige and Tommy Whittaker.

Holm was honored for his standing in the NIB-12 All-Conference group, as well as being a State qualifier.

For football, Joe Camiliere, Jimmy Boyle, Taylor Andrews, Blake Serpa, Tyler Callaghan and Curtis Secrest were recognized as captains. Nick Michels won the most improved player nod, and the MVP honor went five ways with Camiliere, Boyle, Andrews, Serpa and Callaghan earning the honor.

Camiliere was named offensive MVP, while teammate Serpa took the defensive MVP. Quinn Buschbacher won the special teams MVP. A slew of Knights were named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel, Buschabcher, Sean Carter, Camiliere, Boyle, Serpa, Kyle Davidson, Jacob Razo, Callaghan and Andrews.

Concerning Kaneland golf, Anthony Sperando was named most improved player on the varsity level, and Hayley Guyton was named varsity MVP. Matt Yonkovich and Brody Kuhar shared the frosh/soph MVP sward. Sean Glennon was awarded the frosh/soph most improved player award. Team leader Guyton was also lauded for her eighth place finish at the girls’ gold State gathering.

For the Lady Knights volleyball crew, Jessica Lubic took the most valuable player award. Katy Dudzinski was named top offensive player, and Kylie Siebert won top defensive player award. The Spirit Award went to Mackenzie Curran, while most improved player was won by Lauren Banbury.

Lubic and Dudzinski were honored for their spots on the NIB-12 Conference team.

For boys’ soccer, Alex Gil, J.P. Minogue, Thansi Pesmajoglou, Trevor Wolf and Derek White were honored for their captaincy. Alex Weiss and Jordan Escobedo were named co-most improved player, while Minogue and White took home the co-MVP award. Rookie of the Year went to Anthony Parillo. The Coach’s Award was given to Gil, Sam Rymarz, Alec Koczka and Pedro Perez.

All-Northern Illinois Big XII members were announced as White, Minogue, Escobedo, Gil, Chad Swieca and Parillo. Honorable mention members were Perez, Rymarz, Koczka, Wolf, Tyler Siebert, Weiss and Pesmajoglou.

Escobedo was named to the all-Sectional squad, and teammate Gil was an honorable mention.

Best of NIB-12 XC recognized

KANELAND—Earlier this month, the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference released its girls and boys list for premier All-Conference runners.

The boys and girls side had 21 runners each, based on October’s NIB-12 race in Elburn.

The Lady Knight contingent included junior Jen Howland, senior Andie Strang and sophomore Ashley Castellanos.

Conference champ Dixon was represented by Haley Thorpe, Chelsea Sondgeroth, Brittany Schwarz, Brooke Bailey and Megan Burger.

DeKalb was represented by Kelsey Schrader and Desa Diedrich. Geneseo had Emily Ford and Paige Gatter. Yorkville brought Ali Hester, Casey Kramer, Esther Bell, Bree Steupfert and Leena Palmer.

Sycamore was represented by Tessa Strack, Maggie Lalowski and Morgan Morreale. Rochelle’s lone rep was Hannah Gille.

For the boys’ side, Kaneland’s one representative was senior Trevor Holm.

Conference champions Yorkville added Eric Baker, Zak Arcara, Chris Kellogg, Scott King, Kyle Dhuse and Karl Bomba.

Sterling was highlighted by Jacob Landis and Dylan Harkness.

Dixon had Simon Thorpe, Roy Hummell and Aaron Grady.

DeKalb was repped by Marc Dubrik.

Morris had Heath Hougas as part of the list, while Sycamore had Mark Stice, and Geneseo added Jordan Starkey, Kyle Reiling Jr. and Thomas Sigwalt. Rochelle had Kevin Smith Jr.,and Tyler Rivera.

Howland sets season best at state

by Keith Beebe
Peoria—A two-year layoff from cross-country running didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Kaneland High School’s Jen Howland at the IHSA 2A State Final on Saturday in Peoria.

Howland, a world-class triathlete who competed in the International Triathlon Union’s Women’s Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last September, finished in 51st place with a season-best time of 18:26.

“For someone who had not run high school cross country (in) over two years, I would say she did a great job,” KHS Coach Doug Ecker said. “She only started practicing with us the last week (of) September (and had) only five to six weeks of practice and limited meet experience.”

Howland missed the last two cross-country seasons because of injuries, including two broken legs brought on by stress fractures in her shins in 2009.

Photo: Kaneland’s Jen Howland (880) finished 51st at Saturday’s IHSA State Cross Country meet. In what is considered the fastest race in the history of the state meet, Howland’s time of 18:26 would have been good enough for All-State last season. Photo by Linda Bell

Howland first girls XC State rep in three years

by Mike Slodki
BELVIDERE—Kaneland girls cross country may not have a large presence in Peoria this coming weekend, but it will be significant.

While the Lady Knights fell short by 68 points and one place in a quest to get the entire roster down to Peoria for the Class 2A State race, junior Jen Howland will represent Kaneland.

Howland, who recently made a return from injuries in time for the State series, finished 12th in the field, finishing the course in 19 minutes, 8 seconds.

“I’m just happy to make the top 25, that was my goal,” Howland said on Tuesday. “I know anything can happen and I just have to try my best and improve my time.”

Senior Andie Strang, who was the last State qualifier in her freshman year, was 24th overall in her final high school race at 19:33.

Sophomore Ashley Castellanos finished her overall consistent campaign with a time of 19:52, good for 37th place. Senior Kris Bowen was next for KHS in her final race, finishing in 20:20.

Meanwhile, Howland spend the prep time this week practicing with the boys team.

“I’m very honored to get down to State, everyone worked real hard this year and pushed themselves,” Howland said.

Kaneland’s 198 points was behind Crystal Lake Central (82), Woodstock (94), Montini Catholic (112) and St. Francis (127).

Kayla Beattie was crowned sectional champ with a 17:03 effort for Woodstock.

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Kaneland’s Jen Howland looks to make the rest of the Class 2A State field eat dust on Saturday.
File Photo

Lady Knights look toward sectional run

by Mike Slodki
MALTA—How can fortunes still be promising with the girls cross-country season in its last throes?

When you run for the Lady Knights.

A solid second-place finish allows Kaneland a berth in the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional this weekend.

Kaneland’s 76-point total was good enough to top Sycamore (88), Rosary (102) and Burlington Central (113) out of the advancing teams. Crystal Lake Central took the regional crown with 34 points and five of the top 10 runners.

Race champion was Cassie Kruse of Hampshire with a time of 18 minutes, 18 seconds.

Kaneland’s Jen Howland was tops for the Maple Park crew with a time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds. Close behind was teammate Andie Strang in 11th place at 19:39. Ashley Castellanos continued her strong season-long trajectory in 12th place at 19:43. Lady Knight Kris Bowen was 22nd with an effort of 20:45.

KHS coach Doug Ecker was pleased and is eager to see what lies in store at Sectionals.

“The girls did a nice job of picking one another up, and advancing to the Sectional. Jen Howland continues to improve with each race, which should build her confidence. Andie Strang raced like a senior captain and looked strong,” Ecker said.

Saturday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m. brings the Belvidere Sectional. Kaneland will see other Sectional champions like Lakes, Woodstock and St. Francis.

Howland earns all NIB-12 honor at conference

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—For the majority of the 2010 season, Kaneland girls cross-country has struggled to post a full lineup.

But there have always been encouraging developments. That came to a head at the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII gathering on Saturday morning at Elburn Woods.

Kaneland finished fourth overall with 97 points, just two behind DeKalb.

Dixon (40) and Yorkville (46) took the top two slots. Geneseo, Sycamore, Rochelle, Sterling, Ottawa and Morris rounded out the top 10.

While Kelsey Schrader of DeKalb took the course with a time of 18 minutes, 42 seconds, Kaneland bore witness to a season-best day from junior Jen Howland, who posted a 19:20 time.

“The beginning of the race was really good ,and I had my teammates right by me,” Howland said. “I felt really strong, and going up the hill my teammates were pushing me, and knowing they were working just as hard as I was really pushed me.”

After Howland’s all-NIB-12 day, KHS saw senior Andie Strang finish in 13th place at 19:48.

“We’ve always been good about staying pretty modest,” Strang said. “People can get hurt so fast in cross-country, and this was a good race to prepare us for next weekend.”

Sophomore Ashley Castellanos took 18th overall with an effort of 20:23. Teammate Kris Bowen also had a productive outing with a time of 20:54.

All four runners ran a personal best on their home course.

Awaiting KHS this Saturday, Oct. 23, is the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Kishwaukee College in Malta.

The meet, hosted by Sycamore, also includes Aurora Central Catholic, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Rosary, Burlington Central, Crystal Lake Central and Hampshire.

Photo: Jen Howland supplied her most productive day of the 2010 season at Elburn Woods on Saturday. Photo by Ashley Leonetti

Girls run mid-pack in Sterling race

by Mike Slodki
STERLING—Could it be a perfect storm of sorts for the Lady Knights cross country team?

With senior leader Andie Strang running under 19 minutes for the first time since freshman year at Saturday’s Sterling Invitational, and the return of several key personnel, this could be fun sailing for the rest of the 2010 campaign.

“Very proud of all my girls today,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “These are exciting times for us, on a tough week. We’re down a couple runners, but we are not out.”

The Lady Knights finished 12th out of 28 squads with 334 points, edging Sycamore by three points.

The Lady Saxons of Schaumburg High School took the Sterling crown with 49 points followed by Iowa City High School at 86.

Strang’s 18 minute, 51 second effort was good for 22nd place. The next three KHS runners finished in a row in 67th through 69th place.

Ashley Castellanos ran in 20:03, as did Andie’s sister Sydney, running her first race in six weeks. They were joined by Jen Howland, making her return from injuries at 20:06.

The Lady Knights now prepare for the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Elburn Woods on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Girls cross country take third in Freeport

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like the Kaneland girls satisfied some pretzel cravings.

Netting a third-place finish at Saturday’s Pretzel Invitational in Freeport, the Lady Knights produced a nice effort with 71 total points, and will need more of the same effort to see postseason fortune.

Rockford Boylan, with 45 team points, finished first, and host Freeport took second with 68. Rock Falls, with 87 points, finished behind Kaneland.

KHS put forth an average course time of 19 minutes, 52 seconds, thanks in large part to senior runner Andie Strang. Strang completed her best time ever in Freeport, with a time of 18:47. Due to her top-five finish, she also received an oversized pretzel.

Rockford Boylan’s Kayla Droessler won the race in 18:29.

Ashley Castellanos was next for Kaneland and broke the 20 minute barrier at 19:37, good for 12th place.

Kris Bowen was next in 15th place at 20:02. Maggie Brundige continued her positive trajectory and broke into the top 20 with a time of 20:16.

Additionally, Shaela Collins ran in 20:35, good for 22nd place overall.

“Kris Bowen really helped the team to a thirdplace showing,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

“Maggie Brundige is gaining confidence with each successful week. Shaela Collins was called on, in a pinch, to complete our fifth scoring place. We are very grateful to Shaela for stepping up.”

In the JV ranks, Kaneland’s Kaitlin Munyon took second with a time of 21:01, and Anna Piazza (21:16) and Carolina Tovar took fourth and fifth (21:25), respectively.

Girls XC nabs 5th at Rock River Run

by Mike Slodki
STERLING—While gradually working its way back to a full lineup, the lineup Kaneland girls cross country had at its disposal put together a nice Saturday.

The annual Rock River Run at Hoover Park in Sterling saw the Lady Knights finish fifth of 14 teams with a point total of 160.

The tally gave KHS a two-point edge over Freeport. The top three schools in Sterling were Dixon (36), Normal West (61) and Geneva (72).

“We’re still missing a couple people, but we should get them back next week, so I’m happy today,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

The top time for the course was handled by Normal West’s Emily Brelsfoard, who ran in 17 minutes, 57 seconds, a 5:59 mile pace.

For KHS, senior Andie Strang finished 13th with a time of 19:35. Teammate Abby Dodis finished 22nd overall and continued her season’s strong trajectory with a time of 19:51.

Ashley Castellanos finished 35th overall with a time of 20:29, while following shortly after was fellow Kaneland runner Maggie Brundige in 39th place (20:34).

“It was nice to see Maggie finish her race. Ashley wasn’t feeling well but she finished. Andie ran a good race and so did Abby, and she’s never been that high up the finish. They’re making progress,” Ecker said.

Coming up for the Lady Knights: the Pretzel Invite hosted by Freeport High School.

Photo: Kaneland’s Abby Dodis charges ahead during Saturday’s Rock River Run. Photo by Mike Slodki

Eddington Invite sees girls place 14th

ELBURN—Armed with six seniors in its arsenal at the Eddington Invite, the Kaneland High School girls cross country roster braved 16 other teams and finished 14th out of 17 varsity teams.

Still working to get a full lineup on race day, the Lady Knights’ 316 point total was better than Larkin’s 370, and behind Rochelle’s 293.

Geneva, with 42 points, took the meet. Crystal Lake Central (66) and Glenbard East (117) rounded out the top three.

Geneva’s Tess Erhardt took the Elburn Woods race, finishing in 18 minutes, 41 seconds. Crystal Lake Central’s Kelly McNeely had a time of 18:49.

KHS was led by Andie Strang, who finished 25th overall with a time of 20:15.

Teammate Kris Bowen finished 57th with a time of 21:42. Shaela Collins ran a personal best of 22:10, and Kaitlin Munyon also ran a career-high in 84th place with a time of 22:37.

Next up for KHS is the usual Rock River Run stop in Sterling on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Photo: Kaneland senior Kris Bowen tries leaving the pack behind during Saturday’s Eddington Invite at Elburn Woods. Photo by Ryan Wells

Lady Knight XC sees bright spots with slim lineup at Wauconda Invite

WAUCONDA—Still working to get a full lineup from injuries and illness, the Lady Knights cross country team went north and saw some individual fortunes turn that way, as well.

The Wauconda Invitational had Kaneland field a select group of varsity and JV runners. Team-wise in the F/S race, Lake Forest took the meet with 59 points, followed by Cary-Grove (89) and West Chicago (140).

Sophomore Ashley Castellanos finished fourth overall in the frosh/soph race with a time of 17 minutes, two seconds, beating Lake Forest’s Lisa Bennatan by five seconds.

In ninth place, Abby Dodis finished the course in 17:20.

Anna Piazza took 40th with a time of 18:36. Teammate Morgan Modaff took 107th with a time of 20:13.

Varsity action saw Crystal Lake Central win the meet with 48 points.

The top runner for Kaneland was Shaela Collins at 22:37, good for 102nd place out of 172 runners.

Coming up for KHS girls cross country: hosting the Eddington Invite on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Elburn Woods.

KHS girls XC has productive week

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Through two meets this week, the only thing able to stop the Lady Knights cross-country crew is sickness.

Saturday had the Lady Knights tackle the Oregon Invite, while Tuesday had Kaneland host East Aurora and Yorkville with only one regular varsity competitor to its name.

On Saturday along Route 64, no team scores were kept, but senior Andie Strang powered through the three-mile terrain in windy conditions with a 19 minute, 58 second effort.

Sophomore Abby Dodis finished third overall at 20:43. Freshman Sydney Strang took sixth overall at 20:57, and Ashley Castellanos took eighth at 21 minutes.

On Tuesday, Kaneland won the meet with a 25 score, followed by Yorkville with 45 and East Aurora with 74.

Castellanos won the course with a 22:52 time, and was glad to help the team, despite being hampered by the elements.

“I’m actually struggling with allergies,” Castellanos said. “It’s really tough not having the girls that are out to run with. I’m not used to it.”

Teammate Shaela Collins finished second at 22:59. Carolina Tovar took sixth with a time of 23:59, and Ariana Espino finished seventh at that same time.

Photo: Shaela Collins of KHS girls cross-country takes to the Elburn Woods course during a 22:59 effort on Tuesday against East Aurora and Yorkville. Photo courtesy of Yorkvilletrackandfield.com

Lady Knights XC runs to 1st place

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—It was anything but lonely at the top for Kaneland High school girls cross country.

With five of the top nine runners, Kaneland powered through for a win over West Chicago and Wheaton Academy at Elburn Woods on Tuesday. The Lady Knights had 19 points, compared to 38 for WC and 85 for WA.

Leading the course was senior Andie Strang at 15 minutes, 59 seconds. Shortly behind her was her sister, freshman Sydney Strang just two seconds behind.

Abby Dodis was third at 16:54.

“I was especially happy with Abby’s race today,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “This was a good confidence builder for her.”

The sophomore beat her closest competitor by seven seconds.

“I feel like it’s a good first step. We’ve been working on staying in groups in practice, staying together and pushing each other,” Dodis said.

Kris Bowen finished fifth with a time of 17:12.

Next up for Kaneland is the annual Oregon Invite on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 9:15 a.m.

Photo: Ashley Castellanos finished 8th overall Tuesday. photo by Mike Slodki

Healthy lineup key for Lady Knight runners

Photo: Senior Andie Strang looks to get back to State for the Lady Knights in 2010. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a roster that returns several that missed State a year ago, motivation is available aplenty for Lady Knights cross-country in 2010.

The season of 2009 ended at the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional, but with a captain triumvirate of seniors Kris Bowen, Jessica Stouffer and Andie Strang returning, helped out by a talented group, the finish line of courses could come up faster this season.

That’s providing that the overall collective health of the girls is better than a year ago.

“We’re fine this year, so far,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “Obviously, the biggest problem the last two years was not work ethic. Kids were getting hurt and sick, but so far.”

Strang, who ran a 19 minute, 16 second course at last year’s regionals, comes off a State trip for girls track, making a winter stress fracture a distant memory.

“She’s run well for us, three-time all-conference and a very good leader. Her and Kris Bowen have been in the top seven since they were freshmen,” Ecker said.

Shaela Collins, Arianna Espino and Kaitlin Munyon round out the senior corps with Ecker hoping for slots in the Lady Knights top ten.

Sophomore assets Maggie Brundige and Abby Dodis return after dealing with various injuries and illness a year ago that hampered the bottom line. Fellow sophomore Ashley Castellanos (19:17 in regionals) also returns to help the sophomore group.

“If nothing happens, we should be in pretty good shape. Our main goal is to stay healthy,” Ecker said.

Perhaps the most intriguing addition to the squad comes in the form of a familiar face from 2008, junior Jen Howland.

Howland skipped last year for injuries and to compete in the triathalon circuit. Howland is now eligible to star in the 2010 ITU Junior Triathlon World Championship in Budapest, Hungary in September.

“She hasn’t had an opportunity to run for her high school in a while. I think she likes the opportunity to run with the kids she goes to school with,” Ecker said.

Howland joins Carolina Tovar and Alexis Villarreal on the junior side.

Freshmen are Brooke Howland, Anna Piazza and Sydney Strang.

Strang impressed in the middle school ranks.

“Sydney was among the top, if not the top middle school runner in the area last year. She’s got talent and she’s worked hard and if she runs consistently she’ll do well for us.,” Ecker said.

The Lady Knights aren’t going for any drastic leaps and bounds, just taking care what’s in front of them.

“We just stress doing what you’re supposed to do and practicing and the times will come,” Ecker said.

The Lady Knights host West Chicago and Wheaton Academy on Tuesday, Aug. 31 and host the Eddington Invite on Saturday, Sept. 18. The regular season ends with the Northern Illinois Big XII meet on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Kaneland Athletic Info Fall Sports 2010

KHS athletics has released essential information for all families and students planning fall sports involvement.

1) You must have a current physical on file in order to tryout or practice. There will be no acceptions. Physicals are good for one calendar year.

2) A participation fee of $100 per sport, $100 per season for cheerleaders (please indicate season on check), and $100 for pompons per season.

3) The Kaneland High School Athletic Department will host a mandatory pre-season meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 18, in the east gym beginning at 7 p.m. for fall athletes. One or both parents are required to attend the meeting with their athlete(s) in order to meet Kaneland High School’s eligibility requirements. Parents and students will meet with their fall coaches. The mandatory part of the meeting will be available on the Kaneland website as a podcast that fall parents and students must listen to by Aug. 27.

FOOTBALL— Equipment handed out on Monday, Aug. 9, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Football insurance is available to or parents may sign a waiver and use their own medical insurance.

Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11. All levels will meet in the east gym at 7:30 a.m.

Practice will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. (lower levels—bring your lunch. Practice for varsity is from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Meetings will take place at 2:15 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL—Tryouts are Aug. 11 and 12, all levels 8 to 10:30 a.m. First practice is on Aug. 13, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. in the east gym.

TENNIS—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11, for all levels from 9 to 11 a.m. The location is at the tennis courts behind the high school.

GOLF—The opening meeting will take place on Monday, Aug. 9, at 8 a.m. in Room C114. You will not be playing at this time but will turn in physicals, receive practice schedules and go over team expectations. Tryouts take place on Wednesday, Aug. 11, and Thursday, Aug. 12, at Hughes Creek at 6 a.m.

SOCCER—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11. V/JV/Frosh from 9 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. at the soccer fields. All players must purchase from the school a spirit pack for $30. Bring cleats, shin guards, water and gym shoes (in case of inclement weather).

BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The team will meet in the high school cafeteria. The XC team will also embark on an overnight camping trip on Thursday-Friday, Aug. 12 and 13. Parents with questions can e-mail head coach Chad Clarey at theclarey5@yahoo.com.

GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 a.m., meet in Room C117.

POMS—Mandatory practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 8 to 11 a.m. Meet in the high school commons.

CHEERS—Mandatory practice begins on Thursday, Aug. 12, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Meet in the east gym balcony.

Mandatory fall sports meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.

Knights Under The Lights is Thursday, Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Opening Contests for KHS Fall Athletics

Football—
Friday, Aug. 27, at
Burlington Central,
7:30 p.m.

Volleyball—
Wednesday, Aug. 25, at
Wheaton North Tourney,
TBA

Tennis—
Tuesday, Aug. 24, vs.
Wheaton Academy,
4:30 p.m.

Golf—
Monday, Aug. 16, vs.
Wheaton Academy,
8 a.m.

Soccer—
Tuesday, Aug. 24, at
Marengo,
4:30 p.m.

Boys’ XC—
Tuesday, Aug. 31, vs.
W. Chicago/Wheaton Admy,
4:30 p.m.

Girls’ XC—
Tuesday, Aug. 31, vs.
W. Chicago/Wheaton Admy,
4:30 p.m.

Kaneland shines spotlight on fall athletes with awards

Monday saw Kaneland High School dish out their annual awards for the fall sports season.

For girls cross country, Shelby Koester and Lisa Roberson were recognized by the team as captains, while Shaela Collins and Jessica Stouffer won the most improved runners nods. Junior Andie Strang took home the Most Valuable Runner award and was also recognized for her all-Western Sun Conference nomination.

In Knights golf action, the varsity most improved player award was given to Adam Grams, while Most Valuable Player was Hayley Guyton. Rhys Childs took home the frosh/soph MVP, and Dan Miller was named the frosh/soph most improved player. Guyton was also lauded for her second-place finish at the girls’ golf State gathering.

For soccer, Kevin Szatkowski, Marcos Dorado, Joe Garlinsky and Genaro Garcia were recognized as captains, and Alex Dorado and Sam Rymarz were given coach’s awards. Jake Tickle won the most improved player award, while J.P. Minogue was named team MVP thanks to his play in goal. Marcos Dorado, Derek White and Minogue were named to the All-WSC squad, while Dorado was also named the 2009 All-Sectional team.

For the tennis troops, Randi Bader, Lindsay Jurcenko and Kelsey Lenhardt were recogznied as garnering the best individual records this season with 18-7 records. Most Valuable Player awards were dished out to Jurcenko, Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb. Bader, Webb, Megan Cline and Mel Mazuc were recognized as captains. Jordyn Withey took home the team spirit award, while Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Jess Woodward nabbed the most improved player honors.

For the State-going boy cross country, Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Dominic Furco, Matt Reusche and Logan Markuson were recognized as captains.

Trevor Holm and Reusche took the most valuable runner awards, while Levita was named most improved runner. Valle and Markuson were given the Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength. The Golden Knight award, given to one representative of each grade level, was given to freshman Brad Kigyos, sophomore Jake Ginther, junior Tommy Whittaker and to Furco, a senior.

Reusche and Holm were lauded for their nomination to the all-Western Sun Conference team.

John Meisinger, Ginther, Billy Hart, Nate Rehkopf, Conor Johnson, Holm, Reusche, Levita, Valle, Furco, Markuson, Whittaker and Clayton Brundige were recognized as State qualifiers.

For the playoff-going Knight football team, Brock Dyer, Ryley Bailey, Brett Ketza, Eric Dratnol and Derek Bus were recognized as captains, while Kyle Davidson won the most improved player award. Dratnol was named the Most Valuable Player. Bailey was named the offensive MVP and Taylor Andrews won the defensive MVP award.

Bailey, Joe Camaliere, Andrews, Tyler Callagahan, Dratnol, Ketza, Jimmy Boyle and Blake Serpa were given all-WSC honors, as mentioned in last week’s Elburn Herald.

In volleyball, Jessica Lubic was named the Most Valuable Player, while Katy Dudzinski was given the top offensive player nod. Kylie Siebert won the top defensive player nod. Tara Groen was named best server, and Meredith Ament took home the spirit award. Mackenzie Curran won the most improved player nod, and Lubic and Dudzinski were nominated for the all-Western Sun Conference roster.

Photo: Tennis asset and tri-MVP Lindsay Jurcenko was one of the many KHS athletes noted for exceptional play during the fall season. File Photo

Girls XC stopped by illness, field in Class 2A Sectional

KHS girls cross country had its season come to an end on Saturday in Belvidere.

At the 2A sectional, plagued by a broken roster and illness, Kaneland came up 17 points short for qualification for this weekend’s State race.

With 227 points, the Lady Knights finished behind Woodstock (127), Crystal Lake Central (134), St. Viator (166), St. Francis (172) and Prairie Ridge of Crystal Lake (210).

Finishing at the top of the list were siblings Kayla Beattie (18:34) and Elise Beattie (18:38).

For Kaneland, Andie Strang finished best in 28th place with a time of 20:41, while teammate Ashley Castellanos finished in 29th at 20:46.

Abby Dodis finished 47th at 21:07, followed next by Kris Bowen at 73rd (21:34).

Lady Knights advance to XC sectional

by Mike Slodki
Nothing like Belvidere in late-October.

Kaneland’s girls cross country roster will look forward to finding that out first hand on Halloween.

Due to its third-place performance at Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora on Saturday, Kaneland sets out for Statehood based on its sectional perforance.

Kaneland’s 82 points were behind Crystal Lake Central (72) and Burlington Central (76).

“The girls’ best team effort of the season,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Burlington Central’s Maggie Gannon won the three-mile course with a time of 18 minutes, 20 seconds, followed by Holly Plichta of Hampshire at 18:26.

For Kaneland, the top runner was junior Andie Strang, good for her usual output at 19:16, for 11th place. Two places behind was freshman Ashley Castellanos at 19:17.

In 15th place was senior anchor Lisa Roberson, who completed her task in 19:21, a personal best.

In 17th place was freshman Abby Dodis, who ran the course is 19:30.

The team-wide split of 42 seconds was the best for any Kaneland team, made more remarkable by Castellanos and Dodis recovering from the flu.

Girls XC take fourth in WSC meet

It was the final Western Sun Conference meet, and the Lady Knights cross country roster did themselves proud.

With a fourth-place finish, the Lady Knights’ 131 point total tied Glenbard South, but due to sixth runner Shaela Collins (42nd) outpacing GS’s Teresa Witort (46th), KHS got the nod.

Geneva (22), Yorkville (71) and Batavia (76) took the top three.

Finishing in the lower third were Sycamore (133), DeKalb (169) and Rochelle (178).

The effort in the event at Kishwaukee Junior College on Saturday put KHS in decent shape for a prime showing at IHSA Class 2A Regionals hosted by Aurora Central Catholic High School on Saturday.

While Kelly Whitley of Geneva took the crown for the varsity race with a time of 18 minutes, 16 seconds, Andie Strang of Kaneland put herself in the WSC all-conference group with a time of 19:37, good for 13th place.

Freshman Abby Dodis continued her rise at 20:20 (24th place). Teammate Lisa Roberson ran her final WSC race and took 29th at 20:34.

Kelly Evers, running her second WSC race, gave a 31st place effort, at 20:42.

Girls XC powers through Sterling, Byron

Kaneland girls cross country continues toward the season’s homestretch in productive fashion.

The girls managed an eighth-place finish at their usual Sterling Invite stop with 236 points. The Lady Knights were ahead of Normal West (265) and Geneseo (314).

Schaumburg (29), Iowa City High School (61) and Loyola Academy (143) finished in the top three.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the Lady Knights traveled to Byron for its Handicap Invite that featured staggered starts.

At Sterling, Schaumburg’s top three runners were also 1-2-3 in the 30-team race with junior Colette Falsey taking the crown at 18 minutes, eight seconds.

For KHS, Andie Strang topped the team’s roster with a 21st place showing of 19:28. In 48th place, freshman Abby Dodis continued her rise at 20:23.

“I just know that I can do it, so I just push myself to stay with the top girls,” Dodis said about her current progress. “Everyone just says to go out there and do the best you can.”

Kelly Evers was third for the Lady Knights with a time of 20:28, and Lisa Roberson finished 56th at 20:29. The race under sunny skies and 40-degree conditions had 203 runners.

“Once again our girls team responded to a big challenge, having their best team performance of the season,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “Andie Strang had her season’s best run. She looked strong throughout and is getting going at just the right time.”

At Byron, Kaneland took fourth with 77 points. Byron won the event with 18, and Rock Falls took second with 70 points.

Lady Knight Haley Johnson finished 10th with a time of 21:52, Kaitlin Munyon took 15th at 22:13, while Shaela Collins finished at 22:14.

This Saturday, Oct. 17, has the Lady Knights headed to Kishwaukee Junior College for the Western Sun Invite hosted by Rochelle at 9 a.m.

Strang gets top-10 finish in Freeport for girls cross country

Lady Knight runners had a successful outing at the colorfully named Pretzel Invite, hosted by Freeport High School on Saturday.

Coach Doug Ecker’s roster managed a second-place finish with 68 points, falling behind just Winnebago High School, which had 50 points.

The top runner in the race was Winnebago’s Tessa Hoefle at 18 minutes, 52 seconds. The lone top-10 runner for the Lady Knights was junior Andie Strang, who completed the course in 19:51. Teammate Ashley Castellanos was next for KHS at 20:17, good for 11th place. Abby Dodis finished 14th at 20:28, while Lisa Roberson took 18th at 20:51.

“The 60 second split 1-5 was very important,” Ecker said. “Roberson, (Kris) Bowen and (Shelby) Koester really gave us that lift to earn a trophy … I thought it was a good team victory.”

Kaneland’s frosh/soph contingent took third overall with 56 points. Arianna Espino (22:07) and Jessica Stouffer (22:08) took fourth and fifth, respectively.

The girls head out to the Sterling Invite on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m.. Kaneland was set for the Byron Handicap Invite on Wednesday.

Girls XC sees good outing at Rock River Run

by Mike Slodki
Lady Knights cross country got a look at some good competition on Saturday during its annual Rock River Run stop and handled itself quite well.

Coach Doug Ecker’s roster took seventh in the varsity group of 16 teams. The 153-point effort was just one behind rival Sycamore and three ahead of Rochelle in a Western Sun Conference sandwich of teams.

Geneva was declared the winner with three of the top four finishers and 29 points. Dixon took second with 111 points.

Tops for the Lady Knights was junior Andie Strang with a time of 19 minutes, 34 seconds.
Geneva’s Kelly Whitley continued her stellar season with a course-best 18:13.

Additionally for Kaneland, freshman Abby Dodis took 24th with a time of 20:02. Kris Bowen was 36th with a time of 20:35, with teammate Lisa Roberson close by at 20:40 for 37th place. Ashley Castellanos was 41st at 20:46.

“I thought for the team we had today, sixth was a very good finish,” Ecker said. “We were happy to get two runners back, and two more soon. Two freshmen continue to improve weekly with experience. Andie Strang is a stabilizing force as a consistent No. 1, and we hope to get more girls up running with her.”

The girls head to the Freeport Invite on Saturday, Oct. 3.

XC runs through Eddington

by Mike Slodki
Boys XC takes the fifth at Eddington
MAPLE PARK—Looks like the annual Eddington Invite brings out the best in teams besides KHS.

Saturday had the Knights finishing fifth out of a tough 16-team field. With 122 points, the Knights finished ahead of Westmont (157). Crystal Lake Central took the Eddington crown with 92 points, followed by Geneva (93) and Dundee-Crown (97). Additional Western Sun Conference rival Sycamore finished fourth.

Trevor Holm of Kaneland provided a nice showing with a 16th place finish (16 minutes, 47 seconds) to be the top Knight runner. Dundee-Crown’s Anthony Manfrin took the race at 15:40. Logan Markuson of Kaneland finished 23rd at 17:06. Next for the Knights was Edgar Valle at 25th with a time of 17:10.

“I think there’s a ton of great competition at meets like this,” Markuson said. “It’s still kind of early in the season. We have some of our top runners out. I think we’re pretty close to what we’ll see later in the season. A lot of people ran well.”

Dominic Furco was 28th at 17:17.

On the F/S side, the Knights won the 12-team mix with 69 points. Clayton Brundige of Kaneland finished seventh at 18:00.

Strang, Dodis key girls XC at Eddington
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland girls had a productive finish at the Eddington Invite at Elburn Woods on Saturday.

But so did at least eight other teams in the annual event hosted by KHS.

While Kaneland nabbed 231 points, ahead of Westmont’s 267 in the 17-team girls battle, Geneva, with four top-10 finishes, earned the prize (27 points), followed by Lisle’s Benet Academy (91) and Glenbard East (145). Western Sun Conference rivals Rochelle (198) and Sycamore (207) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Lady Viking Kelly Whitley won the Elburn Woods course with a time of 18 minutes, 49 seconds.

For the Lady Knights, Andie Strang finished 17th at 20:23, followed by upstart Abby Dodis at 29th, with a time of 20:48. Lady Knight Kris Bowen was next in the black-and-white at 21:00, good for 36th place. Shaela Collins took 70th at of 22:21.

“We have some top runners out,” KHS runner Andie Strang said. “We’re really not going to know how good we’re going to be until later. This race was OK, I wish I ran a little bit faster.”

The frosh-soph girls race was won by Geneva with 47 points, followed by Benet Academy at 67.

Lady Knights finish 11th in Wauconda

Having to deal with the hilly Lakewood Forest Preserve course as well as tough competition from rivals to the north, Kaneland Lady Knights cross country applied itself quite well on Saturday.

Finishing with 310 points, the Lady Knights finished 11th.

Crystal Lake South took first with 131, followed by Glenbard East with 140, Lake Zurich with 168 and Cary-Grove with 169.

Crystal Lake South’s Marianne Collard won the course with a time of 18 minutes, 27 seconds, followed by Johnsburg’s Kelly McNeely at 18:49.

Topping the Lady Knights was Andie Strang, who finished 20th with a time of 20:03. Fellow Lady Knight Kris Bowen was the second-highest finisher on the roster with a time of 21:03, good enough for 53rd. Lisa Roberson was 74th with a time of 21:42. Shaela Collins took 87th with a time of 22:03.

Lady Knights grab Oregon Invite

Lady Knights cross country found its way to Oregon on Saturday, and also performed well vs. Yorkville on Tuesday.

Kaneland girls won the Oregon Open at Oregon Park West on Saturday with a 64-point effort.

Winnebago took second with 70 points while Oregon finished third with 97 points.

The top KHS finisher was Andie Strang, who came in fifth with a time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds. Abby Dodis finished eighth at 20:49, while teammate Maggie Brundige took 10th at 20:58. Kelly Evers finished 15th at 21:29.

The Kaneland JV side took second with 45 points, behind Winnebago at 32.

Ashley Castellanos took third with 22:32. Shaela Collins finished sixth at 23:13.

In the 15-50 win over Yorkville, Strang ran a 20:48, while Maggie Brundige ran eight seconds behind.