Tag Archives: Arianna Espino

Local residents named to Aurora University dean’s list

AURORA— The following residents were named to the Aurora University high honors dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester: Stephanie Claesson, Samantha Dixon, Lindsay Hansen, Alexa Hill, Lydia King and Katelyn Pietraszak, all of Elburn; Magdalena Bonczak, Melissa Castrovillo, Jesus Favela, Justin Garlinski, Catherine Pauls, Paige Rogers and Sara Rose, all of Sugar Grove; Arianna Espino and Ashley Girard of Maple Park.

The following residents were named to the Aurora University regular honors dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester: Brian Dixon, Jordan Herra and Charlene Walker, all of Elburn; Eleni Ajazi, Michelle Dugan, Matt Hawbecker, Anna Mayer and Marlene Morris, all of Sugar Grove; Kathryn Banbury of Maple Park.

The high honors list recognizes students who attain a 4.0 grade-point average while completing at least 12 credit hours during the semester. The regular honors list recognizes students who achieve a GPA of 3.6 to 3.99.

Jill Holmes Invite ‘11 yields third-place finish for Lady Knights

Photo: Kaneland’s Brianna Stark tries to catch up as a 100 meter dash finalist during the Jill Holmes invitational at KHS on Saturday. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—The usual mid-April Jill Holmes Invite saw Kaneland girls track in mid-to-late season stride on Saturday.

Kaneland, with 88 team points, finished third, behind only invite champ West Aurora (148) and Burlington Central (102.5).

Hononegah (80), Sterling (55) and Rosary (53) rounded out the top six.

Northern Illinois Big XII Conference-mates Sycamore (26.5) and DeKalb (13) finished ninth and 12th, respectively.

Top finalists abounded for Kaneland, starting with the 200-meter dash finalist Lauren Zick, who continued her hot start to the season with a third-place, 26.4-seconds finish.

Zick also took second in in the 400m dash at 58.4.

The 1600m run proved quite productive with Andie Strang finished second at 5:26.2, while younger sister Sydney took fourth at 5:27.5.

In relay action, the 4x200m relay foursome of Sydney Bilotta, Ashley Castellanos, Arianna Espino and Brooke Patterson finished fourth with a time of 1:52.8.

Lady Knight Patterson continued her exceptional morning by becoming invite pole vault champ with a 10-feet, six-inch finals effort.

Zick also did well in the field, taking second overall in the long jump with a 16-02 mark.

The triple jump was especially good to Kaneland track with Patterson finishing first at 35 feet, and Castellanos taking fourth at 33-0.5.

Three records were cemented at the 2011 Holmes meet, as Oswego East’s Ariel Michalek set the 1600m run mark at 5:05.4. Additionally, West Aurora’s 4x200m squad ran a record-breaking 1:45.8, and Burlington Central’s 4x800m unit broke the event mark at 9:53.6.

2011 JILL HOLMES INVITE
1. West Aurora 148 points
2. Burlington Central 102.5
3. KANELAND 88
4. Hononegah 80
5. Sterling 55
6. Rosary 53
7. Oswego East 41
8. Belvidere 35
9. Sycamore 26.5
10. Dundee-Crown 24
11. Hyde Park 16
12. DeKalb 13
12. Rockford East 13
14. Rockford Auburn 5
15. Rockford Jefferson 2

Upcoming:
Jenni’s ABC meet
Saturday, April 16
10 a.m.
Peterson Field

KHS girls track takes fourth at Byron Indoor Preview

BYRON, Ill.—Kaneland girls track fans can only hope the Lady Knights excel this well without a roof on top of their efforts.

On Saturday, Kaneland competed at the Byron Indoor Preview and came away with a fourth place finish.

Kaneland’s 43 point team total edged Hononegah High School’s 38 point total.

Wheaton-Warrenville South (118), Naperville Central (83) and Rochelle (54) rounded out the top three.

In the 1600 meter run , senior leader Andie Strang boasted a second-place time of five minutes, 27.59 seconds, six seconds behind Wheaton-Warrenville South’s Mikayla Kightlinger.

Teammate Abby Dodis took third in the 3200m run with a time of 12:33.26, besting the next fastest entry by 11 seconds.

Kaneland also did well in the 4x400m relay, as the unit of Sydney Bilotta, Ashley Castellanos, Arianna Espino and Brooke Patterson took fourth with a time of 4:25.07.

Lady Knight Patterson also did well in the pole vault, a la last season. Along with being a relay asset, she took second in the pole vault with an effort of 10 feet, six inches.

Patterson was also crowned Indoor Preview champ in the triple jump (33 feet), two and one-half inches better than Rochelle’s Taylor Jenkins.

Right track at Byron

• Andie Strang:
2nd place, 1600m run
• Abby Dodis:
3rd place, 3200m run
• Bilotta, Castellanos,
Espino and Patterson:
4th place, 4x400m relay
• Brooke Patterson:
2nd place, pole vault
• Brooke Patterson:
1st place, triple jump

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.

Lady Knights host Jenni’s ABC, GS

KANELAND—Lady Knights track saw some members continue in a nice groove this week.

Kaneland’s annual hosting of Jenni’s ABC Meet in Maple Park led to a third-place nod with 250 points. Huntley High School was crowned queen of the meet with 418 points, and Rockford Boylan took second with 322 points. Kaneland outlasted Rosary by one point, while Rock Falls finished fifth at 245 in the seven-team outing.

On Tuesday, KHS lost by just one point to visiting Glenbard South, 71.5-70.5.

KHS snagged a number of first-places on Saturday, beginning with Lisa Roberson’s 2 minute, 28.46 time in the 800 meter A grouping.

Brooke Patterson continued her first-year rise through the ranks, securing first in the pole vault A category with an effort of nine feet, nine inches. The junior also took first in the long jump A category at 14-11.

Junior Andie Strang was first in the 800m run B group with a time of 2:32.88, and Roberson came back with a first in the 1600m run B at 5:55.33.

Teammate Brianna Stark, with a 15-foot effort in long jump B, took the crown in that event, while Sydney Luse won pole vault C at seven feet.

Strang also took second place in the 1600m run A with a time of 5:47.28.

Hillary Luse took second in the 100m hurdles A at 18.34, while Patterson added to her productive day with a second in the triple jump A group (34-03).

Sydney Luse finished second in the 100m hurdles B at 18.94. Hillary Luse took second in the pole vault B event with a seven-foot vault. Keara Palpant, with a 77-06 throw, took second in the discus throw B event, while Mel Mazuc finished second in discus C at 72-09.

Against the Lady Raiders, Patterson won first places in the long jump (15-5), triple jump (34-4) and pole vault (10-0).

Teammate Nicole Ketza won discus at 93-8. Roberson took the 800m run crown at 2:29.9, while teammate Arianna Espino won the 400m dash at 1:06.1. Amanda Lesak was first in the 300m hurdles at 54.68. Strang finished an impressive 5:35.99 in the 1600m run, while the Lady Knight foursome won the 4x400m relay at 4:31.5.

Laying ahead for Kaneland girls track is the annual Dixon Relays on Friday, April 23, at 4 p.m.

Photo: Freshman Amanda Lesak goes skyward for the high jump at Jenni’s ABC meet at KHS on Saturday. Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights track sees early progress

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland girls track’s first outdoor competition of the 2010 season saw some warm-for-April temperatures and some decent individual scores, but a third place finish as a team.

Kaneland, with 51 total points, finished behind Burlington Central’s 96 and Oregon’s 55.

Four first-place finishes came down the Lady Knights’ way thanks to personnel Sara Wallace in the 300 meter low hurdles with a time of 54.33 seconds.

Wallace also took second in the pole vault.

“On a day like today, I just have to keep my mind clear,” Wallace said. “Try not to think about it and drink a lot of water, and keep stretching throughout the whole meet, even if you don’t have a lot to do.”

Nicole Ketza won the discus with an effort of 87 feet, 10 inches. First-year track entry Brooke Patterson finished first in the triple jump (33-6) and the long jump (16-5).

Other second-place finishers were Arianna Espino in the 200m dash, Andie Strang in the 800m run, Hillary Luse in the 100m high hurdles, Keara Palpant in the shot put and Ashley Castellanos in the triple jump.

Coach Doug Ecker was realistic on the team’s fortunes on Tuesday, in the larger scale of the season.

“This first outdoor meet gives them a chance to compete,” Ecker said. “You don’t want anyone to get hurt. It was nice to see Andie come back from her stress fracture and Lisa do well, and we’re starting to get our distance runners back, and our jumpers did real well today.”

Waiting in the wings for KHS is the annual Jill Holmes Invite on Saturday, April 10, at 10 a.m. and a meet at Batavia on Tuesday, April 13.

Top photo: Kaneland’s Brooke Patterson, a gymnast by trade, works toward a first-place finish in the triple jump during Tuesday’s clash with BC and Oregon.
Photo by Ben Draper

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.

Fall sports preview: Girls XC sees return of talent

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—With the Lady Knight girls cross country roster getting stopped after a sixth-place finish at the Class 2A Belvidere Sectional a year ago, the group wishes to hold off offseason plans a little later, in to November.

For head coach Doug Ecker and crew, the work for postseason glory begins now, with a return of many of their top runners.

“We return the top five from sectionals, plus Haley Johnson, so it’s six of the top eight, and we have talented freshmen coming in,” Ecker said. “You never know what they’re going to do, but they’ll at least add depth.”

Junior Andie Strang returns, as does sophomores Kelly Evers and Kris Bowen, seniors Lisa Roberson and Shelby Koester.

“The other teams return good people. Our girls can compete and have worked pretty hard and have been consistent this summer,” Ecker said.

Junior Sam Collins and senior Johnson also come back.

Sophomore Jen Howland is not returning in exchange for a go on the national triathalon circuit, and Ali Olson, Laney Deligianis, Chassidy Mangers and Kelli Patterson are gone due to graduation.

Krissy Chapman also makes up the senior side.

Sydney Bilotta, Shaela Collins, Arianna Espino, Liz Hylland, Jessica Stouffer and Bethany Swartz are the juniors.

Sophomores include Ashley Diddell, Jordyn Lawrence, April Smith and Carolina Tovar, while the freshmen are Maggie Brundige, Ashley Castellanos, Abby Dodis and Mikayla Ness.

With depth now on their side, Ecker will try and swat away all challenges, including the injury bug.

“You always get people hurt. Injuries can pop up anytime, and it happens to all teams,” Ecker said.

All that’s left is practice until the starting gun goes off for real.

“Right now, the top five are in good shape. Evers had a good track season and could be considerably better, and Strang is probably our top runner going in,” Ecker said.

The Lady Knights hit Elburn Woods to host West Chicago and Wheaton Academy on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The girls host the Eddington Invite on Saturday, Sept. 19, and the regular season ends with the Western Sun Conference Invite at Rochelle on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Lady Knights have steady showing at Holmes Invite

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

Spring Sports Preview: Lady Knights track off to running start

by Mike Slodki
For the 2009 season, Kaneland girls track has a slew of returning athletes, some whom have seen State action.

That’s good news for the Lady Knights program, and downright scary for opposing teams.

Pat Sheetz, in his 32nd year of heading the girls program, has 45 athletes that have worked out the kinks in the indoor season and are ready to tackle the outdoor campaign head on.

“We have a pretty good idea where people fit, and in other spots, people will separate themselves and we’ll see what our lineup is as the season goes on,” Sheetz said.

Any discussion of the Kaneland track program needs to start with University of Northern Iowa-signee and three-time State qualifier Lindsay Gierke. Gierke qualified in the 200m hurdles and 100m hurdles.

“I think she’ll be way better than last year,” Sheetz said. “She can do the job and she’ll have no problem hitting the times she wants to hit.”

Sophomore Andie Strang returns after having qualified for the 800m run a year ago.

“The talent is there, and the toughness is there in how she approaches things,” Sheetz said about Strang.

Looking to make things happen in the distance ranks for the Lady Knights are personnel like Lisa Roberson, who’s “doing real well so far, and we’re expecting even more out of her,” Sheetz said. Kris Bowen also looks to make an impact in the distance events, allowing with freshman Kelly Evers, Laney Deligianis, Carolina Tovar, Jessica Stouffer, Brianna Stark and Jordan Krawczyk.

Maggie Dawe and Sydney Billotta will also get their chances at distance and sprints, if needed. Gierke, Krissy Chapman, Mackenzie Curran and Bilotta work the sprints, while new personnel like Tesa Alderman, Arianna Espino and freshman Jordyn Lawrence also look to get their shot in that category.

The relays are up for grabs. “We’re playing around with options, we have seven kids that could be thrown in there, just a matter of how they progress,” Sheetz said.

Strang and Roberson were among those who saw time last year in the relays.

The field events see girls like Jordan Pinkston in the pole vault. Pinkston, who has reached 9 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault in the indoor season, qualified for the indoor State meet in Bloomington. Sara Wallace, Katie Bergman, Taylor Olson and Shannon Wallace also look to make a mark in the vault.

Newcomer Lindsay Douglas, Kelli Patterson and Stark could see time at the triple jump, with Patterson trying her hand the high and long jump.

Fifteen throwers fill the Lady Knights roster including returnee Alyssa Galvan. Lauren Whittaker and Katie Weiss also bring needed experience to the shot and discus. Newcomers to the event are senior Kathleen Kuhar, Mel Mazuc, Keara Palpant and Nicole Ketza. Kelsey Gould, Elicia Dibella, Deva Shamely and Erin Hanold will get their shot at various events, as well. Other members looking for their shot are Athina Ajazi, Ashley Augusty, Amelia Napiorkowski, Lexie Pniewski, Grace Snyder, Meggen Southern, and Julia Wittbrodt.

Improvement will bring about team-wide success.

“I can see us really improving in all events. We’re just putting everything together and putting people in the right events, and it’ll take care of themselves.