Tag Archives: Hillary Luse

All-WSC, team awards handed out at KHS

KANELAND—Kaneland High School dished out end of the year and spring speason sports awards last week.

In Knights boys track and field, Logan Markuson was named the Track MVP, while Nick Sinon, state champ in high jump, was named Field MVP. Edgar Valle, also a state champ as part of the 4×400 relay , was named recipient of the Drendel Award. Markuson, Derek Bus, Joe Levita, Brett Ketza, Justin Choate and Sinon were recognized as captains. Andrew Essex was named winner of the Ron Probst Award. Sinon, Markuson, Taylor Andrews, Valle, Bus, Matt Reusche, Matt Spitzzeri, Sean Paulick, Tommy Whittaker, Dominic Furco, Trevor Holm and Levita were recognized as the final Kaneland representatives for the all-Western Sun Conference team.

Brandon Cottier, Essex, Curtis Secrest, Whittaker, Spitzzeri, Valle, Bus, Taylor Andrews, Markuson, Levita, Holm and Sinon were all lauded for their trip to the Class 2A State Finals in Charleston, Ill.

For girls track, Lisa Roberson and Andie Strang, both State-goers, were named co-Track MVP’s, while Brooke Patterson, fresh off a trip to Charleston, was named field MVP.

Mel Mazuc and Nicole Ketza were part of a group of three named most improved field athletes, along with Briana Stark in long jump. Hurdler Hillary Luse took the most improved track athlete award.

Roberson and Sydney Bilotta were recognized as captains, while Patterson, Ashley Castellanos and Gabby Aguirre were honored for their All-Western Sun Conference performances.

Strang (800 meter run, 4x800m relay), Roberson and Kris Bowen (4x800m), Sara Wallace (pole vault), Jessica Stouffer (4x800m), Patterson (pole vault, triple jump) and Castellanos (long jump) were lauded for their State trip.

For the 20-win softball team, first-year coach Brian Willis gave most outstanding defensive player to Jordan Hester and most outstanding offensive player to Andrea Dimmig-Potts. Samantha Hansen took home the most improved player award, Kristen Stralka and Brittany Davis got in on the Lady Knight Award, while 13-win pitcher Delani Vest was given the most outstanding player award.

In the freshman softball ranks, Elizabeth Eckert and Sarah Grams took the co-MVP honors, while Danielle McCormack won the Kaneland Knight award.

For baseball, Dave Dudzinski and Bobby Thorson were named recipients of the Mr. Kaneland Baseball award.

Jake Tickle, he of the 19-game hit streak during the season, was named offensive MVP, and Steve Colombe was crowned defensive MVP.

The 41 Award, in honor or Jeff Malewig, was given to Tickle and Jake Fiedler.

Thorson, Fiedler, Colombe and Tickle were all recognized for their All-Western Sun Conference honors.

For the 15-win girls soccer team’s history- making season, Megan Gil, Haley Johnson, Shelby Koester, Colleen Gebauer and Emily Heimerdinger were lauded for their captain-ship.

Amy Fabrizius was given the most improved player honor, and freshman goalkeeper Jordan Ginther was named Rookie of the Year.

Sophie Blank, Andie Bruce and Natalie Swieca won the coach’s award. Gebauer and Katie Taylor were co-winners of the Lady Knights Award, while Heimerdinger and Gil took the MVP honors.

For the final awards of the night, the female Birkette award was given to Roberson. Markuson and Bus took home the male Birkette award.

Markuson was honored with the Male Athlete of the Year award, while Roberson was given the Female Athlete of the Year award.

Levita, for his time in cross country, wrestling and track, was honored for his three-sport commitment.

Photo: Lisa Roberson, shown here in relay action in Charleston, Ill., two weeks ago, was awarded Female Athlete of the Year and Female Birkette Award winner at last week’s 2010 Senior Athletic Banquet Awards. File Photo

KHS trackster Patterson vaults to 10th place finish at State finals

CHARLESTON—Brooke Patterson wasn’t a perfect 10 this weekend, but that number put her in a pretty nice place.

With a 10-foot vault in the pole vault event on Saturday at Eastern Illinois University, the first-year track participant finished 10th overall in the Class 2A State girls track finals in Charleston, Ill.

Patterson, who came on the scene from a gymnastics background for coach Doug Ecker’s Lady Knights roster, finished with 10 feet, three inches in the prelims to launch herself into the finals.

Pontiac’s Emily Grove was crowned champion with a 12-06 final effort. Normal University High’s Emily Clay was second with 12 feet. Belvidere North’s Baily Murphy took third with 11-09 and fellow Western Sun Conference competitor Sam Elliott took fourth at 11-09.

Springfield Southeast won the team standings with 57 points.

Patterson turned out to be the only Lady Knight in six events to make it to Saturday’s final.

Patterson’s teammate Sara Wallace, in her final KHS event, made it to nine feet in the prelims of pole vault.

Freshman Ashley Castellanos finished tenth in her long jump flight with a mark of 15-6.25.

Patterson also competed in the triple jump and finished tenth in her flight at 34-11.25.

The 4×800 meter relay foursome of Lisa Roberson, Jessica Stouffer, Kris Bowen and Andie Strang finished eighth in their prelims with a time of 10 minutes, 6.18 seconds.

Strang also finished just .08 off the final qualifying mark in the 800m run with a time of 2:23.36.

With the 2010 campaign now complete, the Lady Knights track program says goodbye to a couple of State qualifiers in Roberson and Wallace, and additional seniors Elicia DiBella, Tara Groen, Hillary Luse, Mel Mazuc, Megan Mendoza and Lexie Pniewski.

Photo: Junior Brooke Patterson vaults over the nine-foot mark in the preliminaries at the Class 2A State Girls Track Finals in Charleston, Ill. Patterson, who also competed in the triple jump, was the only Kaneland finalist in six events.
Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights track travels to Dixon

KANELAND—With Kaneland and Dixon suiting up as Northern Illinois Big 12 conference mates next season, what better way for Lady Knights girls track to get their name out in that territory than at the annual Dixon Relays.

Friday afternoon saw KHS finish seventh in a talented 10-team field by President Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home, with a total of 54.5 points. Kaneland finished 2.5 points behind Dixon and 4.5 points behind Rochelle.

Harlem (118), Geneseo (88) and Sterling (84) took the top three spots.

In the unusual weight events 4x100m relay, Mel Mazuc, Keara Palpant, Nicole Ketza and Briana Stark took a first place with 57.03 seconds.

The pole vault event also went to Kaneland, thanks to the efforts of Brooke Patterson, Hillary Luse and Sara Wallace, who hit 25 feet in the finals.

Patterson, still a rookie to the track ranks, has now become a true asset to KHS girls track in events like the triple jump and vault.

“I think it’s a good start,” Patterson said on Tuesday. “I try to have fun because it’s my first year doing it.”

Patterson is not as far behind the curve as most, with a gymnastics background.

“It definitely helped in pole vault, I knew how to turn upside down when I had to,” Patterson said.

Kaneland also brought home a couple of third-place finishes, as Lisa Roberson, Jessica Stouffer, Kris Bowen and Andie Strang ran 10:05.11 in the varsity 4x800m relay. Harlem won the event with a time of 9:58.

On the frosh/soph end of that event, Maggie Brundige, Abby Dodis, Savanah Miles and Kelly Evers ran a 10:51.90 to clinch third.

Tuesday had some Western Sun Conference action in store for the Lady Knights in DeKalb against the host Lady Barbs and Geneva.

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

Girls track sees progress

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a middle of the pack finish at Saturday’s annual Jill Holmes Invitational, Kaneland High School saw some nice individual finishes with room to improve this month.

KHS finished with 45 points, good for eighth place in windy conditions and sunny skies.

West Aurora, with 168.5 points, took its first ever Holmes Invite title.

Lockport and Geneva, both not present this year, combines to win the last six championships.

The Lady Blackhawks’ win marks the first for a DuPage Valley Conference outfit since Wheaton-Warrenville South in 2002.

West Aurora was followed by Oswego East (107), Burlington Central (80) and DeKalb (52.5), rounding out the top four.

The Lady Knights finished ahead of Dundee-Crown (28) in the 14-team field.

Capturing fourth place for Kaneland in the 4×800 meter relay run was the unit of Lisa Roberson, Jess Stouffer, Ashley Castellanos and Andie Strang, who finished with a time of 10 minutes, 20.09 seconds; 1.67 seconds ahead of West Aurora.

KHS representative Gabby Aguirre found herself contributing thanks to a fourth-place finish in the high jump. Aguirre jumped four feet, eight inches.

Lady Knight Sara Wallace continued her quest for a repeat trip to State with a second place finish in the pole vault at 9-03, three inches off the first-place finisher, Burlington Central’s Autumn Conn.

KHS stocked the triple jump with assets Brooke Patterson and Castellanos, both of whom finished well on Saturday. Patterson, a first-year girls track member, took third at 34-10, while Castellanos was sixth at 33-03.

Junior weapon Strang also took home a third place in the 800m run with a time of 2:35.13. Dundee-Crown’s Jade Franz was first with a time of 2:32.02 and West Aurora’s Alexis Anthony was second, defeating Strang by .59 seconds.

In the 3200m run, Abby Dodis managed a fourth-place finish thanks to a time of 12:16.12.

In the 100m hurdles, Hillary Luse took seventh in the finals (17.08) after finishing eighth in prelims.

“I saw (Oswego East’s Shontica Anderson) way ahead of me,” Luse said about the prelims. “Another girl was neck and neck with me toward the end and I just needed a little more energy to push through and thought, ‘no one’s passing me’ and that drove me until the end.”

Kaneland also competed at Batavia on Tuesday, finishing third with 15.5 points compated to Batavia’s 91 and Rochelle’s 74.5.

The lone first place was garnered by Patterson, who jumped 34 feet in the triple jump.

Teammate Nicole Ketza had a second place effort in the shot put with 30 1/2 feet.

Next up for the Lady Knights track squad is the annual Jenni’s ABC Meet at Kaneland on Saturday, April 17, followed by a home matchup with Glenbard South on Tuesday, April 20.

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

Ecker steps in for girls track

Photo: Girls track coach Doug Ecker gives pointers on the triple jump at Friday’s practice. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—After a ninth-place finish in State a year ago, how do you repeat such a fine performance?

Wait and see.

A large part of the stellar finish at 2A State for the Kaneland Lady Knights girls track squad was due in part to Lindsay Gierke, gone off to the University of Northern Iowa. One of the most celebrated girls track athletes in KHS history, Gierke managed a second place in the 100m hurdles, fourth in the 100m dash, third in the 300m hurdles and was a four-year State qualifier.

“We’ve had some great athletes in the past and we’ll miss her points, but a lot of great athletes from last year are gone now, and it’s part of high school,” said KHS coach Doug Ecker.

Also gone from the group is pole vaulter Jordan Pinkston, who finished fifth at State and is competing at Southern Illinois University.

The good news is that 2009-10 allows new faces to step up and take the mantle of postseason success, and not all State qualifiers have left for the college ranks just yet.

One new face is right at the top, as girls cross-country coach Ecker moves up to take the head position, switching places with Pat Sheetz, who moves aside after four decades as head coach.

“There’s really no change,” Ecker said. “Sheetz and I have worked for 23 years; everything’s pretty much the same.”

Ecker has had head track experience in the college ranks and high-school boys track.

Junior Andie Strang looks to go back to Charleston, Ill. for a third go-around after finishing 10th in the 800m run and was part of the 4x800m relay, along with returning teammates Kris Bowen, Kelly Evers and Lisa Roberson. Strang is on the road back from a stress fracture suffered during girls basketball season.

“We’ll see how it is when outdoor season comes. If it’s healed it’s healed, and if it’s not its not. Hopefully she’s back at full strength and we’ll have to see what happens.”

Sara Wallace, a senior, also qualified for State in pole vault and looks to shore up that event.

Ecker stressed a lot of new faces, with accompanying talent to go with them on the roster numbering 50-strong.

“We don’t have any superstars, but we have kids with potential,” Ecker said.

Trying to break into the Lady Knight ranks in the jumping categories is junior Brooke Patterson, fresh off being familiar in the gymnastics realm and the younger sister of graduated trackster Kelli Patterson.

The junior has excelled in the indoor triple jump with a 32 feet mark.

Freshman Ashley Castellanos has done well in the triple and long jump in the initial stages of the season.

“Every team lost superstars, so you’ll have above average girls trying to take spots in the area,” Ecker said, who also said sprinters and vaulters could be crowded headed into the outdoor season.

The 4x800m relay looks to improve on their first go-around to state, but could see an influx of challengers. Ecker mentioned Castellanos and junior Jessica Stouffer having run well, joining a pool of seven or eight additional runners.

Hurdles will see freshmen and sophomores jockey one of Gierke’s specialty events.

Sprinters could put up some decent speed, thanks to representatives like sophomore Jordyn Lawrence.

“We have more depth at sprinters than we’ve had in a while; we just have to remain healthy,” Ecker said.

Senior Hillary Luse will have a chance at pole vault. The shot put and discus has younger lady tracksters looking to make a name for themselves before the outdoor season takes off.

Any Lady Knight that could take fellow athletes by surprise? Ecker mentioned junior Ariana Espino, who is looking for a relay spot, and fellow junior Sydney Billotta.

“They’re healthy and doing better leading up to the season, and both ran cross-country,” Ecker said.

In this, the final campaign for the Western Sun Conference, Ecker mentions Geneva and Batavia rising up despite losing personnel, along with Rochelle.

Freshmen joining the Kaneland girls track roster for 2010 are Gabby Aguirre, Jenna Bicos, Maggie Brundige, Angalia Carbonara, Brianne Claypool, Laken Delahanty, Abby Dodis, Brooke Harner, Lisa Jennings, Amanda Lesak, Sydney Luse, Emily Maki, Kelly McCarthy, Emma Moon, Grace Mozdren, Alyssa Nolte, Katie Ogboukiri and Jessica Woodward.

Sophomores are Tesa Alderman, Ashley Diddell, Kelsey Gould, Nicole Ketza, Savanah Miles, April Smith, Grace Snyder, Meggen Southern, Carolina Tovar and Shannon Wallace.

Juniors are Athina Ajazi, Elizabeth Hylland, Lordan Krawczyk, Keara Palpant, Alyson Rehr, Nicole Rymarz, Briana Stark and Cara Zagel.

Seniors are Elicia DiBella, Tara Groen, Mel Mazuc, Megan Mendoza and Lexie Pniewski.

For the girls, the outdoor season kicks off on Tuesday, April 6, against Burlington Central and Oregon.

The Kane County Meet is at Batavia on Friday, April 30, followed by the final Western Sun Conference meet on Friday, May 7, at Glenbard South.