Tag Archives: Jessica Kucera

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Letter to the Editor: #LetKanelandRun

Editors note: the IHSA announced that they will allow Kaneland and Rock Falls to run.

Last night (May 16) was our track and field 2A sectionals held at Freeport High School. Me and my other 4×800 teammates junior Aislinn Lodwig, senior Sydney Strang, and freshman Becca Richtman ran a 9:50, eight seconds under the qualifying time of 9:58. But due a short circuit the clocks stopped before the race finished. That should have been no problem due to back up clocks, but there was because someone decided to put both clocks on the same circuit causing there to be no official time. So three IHSA starting officials had to make the decision on what to do.

All our hard work all season and sacrifices were in their hands. They decided to take the top two teams down to state, and since we got third place kaneland, who made qualifying time, was sadly left out of the race at state next weekend.

Many people in the community heard about this and were all just as upset if not more, that due to faulty equipment we were robbed at a chance to run at state.

If you go on twitter and look up #letkanelandrun you’ll see multiple schools, high school students from all ages, graduates, even parents are coming together to show their support for our 4×800 team to have a chance to run at state.

I don’t know if all the emails to IHSA and all the people tweeting them will make them reconsider their decision, but I just want to know that we at least tried and we aren’t going down without a fight.

Looking back at the end of the season with my teammates we know what we did that night at sectionals and everyone else there too knows if. We don’t need IHSA to tell us we qualified because we did and we killed it, and most of all we left it all on the track. I am sending this letter just to spread what happened to my team so that next year and the years to come no other team is robbed at something they deserved and worked all year for.

Thank you for taking time and reading my submission,

#letkanelandrun

Jessica Kucera
Junior
Kaneland High School

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2014 Girls Track & Field Preview: Making their mark

Photo: Freshman Nicole Sreenan looks to make an impact on the varsity level this season for Doug Ecker’s Lady Knights. Photo Submitted by Jocelyn Ocon

Lady Knights have rivals bracing for impact
KANELAND—Kaneland High School girls track always seems to have personnel that gets hot at the right time.

The postseason honors and red-hot streaks come sectional time are only possible thanks to hard work put in by young and old alike on the team.

KHS is hoping it’s no different in 2014.

“Overall, the team has been healthy, except for the normal illness from time to time,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

A year ago, Kaneland was chock-full of state finalists with PRs. Of those returning, Lauren Zick, future St. John’s University softball player, finished 11th in long jump. Aislinn Lodwig, Jessica Kucera and Sydney Strang were part of the ninth-place 4x800m relay. Brianna Bower broke a 26-year-old school record in the 3200m run, good for seventh. Victoria Clinton returns off a Florida triathlon and a 1600m qualifying berth from a year ago, as well.

The Lady Knights that have been to the elite grouping have a work ethic, but keep working. It also provides a dynamic with coaching.

“In track, for coaches who coach more than one event, it allows you to give a workout to one group to do on their own, at least in part while you can work with another group. In track and field, if they do not learn to be at least partly self-reliant they will not be successful,” Ecker said.

The veteran set is not only highlighted by Zick in the long jump, but fellow state-goer Christina Delach in the pole vault and Elle Tattoni in the throws.

“We have some freshmen along with several upperclassmen who may make an impact down the road, as we have a chance to develop them,” Ecker said.

On the track side, middle distance and distance personnel who know success are Strang, Bower, Kucera, Lodwig. They’re joined by freshman Becca Richtman. Sprints and hurdles include Zick, 4x400m State-qualifying member Allie Heinzer, Olivia Galor. Also invading the distance ranks is Kyla Goodine, who saw flashes of brilliance in regular season action. The Lady Knights are also joined by junior rookie Taylor Eaves, Nicole Sreenan and Carly Elliot for distance.

The Northern Illinois Big XII is no different in 2014, in terms of capable teams fighting for supremacy.

“Yorkville may be the team to beat. Geneseo is the three-time defending conference champions. It will come down to who has the most depth and can stay healthy,” Ecker said.

The outdoor season begins on Tuesday, April 8, at home against Burlington Central and Oregon. Kaneland’s Jill Holmes Invitational is Saturday, April 12, with Jenni’s ABC on Saturday, April 19. The Kane County Meet is hosted by Kaneland on Friday, May 2, with Dixon the host for the NIB-12 meet on Friday, May 9.

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Girls make strides in Hononegah

Photo: The Lady Knights track and field team secured fifth place in the 34-team Hononegah Classic Saturday. Photo by Ben Draper

ROCKTON, ILL.—A fifth-place finish is quite respectable, especially when it’s out of 34 teams.

The Lady Knights travelled north to Hononegah High School’s domed fieldhouse and came home with a lot of hardware.

In the team standings, Kaneland only trailed West Aurora (87), St. Charles East (76), Lakes (64.5) and Cary-Grove (52). Kaneland’s 50 points put them five ahead of Downers Grove South.

The KHS quartet of Nicole Sreenan, Lauren Zick, Becca Richtman and Allie Heinzer earned first place in the 4x400m relay, crusing to a 4 minutes, 14.94 time. That’s the fifth-fastest time in Class 2A so far this season in that event.

The 4x200m relay of Olivia Galor, Zick, Carly Elliott and Sreenan was edged at the line, placing second with a 1:52.22. Zick also placed second in the 200m dash with a 26.87.

In the 55m dash, it was Zick again, this time placing third with a 7.51, while Sreenan was sixth in 7.67.

Christina Delach was fourth in the pole vault with a leap of 9’ 6”.

Brianna Bower earned a fifth place in the 3200m with an 11:46.58 eight-lap tour of the track.

Allie Heinzer was sixth in the 400m dash (1:04.11) and the 4x800m relay of Sydney Strang, Richtman, Jessica Kucera and Aislinn Lodwig was also sixth with a 10:35.35.

The Lady Knights head to the Plainfield South Invitational Friday night at 5 p.m.

Girls cross country advances to Sectional

BURLINGTON, ILL.—One down, one to go in the Kaneland quest for the state meet.

Coach Doug Ecker’s crew, led by a sixth-place finish by sophomore Brianna Bower, secured fourth place at the competitive Burlington Central Regional last Saturday, and more importantly a spot at this Saturday’s Belvidere Sectional.

“The girls finished a respectable fourth at the very competitive 2A Regional,” Ecker said. “Brianna Bower ran her usual strong race to lead the team.”

Bower, running an 18 minute, 42.8 second time over the 3-mile course, was 24 seconds behind individual champion Vivian Overbeck of Vernon Hills.

Junior Victoria Clinton secured an 11th place finish with a time of 19:01 as the second KHS runner to finish. She was followed by three Lady Knights that were within seconds of each other: seniors Sydney Strang (19th, 19:56), Erika Carlson (20th, 19:58) and junior Aislinn Lodwig (22nd, 19:58) packed it up to finish the team’s scoring. Anna Piazza (33rd, 20:30) and Jessica Kucera (46th, 21:09) rounded out the top seven.

The Lady Knights, now ranked eighth in the latest DyestatIL poll released Tuesday, have their work cut out for them at the Belvidere Sectional.

Including the No. 8 Lady Knights, the sectional features No. 3 Crystal Lake Central, No. 5 Vernon Hills, No. 9 Lake Forest, No. 11 Marengo, No. 19 Belvidere North, No. 22 Woodstock and No. 23 Lakes. Only five teams qualify from the sectional to the state meet.

The sectional takes place on the grounds of Belvidere High School, with the girls racing for their chance at the state meet at 10 a.m.

No twist

KHS girls cross country wins Pretzel Invite
FREEPORT, Ill.—The Kaneland girls cross country team is getting healthy at the right time.

After their early schedule saw ups and downs with injuries, the group put together a solid effort at Freeport High School’s Pretzel Invitational on Saturday, winning the 11-team meet with 50 points, six ahead of runner-up Boylan’s 56.

Head coach Doug Ecker was pleased with his team after their performance. It was the third year in a row the Lady Knights have been victorious at the land of the Pretzel.

“The girls continue to show improvement both individually and as a team as the season progresses,” he said.

Defending 2A State Champion Victoria Clinton led the way for KHS, posting a second-place finish with a time of 17 minutes, 52 seconds. Freeport’s Ellie Willging was first in 17:47.

Brianna Bower was next for the Lady Knights, posting a fifth-place finish in a time of 18:08.

“Bower continued her string of top 10 finishes,” Ecker said. “(It was) a 30-second improvement over last year.”

Newcomer Abby Shaw contributed as the No. 3 Saturday, placing 13th with a time of 19:41.

Erika Carlson continued to improve as well, besting her 2012 time by 60 seconds, placing 14th in 19:41 this year. Sydney Strang cracked the top five once again, by placing 16th with a time of 19:54.

Rounding out the Lady Knights were Anna Piazza (23rd, 20:28), Aislinn Lodwig (29th, 20:36) and Jessica Kucera (35th, 21:46).

Up next for the Lady Knights is another trip to Sterling on Saturday for the Sterling Invitational. Racing begins at 9 a.m.

In the right direction

Girls CC looks for October improvements
STERLING, ILL.—As the calendar turns to October, it’s time for cross country teams to start coming together and jelling.

The Kaneland girls cross country squad decided to start a little early, with a solid effort in their annual late September stop at Saturday’s Rock River Run, hosted by Sterling High School.

The Lady Knights were third out of the 15 teams with 134 points, behind only Belvidere North (117) and champion Geneva (49). Northern Illinois Big XII conference-mate Dixon actually tied KHS with 134 points, but Kaneland’s sixth runner, Anna Piazza, broke the tie by placing 49th—Dixon’s sixth runner placed 69th.

Kaneland was led by the 1-2 tandem of sophomore Brianna Bower and junior Victoria Clinton. Bower cracked the top 10, placing eighth with a time of 18 minutes, 58 seconds. Clinton was nearby, placing 13th in 19:19.

“Brianna Bower and Victoria Clinton once again ran solid races to lead the varsity,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “Both are looking to make some dramatic improvement in the next few weeks.”

Senior Erika Carlson was the next Lady Knight to finish, placing 35th in 20:23. Junior Jessica Kucera placed 42nd in 20:35, and freshman Abby Shaw closed out the KHS scoring by placing 48th in personal-best 20:57.

“Erika Carlson continues to impress each week with her consistent effort and improvement,” Ecker said.

Also competing for the varsity race were Piazza (55th, 21:12), Noelle Espino (62nd, 21:29), Sydney Strang (64th, 21:32), Aislinn Lodwig (68th, 21:42), Murphy Garcia (135th, 24:34), Grace Drake (146th, 25:27) Christina Delach (147th, 25:31) and Kayla Hedgren (155th, 26:35).

The freshman/sophomore team also placed fourth in the meet, led by top 15 efforts by Katie Huber (7th, 22:29) and Carly Barholomew (15th, 23:02).

Next up, the girls cross country team heads north to the home of the Pretzels for the Freeport Invitational Saturday at 9 a.m.

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Steady effort at Eddington for girls XC

ELBURN—If one wants to see the quality of the Kaneland girls cross country lineup, one just needs to see the results from the traditional late September staple, the Eddington Inviite

The Elburn Woods-housed event saw the Kaneland group manage an above-average third-place finish out of the 17 teams running on Saturday.

Kaneland’s 122-point total was behind Geneva’s 64 and Crystal Lake Central’s 79. Kaneland bumped Rosary out of the top three by six points, while Belvidere North, at 131, snuck into the top five.

Rounding out the top 10 were Marengo (150), Waubonsie Valley (180), Glenbard East (206), Burlington Central (226) and Hampshire (262).

Kelsey Schrader of DeKalb outlasted the rest of the field with a winning time of 18 minutes, 30.5 seconds.

For Kaneland, sophomore Brianna Bower was the fastest of the black-and-white clad group at 19:16.6, good for fifth overall and a personal best. Junior teammate and State champ Victoria Clinton, in her first 2013 invitational race, was 12th at 19:49.6, followed by junior Jessica Kucera, who took 28th overall at 20:47. Senior Erika Carlson was next for KHS at 21:16.8 for 37th place, and sophomore Noelle Espino was 46th overall at 21:38.7 for her sophomore run of the Eddington.

“(I’m) very happy with the overall effort of all the girls today. Carlson, Kucera and Espino all ran personal best for 3 miles on any course and really competed today on a tough course,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

Bower tried to make the most of her home-based opportunity.

“It was really nice, and it was cool and perfect weather to run a race today,” Bower said. “We’re still working up our team with Victoria injured and Sydney (Strang) not feeling good and still trying to get healthy.”
Freshman Abby Shaw showed her strides by finishing as the top Lady Knight in the frosh-soph leg of the morning at 22:25.2, good for 13th place.

Coming up for Kaneland girls cross country is the usual Rock River Run in Sterling, Ill., on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Individual focus

Short-handed Lady Knights look for individual gains

WAUCONDA, Ill.—Without assets like senior Sydney Strang and junior Victoria Clinton in the lineup, the Lady Knights traveled to Wauconda’s 23-team Invitational held Saturday. Head coach Doug Ecker’s ladies finished 14th in the team standings with 390 points, sandwiched between Grant’s 354 and Richmond-Burton’s 400. Cary-Grove (88) won a close battle for first over Lake Zurich (82) and Crystal Lake Central (97). Lake Forest (123) and West Chicago (153) rounded out the top five teams.

Last year, Kaneland finished second only to Crystal Lake Central.

Kaneland sophomore Brianna Bower continued he impressive streak of meets, placing ninth in the 154-girl field with a time of 18 minutes, 44.36 seconds over the rolling hills of Lakewood Forest Preserve. Bower improved over her 2012 time by over 50 seconds when she placed 21st as a freshman.

Senior Erika Carlson was the next KHS runner to cross the finish line, placing 64th with a personal-best time of 20:47. Jessica Kucera (90th, 21:17), Noelle Espino (92nd, 21:20) and Anna Piazza (145th, 24:15) rounded out the KHS varsity.

Next up for the girls cross country squad is the 44th Annual Eddington Cross Country Invitational at Elburn Woods Saturday, Sept. 21. The morning kicks off with the girls varsity race at 9 a.m. The fr/so girls run at 10:15 a.m., and girls open at 11:45 a.m.

“We hope to have our full varsity team running in the next two to three weeks so the girls will continue to focus on individual improvement at this meet,” Ecker said.

Parking for the Eddington Invite will be at Kaneland High School, with regular shuttles available.

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Oregon trail

Photo: Kaneland senior Sydney Strang continued her solid start to the season, earning a fourth-place finish in Oregon, Ill., Saturday. File Photo

Lady Harriers run strong Saturday
OREGON, Ill.—The Lady Knights trekked to Oregon High School Saturday, and left with numerous individual accolades.

In a meet where no team score was kept, Kaneland placed six girls in the top 30 in the varsity race.

Brianna Bower again led the way with a time of 20 minutes, 32 seconds, which was good for third place overall. She was followed closely by Sydney Strang in fourth place, with a time of 20:42. Jessica Kucera also cracked the top ten, placing ninth with a time of 21:26.

“The three mile hilly Oregon High School course is very challenging on a good day to run,” head coach Doug Ecker said. “Today with the hot, humid, sunny conditions, all the girls did a very good job.”

Rounding out the Lady Knights varsity was Anna Piazza (15th, 22:00), Erika Carlson (17th, 22:14) and Noelle Espino (29th, 22:56).

The good times continued in the girls open race, as KHS placed three freshmen in the top five, led by Abby Shaw’s individual win in a time of 22:12.1. Katie Huber (3rd, 23:19) and Grace Dodis (4th, 23:48) were solid as well.

“The three freshmen running their first three mile high school race under today’s conditions were impressive,” Ecker said.

Rounding out the KHS open runners were Brianna Booton (11th, 24:27), Lilah Klingersmith (12th, 24:47), Sarah Daily (16th, 25:27), Carly Bartholomew (23rd, 26:09), Haley Penkala (27th, 26:21), Samantha Sommerville (31st, 26:59), Grace Drake (32nd, 27:08), Christina Delach (33rd, 27:09), Murphy Garcia (38th, 27:29) and Kayla Hedgren (46th, 28:45).

Kaneland canceled a triangular meet Tuesday at Elburn Woods against East Aurora and Yorkville due to hot conditions.

The Lady Knights next travel north to the Wauconda Invitational Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

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Bower’s way

Photo: Sophomore Brianna Bower earned her first individual cross country victory in Tuesday’s season opener at Elburn Woods. Photo by Ben Draper

Sophomore takes individual win in season opener
ELBURN—Many runners start a cross country race, but only one gets to win.

On an afternoon where runners finally were able to escape the heat that plagued them the previous week, the Lady Knights opened up with their usual four-team meet against Hinckley-Big Rock, West Chicago and Wheaton Academy, led by the sophomore’s individual win.

When the dust settled, Kaneland finished third as a team with 48 points, behind winner West Chicago’s 38 and Wheaton Academy’s 42. H-BR did not field a full team.

Highlighting the afternoon for KHS was Bower’s win, followed by a second-place showing by senior Sydney Strang.

Bower covered the 2.42 mile course in 15 minutes, 14 seconds, 37 seconds ahead of Strang.

A 2013 track all-stater in the 3200m, Bower was happy with how she ran.

“It feels great,” she said. “I just didn’t know what to expect,but I think this year is going to be a good one and I’m really excited to race.”

It was Bower’s first individual win in cross country.

Returning 2A state champion Victoria Clinton was the third Lady Knight to cross the finish line, placing 11th with a time of 16:33. Rounding out the top five were junior Jessica Kucera (16:51) and senior Anna Piazza (17:31).

“Overall they felt good about how they ran, and I was pleased with their performances for the first meet of the season,” said KHS head coach Doug Ecker.

The girls cross country team travels to the Oregon Invitational this Saturday at 9:30 a.m., and then hosts East Aurora and Yorkville at Elburn Woods next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Kaneland results:

1. Bower 15:14
2. Strang 15:51
11. Clinton 16:33
14. Kucera 16:51
20. Piazza 17:31
22. Carlson 18:04
23. Espino 18:10
24. Shaw 18:11
25. Huber 18:25
37. Booton 19:55
38. Dodis 19:55
40. Havlin 20:10
41. Klingensmith 20:10
42. Coyle 20:14
43. Sommerville 20:18
45. Pankala 20:54
47. Batholomew 21:09
48. Garcia 21:09
51. Delach 21:24
52. Hedgren 21:54

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2013 Girls CC Preview: Breezing past

Photo: Tuesday’s high temperatures kept the girls cross country team indoors, but the Lady Knights won’t be cooled off this season. Kaneland is currently ranked 4th in DyestatIL.com’s preseason poll, and still feature returning state champion Victoria Clinton. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

Clinton, young company look to maintain area standing
KANELAND—There is only one way to try and eclipse a third-place sectional finish for Kaneland High School girls cross country.

For the remaining Lady Knights and new charges, it’s go about their business.

Kaneland rose to the occasion at the Belvidere Sectional, and returning junior Victoria Clinton outpaced the entire Class 2A field enroute to becoming State champ as Kaneland earned a sixth-place finish.

The sixth-place total, coupled with conference rival Yorkville’s first-place, showed the depth of talent in the area, and a high standard for KHS to maintain.

“It’ll be  a totally different  kind of team.  They’re going  to be young,  but they’ll be good.  It’ll take time to  figure it out.” KHS girls cross country coach Doug Ecker
“It’ll be
a totally different
kind of team.
They’re going
to be young,
but they’ll be good.
It’ll take time to
figure it out.”
KHS girls cross country coach
Doug Ecker

Gone from the top seven are runners like Amanda Lesak, Maggie Brundige and Abby Dodis. But Kaneland coach Doug Ecker believes in the team’s talent and work ethic to achieve similar heights and negate deficiencies.

“We lost four seniors, but we don’t have as much depth, so we can’t afford to lose anybody,” Ecker said. “It’ll be a totally different kind of team. They’re going to be young, but they’ll be good. It’ll take time to figure it out.”

It could be a case of learning on the job.

“Take someone like Brianna Bower, she ran 34th in the State meet and the traction got her confidence going. She’ll be much stronger,” Ecker said.

Clinton, Bower, Sydney Strang and Aislinn Lodwig are the returnees from the postseason lineup of a year ago.

Girls Cross Country seniors: Erika Carlson, Anna Piazza, Sydney Strang and Christina Delach. Not pictured: Riley Coyle and Kayla Hedgren.
Girls Cross Country seniors:
Erika Carlson, Anna Piazza, Sydney Strang and Christina Delach. Not pictured: Riley Coyle and Kayla Hedgren.

“Last year was an amazing year for Sydney, she was out the first two-thirds of the season with pneumonia. You don’t come back from that and she finished 38th in the State meet. The talent and the attitude is there, it’s just a matter of staying healthy,” Ecker said.

The roster consists of seniors Erika Carlson, Riley Coyle, Christina Delach, Kayla Hedgren, Anna Piazza and Strang. Juniors are Clinton, Grace Drake, Murphy Garcia, Sam Havlin, Jessica Kucera and Lodwig. Sophomores are Carly Bartholomew, Brianna Booton, Bower, Noelle Espino, Lilah Klingensmith, Haley Penkala and Sam Somerville. Freshman are Sarah Daley, Grace Dodis, Abigail Mejia, Cassidy Garland, Katie Huber and Abby Shaw.

“You always want the team to err on the side of caution in high school, and as they get older and stronger they’ll do more. Clinton is like that and the amazing thing is she’s a triathlete first and runner second,” Ecker said.

KHS will need its mix of experience and youth to do battle with the area.

“Yorkville is obviously the favorite and will be strong all the way through, and DeKalb comes back as a 2A school with Kelsey Schrader and Sycamore will be better,” Ecker said.

The girls cross country team hosts their first meet on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Junior Lauren Zick placed second in the long jump at the Jill Holmes Invitational Saturday with a leap of 16 feet, 9.5 inches. Photo by Patti Wilk

Big win, small margin

KHS earns slim team win at home meet
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—There’s nothing like seeing what you’re made of on your home track.

Kaneland girls track has a lot of substance and talent, based on the first-place output at the annual Jill Holmes Invite on Saturday.

The 160.5-point output from the Lady Knights beat Northern Illinois Big XII rival DeKalb by one.

Hononegah, Oswego East and Rosary rounded out the top five with 120.5, 118.5 and 108, respectively.

Rival Sycamore took sixth with 77 points, while Burlington Central was seventh with 63. Familiar foe to the north Belvidere took 11th with 21 points.

Capable senior Ashley Castellanos left the 200 meter dash field in her wake with a first-place finals effort of 27.49 seconds, .2 seconds better than Belvidere’s Kelsey Stone, while junior Lauren Zick’s 59.80 time in the 400m dash earned a first as well.

Junior Sydney Strang took fourth in the 800m run finals with a time of 2:27.75, and teammates Victoria Clinton (5:29.40) and Brianna Bower (5:34.66) acclimated themselves well in the 1600m run, taking second and third, respectively.

Bower came back to finish second in the finals of the 3200m run, thanks to a finish of 11:53.04, while senior Abby Dodis took fourth at 12:41.27.

Lady Knight Amanda Lesak battled through the 300m low hurdles final field to take fourth with an effort of 51.52.

In the 4x100m relay race, Kaneland’s foursome of Kaltrina Ismaili, Allie Heinzer, Olivia Galor and Zick won the field with a time of 51.34 in the finals.

Ismaili, Lesak, Strang and Heinzer managed a fourth for the 4x400m relay finals, thanks to a 4:23.17 time, while Lesak, Jessica Kucera, Clinton and Strang won the 4x800m relay race at 10:17.5

Junior Christina Delach’s second place in the pole vault was due to an effort of eight feet, six inches, while Zick’s 16-9.5 was second in the long jump finals.

Castellanos put in productive field time with a second-place 35-6.25 in the triple jump.

The throwing events were handled quite well by sophomore Elle Tattoni.

The KHS talent took fourth in the shot put at 29-11.25, and claimed the discus mantle at 101-04.

Tattoni was glad to get outdoors for track competition and is seeing what works with plenty of time left in the season.

“I was a little shaky on that first Tuesday meet,” Tattoni said. “Now it’s early in the season and the weather’s warming up, so we should be good. I’m seeing what works and trying some new things.”

The Lady Knights also did battle with host Sycamore on Tuesday and returned home on the wrong end of a 73-63 result.

The Lady Knights head to Ottawa for the ABC Invitational on Friday, April 12, followed by Jenni’s ABC Meet on Saturday, April 13, in Maple Park.

KHS fall sports announce awards

Kaneland—The Kaneland High School fall sports programs recently concluded their respective awards nights.

Cross Country—Boys
• Most Valuable Runner: Kyle Carter, Conor Johnson
• Most Improved Runner: Nathaniel Kucera
• Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength—Nick Messina
• Captains—Kyle Carter, Conor Johnson, Brad Kigyos
• Golden Knight Award—Freshman: Kyle Osborne; Sophomore: Andrew Lesak; Junior: Ryan Bower; Senior: Gus Stott
• State Qualifiers—Kyle Carter, Conor Johnson, Nathaniel Kucera, John Meisinger, Ryan Bower, Brandon Huber, Ryan Paulson, Luis Acosta
• All Conference—Kyle Carter

Cross Country—Girls
• Captains—Abby Dodis, Maggie Brundige, Ashley Castellanos
• Most Improved Runner—Jessica Kucera, Sydney Strang
• Most Valuable Runner—Victoria Clinton
• All Conference—Victoria Clinton, Brianna Bower, Abby Dodis, Sydney Strang, Amanda Lesak
• State Qualifiers—Victoria Clinton, Aislinn Lodwig, Sydney Strang, Abby Dodis, Ashley Castellanos, Maggie Brundige, Amanda Lesak, Brianna Bower
• All State, State Champion—Victoria Clinton

Football
• Captains—Blake Bradford, Ryan Lawrence, Dan Goress, Kory Harner, Nick Sharp
• Most Improved Player—Bradley Johnson
• Most Valuable Player—Blake Bradford
• Offensive MVP—Zach Martinelli
• Defensive MVP—Gary Koehring
• Special Teams MVP—Matt Rodriguez
• NIB XII All Conference—Zach Theis, Nick Sharpe, Alex Snyder, Zach Martinelli, Jesse Balluff, Drew David, Justin Diddell, Jaumaureo Phillips, Blake Bradford, Kory Harner, Gary Koehring, Ryan Lawrence, Matt Rodriguez

Golf
• Varsity Most Improved Player—Jessy Denton
• Varsity MVP—Matt Yonkovich
• Fresh/Soph MVP—Jeremy Faletto
• Fresh/Soph Most Improved Player—Tori Guyton, C.J. Wehrmann
• All Conference—Matt Yonkovich, Connor Williams, Brody Kuhar, Luke Kreiter
• State Qualifiers—Connor Williams, Luke Kreiter, Matt Yonkovick, Brody Kuhar, Dan Miller, Sean Glennon

Soccer
• Captains—Alex Gil, Anthony Parillo, Marshall Farthing, Sam Rymarz, Alec Koczka, Ivan Bohorquez
• Most Improved Player—Jason Biddle, Marshall Farthing
• Most Valuable Player—Alex Gil, Anthony Parillo
• Rookie of the Year—Ivan Bohorquez
• Coach’s Award—Tyler Siebert, Alec Koczka, Chris Van Dinther, J.T. Karr
• Offensive Player of the Year—Anthony Parillo
• Defensive Player of the Year—Sam Rymarz
• Player of the Year—Anthony Parillo
• All Conference—Marshall Farthing, Alex Gil, Anthony Parillo, Alec Koczka, Sam Rymarz
• All Conference-Honorable Mention—Arsim Azemi
• All Sectional-Honorable Mention—Arsim Azemi
• All Sectional—Alex Gil, Marshall Farthing
• All State—Anthony Parillo

Tennis
• Team Spirit Awards—Varsity: Jess Woodward; JV: Katelyn Blaszynski
• Most Improved Awards—Varsity: Colleen Landers; JV: Mallory Dugan
• MVP—Sarah Grams, Stephanie Zwick
• Outstanding Achievement Awards—School Record: 38 wins—Madison Jurcenko, Angelica Emmanouil; 1st Singles player to qualify for the State Tournament—Samantha Schrepferman
• State Qualifiers—Madison Jurcenko, Angelica Emmanouil, Samantha Schrepferman
• All Conference—Madison Jurcenko, Angelica Emmanouil, Samantha Schrepferman, Sarah Grams

Volleyball
• Most Improved Player—Emily Laudont, Keri Groen
• Spirit Award—Rachael Clinton
• MVP—Jenny Lubic
• Top Offensive Player—Ellie Dunn
• Top Defensive Player—Shayna Tucek
• All Conference—Ellie Dunn, Lauren Banbury

Girls pound Pretzel Invite field

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was the 36th annual Pretzel Invite hosted by Freeport High School on Saturday, but the only number that mattered was “1.”

That will go on the Kaneland High School girls cross country team’s mantle for the 2012 season.

With strong performances that have been no strange phenomenon for the KHS crew, the squad amassed 35 points by finishing with five of the top 15 runners.

Kaneland took first, while Rock Falls finished second with 56. Winnebago took third with a total of 63 and Boylan Catholic from Rockford was fourth with 87.

Sophomore Victoria Clinton beat the pack once again, garnering a first-place nod with a 17 minute, 18 second time, 22 seconds ahead of Winnebago’s Cheyenne Moore.

Next up for Kaneland was freshman Brianna Bower, who’s PR time of 18:50 was fourth overall.

“We did not have any expectations but we knew (Brower) was talented, likes to run, and works hard,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “(She) has a good mindset for running distance.”

Senior Abby Dodis was next for the KHS lineup, taking fifth at 18:58. Fellow Lady Knight runner Amanda Lesak was 12th at 19:33, while sophomore Aislinn Lodwig rounded out the elite five in 19:49, good for 15th.

Jessica Kucera placed 24th, Sydney Strang 29th, and Ashley Castellanos took 32nd to round out the varsity runners.

The JV-level Lady Knights also won their race, led by overall winner and first-year runner Erika Carlson, who won with a time of 20:41.

Kaneland varsity runners don’t suit up until Saturday, Oct. 13, for the Northern Illinois Big XII meet hosted by LaSalle-Peru.

Part of the elite

Photo: The varsity girls make their start at the Eddington Cross Country Invitational on Saturday at Elburn Woods. In center is Victoria Clinton (No. 355), who was the Northern Illinois Big-12 Conference Champion last year as a freshman and placed ninth individually at the state meet. Photos by Ryan Wells

KHS girls XC team proves it belongs among top tier
by Ryan Wells
Kaneland—As hundreds of runners and spectators descended on Elburn Woods Saturday for the annual Kaneland Eddington Invitational, the Kaneland High School Lady Knight cross country team proved it has what it takes to be among the top teams in the state.

Kaneland took fifth as a team in the highly competitive field, with 117 team points. Jacobs earned the top spot as a team, with 73 points. Marengo placed second with 93, followed by Geneva (102) and Crystal Lake Central (109). Kaneland closed out the top five with 117.

“Obviously, we’re pleased with a fifth-place showing in such a tough field of competitors,” KHS head coach Doug Ecker said.

Not only did the team overall demonstrate that it is among the top tier in the state, individuals showed they belong in the lead group as well.

For Aislinn Lodwig, a Kaneland sophomore who battled through an illness and a painful foot, the competitive atmosphere of the large-scale race was a significant motivator.

“With more teams it just makes me feel better about how I did,” Lodwig said. “I know I can stick with more people than the usual (races), where it’s more spaced out during the race. This course is one of the hardest to run with the huge hills, and it really takes a toll on you.”

Lodwig was the sixth Lady Knight to cross the finish line, with a time of 21:08.

Leading Kaneland was sophomore Victoria Clinton, who took third overall and ran as part of the lead pack throughout the entire course.

Like Lodwig, Clinton’s race served as proof that she was able to reach the goals she had set for herself coming into the race. She took third overall with a time of 18:07.

“My goal was to finish in the top three,” Clinton said. “It was a fast race today; good competition was out here.”

Clinton stayed in the front group that included returning Class 2A champ Sami Staples, a sophomore from Crystal Lake Central, and Katie Adams, a senior from Marengo. The trio was three-fourths of the lead pack, and set a hard pace from the start.

“The first part, we went out really fast, and then I felt it in the (middle); we picked up the pace at the end, and I just had a mental goal to be in the top three; and God allowed me to have a good, fun race,” Clinton said.

Freshman Brianna Bower was the second Lady Knight to finish, taking 20th overall with a time of 19:59.

“That’s a very strong time for our tough home course,” Ecker said.

Bower said she was able to push through a bit of nerves, since it was her first time running in such a significant race at home.

“I felt good today; I was nervous at first. It ended up turning out OK,” she said.

Senior Amanda Lesak placed 29th for Kaneland. She led a Kaneland mini-pack, helping push a trio of Lady Knights to a seven-second split in their three-through-five runners. Lesak credited that trio for the team’s solid finish.

“A lot of my teammates really helped me and pushed me,” she said. “We all push each other so we can push the pace a little bit.”

Lesak said that the fast start was anticipated because of the nature of the Elburn Woods course.

“The first mile is always the fastest, because everybody wants to get a good spot,” she said. “Usually people find their pace and find the people they want to run with and settle down a little bit.”

The people Lesak ran with were Kaneland senior Abby Dodis, who finished 31st with a time of 20:30, and senior Maggie Brundige, who took 34th with a time of 20:33.

Sophomore Jessica Kucera paired up with Lodwig to take 52nd overall with a time of 21:10.

“It was great to see Lodwig and Kucera team up on the last portion of the course,” Ecker said.

Each runner faced individual challenges and reached for individual goals, as well as working together to meet the team goal and push each other. Ecker said this is part of the program’s plan as the final stretch run of the season looms ahead.

“This appears to be a deep team—and we need everyone fighting to push forward and get stronger for the conference meet and post-season run,” Ecker said.

High-end showing for girls XC

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Despite a long drive up Route 47, the Lady Knights girls cross country unit shook off the effects and left all but one roster in its wake on Saturday.

For the 36th annual Wauconda Invite, Kaneland finished second out of 24 teams with 111 team points, second only to Crystal Lake Central’s 86.

Kaneland’s next closest foe was Mundelein High School with 126 points.

“The girls started their ‘invitational season’ on a positive note,” KHS head cross country coach Doug Ecker said.

Lady Knight sophomore Victoria Clinton continued to run well in the first crowded invite of the season, with only 2011 State champ Sami Staples of CLC beating her out.

Clinton ran the course in 18 minutes, 11.58 seconds. Staples won the race in 18:08.12.

Freshman Brianna Bower continues to be a force to be reckoned with early in 2012 with a 21st place finish at 19:34.70.

“Brianna Bower continues to learn and improve with each race,” Ecker said.

Close behind was teammate Abby Dodis in 28th with a time of 19:53.58, as well as fellow Lady Knight Maggie Brundige in 29th, just .02 behind.

Rounding out Kaneland High School’s top five was Amanda Lesak at 19:56.94, good for 31st.

Ecker thought it was a positive start to the slew of weekend invites ahead and pointed out yet more KHS athletes.

“All three seniors had strong races, and sophomore Jessica Kucera ran a PR of over a minute (20.09.69) and she continues to build on her successful track season last year,” Ecker said.

KHS girls cross country heads to very familiar territory: Elburn Woods for the annual Eddington Invite this Saturday, Sept. 15.

Girls XC impresses in Oregon

Photo: Jessica Kucera (left) and Maggie Brundige catch up to the West Chicago runners at the finish of the triangular meet with Wheaton Academy and West Chicago at Elburn Woods Aug. 28. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Lady Knights cross country is still getting into the swing of things in 2012, and their best way is to do it in stride.

On a windy Saturday in Oregon, Ill., the Kaneland unit excelled in a wide field on a day when no team scores were kept at the Oregon Invite.

The open race that was 70 runners strong had Kaneland boasting four of the top 10 runners.

While Bureau Valley High School’s Reagan Weidner took the individual mantle with a time of 19 minutes, 30.4 seconds on the three-mile course, Kaneland representation followed soon after.

Sophomore Victoria Clinton paved the way for her colors at 19:34.4 and second place, followed by freshman Brianna Bower at 19:54.1.

“The order is what I thought it might be,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “But they will not always finish in the same order in every meet. Victoria will most likely be the number-one runner most of the time, but the order among the others will change, as it should, if all the girls are healthy and running well.”

In fifth place, senior leader Abby Dodis managed a 20:17.3 time.

Fellow senior Amanda Lesak rounded out the immediate Kaneland charge with a time of 20:32 in ninth place.

Tuesday’s meet at home against visiting East Aurora and Yorkville saw the Lady Knights sweep through the competition on their way to a dual meet win, earning a best-possible 15 points. Yorkville placed second in the tri-meet, with 67 points, followed by East Aurora’s 94 points.

Clinton broke away from the pack and took first overall with a time of 20:01. Dodis took second with a time of 21:29, followed by Maggie Brundige (21:44), Brianna Bower (21:59), Lesak (22:42), Jessica Kucera (23:01), Aislinn Lodwig (23:17) and Sydney Strang (24:01), who completed the Kaneland domination.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a Saturday, Sept. 8, meet at the Wauconda Invite.

Front-loaded

Lady Knight XC opens season with win by taking 4 of 5 top spots

Kaneland—Kaneland High School’s girls cross country team on Tuesday started its season on the right foot, earning a victory in a tri-meet over West Chicago and Wheaton Academy on Tuesday.

The Lady Knights took four of the top five spots in the meet on their way to a 28-point team total. West Chicago took second with 43 points, followed by Wheaton Academy’s 57 points.

Victoria Clinton was the top runner overall, leading the Lady Knights with a 15:01 time. Abby Dodis took third for Kaneland, with a time of 16:01. Brianna Bower earned fourth at 16:26, and Amanda Lesak closed out the overall top five with a time of 15:56.

Kaneland helped its cause with a pack of Lady Knights closing out their top seven as Jessica Kucera (17:22), Maggie Brundidge (17:25) and Catherine Deno (17:30) taking 15th through 17th place.

Kaneland will travel to the Oregon Invite on Saturday, Sept. 1, with a 9:15 a.m. start.

Girls Cross Country Preview: Big returns

Photo: The KHS girls cross country team race out of the starting line in last year’s action at Elburn Woods. The Lady Knights’ home opener is Tuesday, Aug. 28. Freshman Aislinn Lodwig (below) ended her season in 2011 with a 59th-place finish, passing 25 runners in the last half-mile at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill. File Photos

Familiar core could equal success for girls XC
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—How can you replace a Lady Knights girls cross country squad that finished eighth in the Class 2A meet a year ago?

It’s relatively easy when nearly the entire team returns to do it all over again. Now, they’re a year older, more experienced, and battle-tested.

Paced by sophomore Victoria Clinton’s ninth-place finish, senior Maggie Brundige’s 35th-place finish and sophomore Aislinn Lodwig’s 59th-place at the Peoria gathering a year ago, Kaneland has a unique benefit of bringing back a team familiar with success.

“Every runner’s different, and they have individual goals,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “I think we’ll have good depth, but I’m not sure of the order.”

Sydney Strang, Abby Dodis, Amanda Lesak and Ashley Castellanos rounded out the top seven and bring upperclassmen leadership.

“Lesak saved us last year for never having been a distance runner, and finished 80th in the State meet, and she’s strong. They all bring depth,” Ecker said.

A KHS athlete would need to be exceptional to break through the upper echelon of the team this year.

“You throw in the eighth-grader from last year, Brianna Bower, who’s very talented, and we’ll go pretty deep,” Ecker said.

Ecker also touted Jessica Kucera as a possible contributor to a winning pace.

“We just have to get better and find out what they do and their goal; my goal is to get them to a State meet,” Ecker said.

The full roster will be needed in order to compete against not only the State field, but the ultra-competitive Northern Illinois Big XII Conference.

“You had four teams from the conference finish in the top 11 in the state (Yorkville, Kaneland, DeKalb and Dixon). Yorkville’s lost their top three, but they return an All-State runner and they’ll be strong again. Dixon will be good,” Ecker said.

The 2012 quest begins on Tuesday, Aug. 28, against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy at Elburn Woods.

Varsity roster
Seniors
Carolina Tovar
Juniors
Maggie Brundige Abby Dodis
Angalia Carbonara Lisa Jennings
Ashley Castellanos Amanda Lesak
Natasha Ring
Sophomores
Anna Piazza Sydney Strang Victoria Clinton Aislinn Lodwig
Freshmen
Jessica Kucera
Breanna Geller
Katrina Ismaili

Varsity Girls Cross Country Schedule
• Tuesday, Aug. 28; 4:30 p.m.
Home against Wheaton Admy.,
West Chicago
• Saturday, Sept. 1; 9:15 a.m.
At Oregon Invite
• Tuesday, Sept. 4; 4:30 p.m.
Home against E. Aurora, Yorkville
• Saturday, Sept. 8; 8:30 a.m.
At Wauconda Invite
• Saturday, Sept. 15; 9 a.m.
Home—Eddington Meet
• Saturday, Sept. 22; 9 a.m.
At Rock River Run—Sterling
• Saturday, Sept. 29; 9:30 a.m.
At Freeport Pretzel Invite
• Saturday, Oct. 6; 9 a.m.
At Sterling Invite
• Saturday, Oct. 13; 9 a.m.
At LaSalle Peru
NIB XII Conference

Spring kind to Kaneland athletics in awards season

Photo: Delani Vest capped a stellar senior season for Lady Knights softball by nabbing the NIB-12 MVP honor. File photo

KANELAND—A highly successful 2011-12 spring season was recognized with team awards dished out earlier this week, as well as honors from the end-of-year senior athletic banquet.

Awards were released on June 3.

Leading the charge was sectional semifinalist softball, which boasted the Northern Illinois Big XII MVP in pitcher Delani Vest. Joining the senior on the all-conference list was Paige Kuefler, Hayley Contorno, Allyson O’Herron and McKinzie Mangers, with teammate Lexi Roach an honorable mention.

Vest, Mangers, O’Herron and Sam Hansen were recognized as captains. O’Herron was named defensive player of the year, while Roach was named most improved player. Kuefler and Lanie Callaghan were named co-offensive players of the year, while Contorno and Kristen Gabrielson took home the Lady Knight award.

The senior athletic banquet awards recognized University of Wisconsin-Whitewater bound Sean Carter as Male Athlete of the Year, Kelly Evers as Female Athlete of the Year, Clayton Brundige as the Male Birkette award winner for dedication, and both Evers and Katy Dudzinski as the Female Birkette award for dedication recipient.

For boys track, Carter was named the Track MVP, while Nate Dyer took home the Field MVP honors. Brundige and Brandon Stahl were co-winners of the Drendel Award. Brundige, Carter, Miki Marin, Stahl, Nate Rehkopf, Kelvin Peterson and Mitch Dienst were recognized as captains. Dylan Nauert was named the winner of the Ron Probst award.

Finally, Kaneland’s boys track group of Luis Acosta, Brandon Bishop, Kyle Carter, Sean Carter, Dyer, Shane Jorgensen, Nate Kucera, Nauert, Tanner Andrews, Brandon Cottier, Marshall Farthing, Kory Harner, Conor Johnson, Dylan Pennington, Brundige and Marin were recognized as All NIB-12.

Meanwhile, the 11 State qualifiers were also lauded for their trip to Eastern Illinois University.

For Knights baseball, Tom Fox, Drew Peters, John Hopkins, Trevor Storck, Jake Razo and Tyler Heinle were named to the All NIB-12 team, with Bryan VanBogaert an honorable mention.

VanBogaert, Storck and Ray Barry took home the most improved player nods, and Trever Heinle was the recipient of the 41 Award in memory of Jeff Malewig. Fox was named the offensive MVP and Tyler Heinle was named defensive MVP, with Razo nabbed Mr. Kaneland Baseball for 2012.

The girls track season yielded quite the prestigious awards, with Amanda Lesak, Jessica Kucera, Maggie Brundige, Sydney Strang, Jen Howland, Lauren Zick and Kaltrina Ismaili being recognized as state qualifiers.

Christina Delach, Nicole Ketza, Elle Tattoni, Lesak, Gabby Aguirre, Strang, Zick, Ismaili and Howland also secured Northern Illinois Big XII honors.

Carolina Tovar and Ketza were recognized for their work as captains. Lesak took home the team’s most improved trophy.

The Track MVP honor was given to Strang, while the Field MVP honor went to Tattoni.

Kaneland soccer congratulated Jess Coia, Jordan Ginther, Delaney Stryczek and Katie Taylor for making All NIB-12, while Brittany Olson made the honorable mention list.

Melissa Bohorquez, Ginther, Taylor and Taylor White were recognized as captains, while Brooke Harner was named Most Improved Player for the Lady Knights.

Courtney Diddell and Madi Jurcenko capped impressive campaigns by garnering Rookie of the Year honors.

Taylor Opperman, Heather Ortiz and Stryczek were named winners of the Coach’s Award.

Michelle Ortiz and Olson were named winners of the Lady Knights Award, while the co-MVPs were revealed as Taylor and Ginther.

Girls track sees 2 finalists at 2A State meet

Photo: Sydney Strang was part of Lady Knight relay action during the Class 2A State meet in Charleston, Ill. Courtesy Photo

KANELAND—While it wasn’t on the scale of the final finish in 2011, the Lady Knights track outfit still came out of the weekend at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. with elite totals in terms of the rest of the state.

When the dust settled from the Friday and Saturday meet, the top finishers brandishing Kaneland duds were Sydney Strang and Jen Howland.

Strang, the lone Lady Knight to make it from prelims to finals on the weekend, qualified for the final 800 meter run group with a time of two minutes, 19.29 seconds and finished 11th in the state with a finals time of 2:20.12.

Kelsey Cramsey of Effingham won the event with a time of 2:12.54. Rochelle’s Michelle Dobbs took third with a time of 2:14.33.

Other Lady Knight final competition included Howland competing in the 3200m run and finishing 11th at 11:36 in an event won by Kristen Busch of Freeburg at 10:54.74.

Additional KHS competition in the prelims included the 4x800m relay foursome of Amanda Lesak, Jessica Kucera, Maggie Brundige and Strang finishing tenth in its heat at 10:07.04.
Lauren Zick, after earning a finals berth last year, finished sixth in her prelim heat of the 400m dash at 59.36 seconds, and the 4x400m unit of Lesak, Zick, Strang and Kaltrina Ismaili finished its prelim run in 4:05.53, less than two seconds from qualifying for the finals.

Teamwise, Springfield Southeast won the trophy with 63 points, followed by Walther Lutheran’s 46. Chicago’s Lindblom (38), Freeport (29), Freeburg (27) and Marengo (27) rounded out the top six.

Kaneland says goodbye to seniors Ashley Cottier, Caroline Eichelberger, Kelly Evers, Howland, Christina Janes, Nicole Ketza, Carolina Tovar and Shannon Wallace.

Lady Knights track now Charleston crew

Photo: Just a sophomore, Sydney Strang takes part in three events for the Class 2A State meet beginning on Friday. File photo

Lady Knights track qualifies for State in five events after Sterling meet
by Mike Slodki
STERLING, Ill.—Some might shake their head at a fourth-place showing for a girls track meet.

Kaneland will instead keep running to the campus of Eastern Illinois University, due to exemplary performances.

With the needed qualifying scores in five events, Kaneland has a healthy presence for the Class 2A State finals for girls track, scheduled for Friday through Saturday, May 18-19.

Sydney Strang represents KHS in three events: in the 800m run, the 4×800 meter relay and the 4×400 meter relay. Teammate Lauren Zick goes to the elite meet in both the 400m dash after taking the sectional championship, as well as the 4x400m relay.

Jen Howland paced herself toward a State berth in the 3200m run, while Strang was joined by Amanda Lesak, Maggie Brundige and Jessica Kucera for the qualifying 4x800m relay, and joined Zick, Kaltrina Ismaili and Lesak for the 4x400m relay.

Teamwise, the Lady Knights’ 48 point total was four points better than Burlington Central.

The Pretzel group from Freeport amassed 88 points for first place, followed by Dixon at 80 and Rock Falls 61.

The 2012 output toward State beats last year’s effort, when Brooke Patterson’s pole vault, Zick’s 400m dash, Andie Strang’s 1600m run and the 4x800m relay advanced.

The 4x800m relay saw Strang, Lesak, Brundige and Kucera take fifth with a time of nine minutes, 58.23 seconds, beating the qualifying time by seven seconds.

Brundige was happy to exterminate the injury bug, and produce a State-worthy effort.

“My body’s gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older and through all the training, and I’ve avoided injury this year so it’s going pretty well,” Brundige said.

Meanwhile, Strang returned with a fourth-place gallop in the 800m run with a time of 2:21.23.

“I’ve been really excited and it’s been a lot of fun this year,” Strang said. “I was excited for the competition and knew they would push me to my limit.

The senior Howland is on her way to closing out her high school tenure on a high note after garnering third in the 3200m run with a time of 11:45.37.

Howland is ready to put mind with body for a productive weekend.

“It’s more mind than body in the 3200,” Howland said. “If you tell your brain over and over again, you can do it, it’s a matter of getting in your head.”

The 4x400m foursome of Zick, Strang, Ismaili and Lesak finished a second place at 4:06.99, just .71 behind the Rock Falls winners.

“All the other teammates pushed each other, and it was a lot of fun and hard work in the 800 and 400,” Lesak said.

Zick also showed she continues to be a force to be reckoned with not just in the western suburbs, but in the state, with a sectional championship-worthy 58.84 seconds in the 400m dash.

Last year’s Lady Knight class saw the 4×800 of Andie Strang, Kris Bowen, Zick and Sydney Strang take sixth, while Zick took ninth in the 400m run.

8th-place finish at Kane County Invite for girls track

Photo: Kaneland girls Lauren Zick and Sydney Strang try to catch a DeKalb runner in the 800 meter during their meet at DeKalb on April 25. Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With the regular season in its final weeks, the Kaneland High School girls track squad finds itself homestretching across finish lines.

Despite ending up on the wrong side of a dual on April 25 at DeKalb High School, the Lady Knights finished eighth in a stacked and frigid Kane County Invite out at St. Charles North High School on Friday evening.

In the 91-58 loss to the Lady Barbs, KHS saw several first-place honors, taking the reins in six events.

Nicole Ketza excelled in the field, taking the discus throw with a mark of 91 feet, two inches, while teammate Gabby Aguirre won the high jump event with an effort of 4-06.

Pole vaulter Christine Delach did her part for Kaneland, winning the pole vault at nine feet even.

Long-distance asset Sydney Strang continued her strong sophomore campaign with a two minute, 21.2 second 800 meter run for first place.

Amanda Lesak staked her claim to the 300m low hurdles by conquering it in 49.4 seconds, and Kaltrina Ismaili won the 200m run in 27.7 seconds.

The 2012 edition of the Kane County gathering saw West Aurora (142), St. Charles East (83) and Batavia (58) take the top three. St. Charles North, Burlington Central and Geneva took fourth through sixth, respectively, while Rosary finished just ahead of KHS. The Lady Knight’s 34-point total edged Hampshire’s 32 for eighth place overall.

Noteworthy finishes for the Lady Knights included a runner-up in the 4x800m relay with a time of 10:08.06. Adding to the long-distance favorables was Jen Howland, finishing third in the 3200m run in adverse and windy conditions. The senior ran a 11:56.10 course.

Finalist Ashley Castellanos was part of the elite 100m dash group and took fourth with a time of 13.23 seconds. Castellanos finished fifth in the prelims with a 13.28 second effort.

Strang ran the 1600m run in 5:27.80, good for third.

“Sydney is more consistent this year, and I’m very happy with how Jessica Kucera and Maggie have run,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

The 4x400m relay foursome took fourth place with a time of 4:17.76. Freshman Elle Tattoni continued to shore up Kaneland’s throwing ranks with a fourth in the shot put (34-05.75).

Distance-runner Abby Dodis dealt with the windy conditions as best she could.

““I haven’t run in any colder conditions this year,” Dodis said. “We have more girls in distance this year, and it’s fun to run against tougher competition.”

Ahead for Kaneland is the NIB-12 get-together on Friday, May 4, at Streator.

KHS girls track sees firsts in 4×800, 1600m

Photo: Nicole Ketza gears up for a discus throw during recent action. Ketza and the Lady Knights gear up for the Kane County Meet in North Stars country on Friday, April 27. File photo

DIXON—Interstate 88’s corridor wields some talented girls track rosters, and Kaneland’s intent was to join that group after Friday’s Dixon Invite.

When the points were tabulated, KHS emerged in the middle of the pack of a 10-team invite.

With 55 points, the Lady Knights edged NIB-12 rival Sterling by three points.

Additional NIB-12 outfit Geneseo took the meet with 93, followed by Dixon with 81. Harlem scored third with 76 points and Moline finished fourth with 68.

Kaneland’s bar is at a higher setting for several events, and just in time for the prestigious Kane County Meet occurring this Friday, April 27.

The 4x800m relay foursome of Sydney Strang, Jessica Kucera, Jennifer Howland and Amanda Lesak emerged victorious with a time of 10 minutes, 7.35 seconds, over two seconds better than the team from Dixon.

Strang also got into the act by running away from the fellow 1600m run crowd, thanks to a 5:42.50 time.

The frosh/soph group of Kucera, Rachel Steinmiller, Kyla Goodine and Madison Keith did well by finishing third in the 4x400m relay event with a time of 4:27.24.

Field events went well for KHS in the form of Kelly Evers’ third in the high jump (13 feet, eight inches), and with Shannon Wallace’s third in the pole vault (23-06).

Kaneland’s Kane County trip takes them to St. Charles North High School for a 5 p.m. starting gun.

Girls track gets fifth, dual win

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Windy conditions abounded, and whomever emerged from Saturday’s Jenni’s ABC Meet in Maple Park would have to do so by force.

Kaneland girls track would be the fifth-best to do so, behind four capable outfits.

The Ottawa ABC meet on Friday saw KHS earn second place with 190 points, behind Burlington Central’s 225.

With 346.5 points, Huntley took the Jenni’s meet crown.

Kaneland leapfrogged Mercer County, Lemont’s Mt. Assisi Academy and St. Edward to complete the eight-team skirmish.

The Lady Knights saw strong performances, which gave the group encouraging thoughts with the Kane County Invite just two weeks out.

Sydney Strang led the way in the 1600m run “A” race with an effort of five minutes, 25.5 seconds, while Gabby Aguirre took second in the high jump “A” event with a jump of 4-08.

Kaneland had its share of good fortune in other events, thanks to personnel like Elle Tattoni, who threw a 31-05 in the shot put “A” flight for second place to go with an 88-06 discus “C” toss; Jessica Kucera, who ran a 400m dash “B” race in 1:07.9 for second place; and Maggie Brundige, who finished second in the 1600m run “B” flight at 5:44.8.

Lady Knight Shannon Wallace finished second in the pole vault “B” group at 7-06, and Nicole Ketza continued to excel in the field for KHS girls track by winning the shot put “B” group with a heave of 30-10.

Ketza feels she’s having a strong 2012.

“Coach Ecker said to just take one throw at a time and not think about it and not rush,” Ketza said.

Lady Knight Ashley Cottier produced a second-place discus toss with a mark of 84-05. Abby Dodis did well on the track with a 5:50.10, first-place run in the 1600m run “C” race.

In Ottawa, the shot put went well, with Ketza (33-01) and Tattoni (34-06) nabbing firsts in their flights. Wallace took first in her vault with a 7-06 effort, while the foursome of Strang, Jen Howland, Kucera and Amanda Lesak took the reins of the 4x800m relay “A” race at 10:17.90.

Other firsts in Ottawa included Carolina Tovar (14:19.66) and Brundige (12:40.49) in the 3200m run events, along with Rachel Steinmiller in her 100m hurdles try (19.19).

Kaneland took care of Rochelle in dual action on Tuesday, and saw Kaltrina Ismaili (200m dash and 100m dash), Ashley Castellanos (triple jump, long jump) and Ketza (shot, discus) take firsts.

Girls Track sees exceptional totals at Holmes Meet

Photo: Ashley Castellanos (right) put in good work Saturday at the Jill Holmes Invite, including winning this 100 meter dash. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It took barely any time for Lady Knights girls track to get acclimated to the outdoor competition.

With the Jill Holmes Invite on Saturday yielding success, and the dual action going the Lady Knights way on Tuesday against visiting Sycamore, Kaneland sits in a good spot.

On Saturday, Rockton’s Hononegah High School finished first with 98 points, while Kaneland was second at 92.5, and DeKalb third.

Ashley Castellanos took third place in the 200 meter dash on Saturday with a 27-second effort.

Lady Knight Abby Dodis ran a 12:17.40 effort in the 3200m run, with DeKalb standout Kelsey Schrader taking first at 11:42.10.

The Lady Knights’ 4x800m relay group of Amanda Lesak, Sydney Strang, Jennifer Howland and Jessica Kucera finished second with an effort of 10:10.35.

The Lady Knights did well in field events, as well, with Castellanos staking her claim in the long jump and triple jump by finishing second in both.

The junior hit the 15-10 mark in the long jump, and a 33-06 in the triple jump for a productive morning.

Elle Tattoni beat the field and took the reins in the shot put with a 32-11 throw, while fellow Lady Knights Nicole Ketza took first (97-10.5) and Ashley Cottier managed third in the discus (94-09.5).

Against the Lady Spartans, KHS used plenty of great showings for an 86-55 win.

Strang’s 11:54.6 was tops in the 3200m run.

“I’ve been working hard and it’s been going pretty well, “ Strang said. “I’ve been having fun and trying my best with it.”

Howland took the 800m run with a time of 2:32.3, Lesak won the 300m hurdles event with a time of 50.8 seconds, and Kaltrina Ismaili won the 200m run with a time of 28.9 seconds.

Additonal firsts were garnered by the 4x400m relay team (4:09.8), Castellanos in the triple jump (32-10), Tattoni in the shot put (31-06), Ketza in the discus (94-04), Gabby Aguirre in the high jump (five feet) and Sydney Luse in the pole vault (eight feet).

Up ahead for girls track: the Ottawa ABC Invite on Friday, April 13.

Lady Knights track takes 2nd in Oregon meet

OREGON, Ill.—KHS opened its outdoor campaign with an 83-point showing in a meet hosted by Oregon High School on Tuesday afternoon.

Burlington Central took the four-team clash with 96 points, while the hosts had 81 points, and Lena-Winslow High School brought up the rear with 12.

Productivity was highlighted with a slew of first-place efforts in the form of personnel like the 3200 meter relay team of Amanda Lesak, Abby Dodis, Sydney Strang and Jessica Kucera, who ran in 10 minutes, 27.89 seconds. Their teammates of Ashley Castellanos, Katrina Ismaila, Madison Keith and Lauren Zick won the 400m relay at 51.78 seconds. Sydney Luse won the 100m hurdles crowd over with an 18.04-second effort.

Nicole Ketza won the discus with a launch of 97 feet, six inches, and Zick won the long jump at 16-09.75. In other field events, Elle Tattoni took first in the shot put with 33-05.5, and Castellanos won the triple jump (33-01).

Kaneland High School Honor Roll

High Honor Roll
Freshman: Omar Aguilar, Megan Bartholet, Anissa Becker, Rabina Beepath, Jacob Brown, Bryan Bulger, Jason Carlquist, Victoria Clinton, Jaemee Cordero, Mallory Dugan, River Dunne, Jarod Erlandson, Gemma Esposito, Connor Fedderly, James Fell, Robert Foy, Murphy Garcia, Andrew Garland, Breanna Geller, Emily Grams, Brittany Grider, Daniel Hammermeister, Riley Hannula, Anna Hayman, Shannon Herra, Kylee Hill, Olivia Hutar, Brooke Jablonski, Madison Jurcenko, Allison Kadampelil, Stephanie Karolewicz, Madison Keith, Ryan Koeppen, Rachel Kowalski, Matthew Krajewski, Kendall Krawczyk, Colleen Landers, Ashley Larsen, Axel Larsen, Julia Lennon, Andrew Lesak, Steven Limbrunner, Kristin Lipinis, Aislinn Lodwig, Alexis Lund, Alejandra Martinez-Aviles, Alyssa McCannon, Nicole McClellan, Michelle McCracken, Brianna McElroy, Rachel Miller, Jonathan Mills, Marissa Mulligan, Alexia Orosco, Samantha Payton, Marisa Peters, Gina Pettenon, Sabrina Pilkington, Cody Pitstick, Regan Prost, Kassidy Reever, Mitchell Reger, Anna Senese, Morgan Sikon, Amber Spaetzel, Michael Stanley, Nicholas Steers, Caitlyn Strasser, Elle Tattoni, Hannah Theis, Kyra Trynoski, Allison Van Bogaert, Emma Wallace, Hannah Wallace, Taylor Washlow, Anna Wendling, Austin Wheatley, Morgan Withey, Sarah Wolfe

Sophomore: Theresa Alef, Mitchell Bateman, Alexander Beck, Steven Becker, Brandon Bishop, Lauren Black, Morgan Buerke, Molly Campbell, Erika Carlson, Melissa Cherry, Hayley Contorno, Riley Coyle, Christine Crews, Andrew David, Kyle DiSandro, Megan Franklin, Spencer Good, Kyla Goodine, Kelsy Goodwin, Tatiana Guerrero, Kayla Hedgren, Caroline Heimerdinger, Madeline Heinzer, Mara Hernandez Gonzalez, Madison Hester, Tyler Hill, Tyler Holan, Michael Howard, Casey Jacobson, Shane Jorgensen, Koehring, Gary Koehring, Nathaniel Kucera, Emily Laudont, Eun Woo Lim, Jennifer Lubic, Kaley Martens, Rachel Mathys, Meredith McCaffrey, Carissa Miller, Abigail Needham, Brittany Olson, Julie Panasik, Mary Piazza, Eileen Ruppel, Alexandria Russell, Katelyn Schmidt, Tyler Slamans, Rachel Steinmiller, Nicholas Stollard, Elizabeth Strang, Delaney Stryczek, Jordan Thelander, Curtis Thorson, Thomas Van Bogaert, Christian VanDinther, Sophie Wallace, Brin Wilk, Azalia Wilkerson, Michael Williams, Amber Winquist-Bailey, Zachary Winthers, Ethan Witt, Lucas Wolski, Lauren Zick, Nathan Zitko

Junior: Gabriella Aguirre, Lauren Banbury, Kami Bauer, Erica Brettman, Myles Chick, Rachael Clinton, Joshua Cohrs, Vanessa Cook, Kelsey Cotton, Robert Debolt, Abigail Dodis, Austin Doyle, Katelyn Dray, Brendan Dunphy, Zachary Eckhardt, Caroline Eichelberger, Christopher Farrell, Sean Flamand, Dominique Galloway, Sarah Grams, Keriann Groen, Nicole Grossman, Emily Gulanczyk, Nicole Hanlon, Alyson Harner, Brooke Harner, David Hernandez, Jenice Heyob, Conor Johnson, Erin Kettelkamp, Alec Koczka, Jessica Kolzow, Alexander Kovach, Taylor Krawczyk, Joseph Kuipers, Brittany Larsen, Cara Lenhardt, Matthew Limbrunner, Benjamin Longson, Stephanie Maras, Jay Markuson, Madeline McMullen, Daniel Miller, Alyssa Nolte, Allyson O’Herron, Beau Ott, Nicholas Philips, Joseph Pollastrini, Ashley Prost, Maxim Reger, Lauren Rusnok, Michael Saucedo, Jessica Smith, Nathaniel Snyder, Karizza Sotelo, Samantha Sparks, Savannah Stasik, Morgan Stewart, Ryan Straughn, Brianne Strobel, Maria Tapia Escobedo, Alexandra Vickery, Abby West, Jessica Woodward

Senior: Lauren Allen, Rebecca Arnold, Lilly Berrend, Madison Bluml, Brianna Brehm, Taylor Buri, Jocelyn Cabral, Lauren Companiott, Ashley Diddell, Katelyn Dudzinski, Brian Edwards, Eric Eichelberger, Kelly Evers, Grace Fabrizius, Ariel Geraghty, Noelle Goodine, Kelsey Gould, Adam Grams, Malory Groen, Elizabeth Howie, Christina Janes, Nicole Ketza, Denitza Koleva, Kaitlyn Kolzow, Benjamin Kovalick, Stelios Lekkas, McKinzie Mangers, Jacob Mazuc, Austin McElderry, Kayley McPhee, Anna Novotny, William Osborne, Athanasios Pesmajoglou, Drew Peters, Jordan Phillips, Alexa Reger, Karyn Ribbens, Josias Rodriguez, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Maria Rossi, Alejandra Salinas, Connor Sandquist, Melissa Schmidt, Veronica Seawall, Ashley Shearer, Kylie Siebert, Ashlyn Slamans, Molly Speckman, Anthony Sperando, Brandon Stahl, Trevor Storck, Katherine Taylor, Valerie Tockstein, Catherine Tolan, Amber Urich, Marissa Villafuerte, Savannah Webb, Kathleen Werrline, Anders Winquist-Bailey, Elliot Witt, John Wooten

Regular Honor Roll
Freshman: Karina Alcantara-Camargo, Mariah Ausbury, Jacob Bachio, Melanie Bateman, Ivan Bohorquez, Nicholas Boose, Amy Burgholzer, Briel Castellese, Hannah Conley, Amy Croft, Gabriel David, Destiny Diaz, Courtney Diddell, Zachary Douglas, Sarah Dratnol, Alyssa Evans, Jeremy Faletto, Colton Fellows, Elise Fichtel, Sam Ford, Kevin Fuchs, Justin Garcia, Julia Golbeck, Victoria Guyton, McKayla Helm, Zachary Justus, Joshua Kasap, Rachel Keske, Joshua Kohler, Alyson Kowalczyk, Jessica Kucera, Shannon Limbrick, Matthew Lyons, Raymond McGarvey, Caitrin Mills, Lenora Murphy, Meghen Nance, Kayla Norell, Taylor Opperman, Nicole Partipilo, Katrina Paulick, Lauren Pence, Kellsie Pepponi, Noah Perez, Blaine Rivas, Vanessa Saltijeral, Colleen Schrems, Samantha Schrepferman, Deanna Scialabba, Jacob Sheehan, Christine Shelton, Aaron Steenwyk, Evan Thompson, Taylor Tindall, James Tockstein, Rachel Urich, Paige Wagner, Charles Wehrmann, Samantha White, Nicholas Winthers, John Wolf, Joshua Yeggy

Sophomore: Johnathan Bahena Diaz, Jesse Balluff, James Bartholomew, Anna Bateman, Dzenan Bogaljevic, Michelle Bohanek, Ryan Bower, Alexandra Brenwall, Johnathan Briggs, Lanie Callaghan, Gina Campobasso Jarvis, Andrew Carroll, Ryan Caul, Lesly Chavez, Jacob Cinkus, Taylor Corbett, Michael Deja, Christina Delach, Justin Diddell, Dakota Drefke, Emily Eckert, Daniel Evers, Alyssa Faulkner, Angelique Franks, Brittany Giannini, Denise Gombar, Christopher Hernandez, Jessica Jablonski, Matthew Kalinowski, Brittany Kemp, Samuel Kitz, Lydia Krauz, Broderick Kuhar, Sara Laurie, Thung Lee, Stefanos Lekkas, Nicolas Likeum, Ryan Longson, Trevor Malatek, Kellyn McMullan, Mikaela Messick, Shannon O’Shea, Joshua Opp, Andre Palpant, Anthony Parillo, Alexa Parrenas, Mason Pieczynski, Alec Pope, Shannon Ransford, Muhammad Rehman, Taylor Robertson, Paige Robinson, Joshua Rodriguez, Kyle Romas, Teri Ruffolo, Zackery Russell, Kaprice Sanchez, Blake Schultz, Kaleb Schuppner, Alexander Speckman, Allison Steininger, Sydney Strang, Ashlee Tennant, Cameron Thomas, Katelyn Treinen, Alyson Utterback, Matthew Vander Sande, Cynthia Vasquez, John Venneri, Jessica Villafuerte, Noelia Villanueva, Kelly Wallner, Lucas Welz, Nicholas Welz, Zachary Wielgos, Thomas Williams, Grant Wooten

Junior: Julia Angelotti, Olubukola Ayegbusi, Joanna Barragan, Alex Baumgartner, Jennifer Bicos, Jason Biddle, Emma Bradford, Margaret Brundige, Bailey Burns, Romina Carrano, Ashley Castellanos, Jacob Childress, Madeline Cole, Nicholas Crawford, Anna Croft, Austen Davis, Laken Delahanty, Claiborne Denlinger, Hannah Dewar, Natalie Dietrich, Alonzo Dominguez, Miricle Dominguez, Breanna Evola, Marshall Farthing, Kristin Gabrielson, Jordan Ginther, Sean Glennon, Jack Grimes, Stephen Gust, Nikolas Hale, Kory Harner, Tyler Hawbecker, Alexander Held, Kirstin Hinds, Meagan Holloman, Kushtrim Ismaili, Lisa Jennings, Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Brandon Johnson, Nicholas Katsigiannis, Brad Kigyos , Samuel Kilgore, Esther Kong, Luke Kreiter,, Baylee Lancaster,, Tanisha Lee,, Kara Leyden, Katherine Lucarelli, Sydney Luse, Alexandra Lyons, Zachary Martinelli, Jacqueline McClellan, Stephen McCracken, Joshua McHenry, James Merletti, Eric Meuer, Savanah Miles, Brayden Miller, Paige Nachreiner, Alyssa Nahley, Morgan Newhouse, Cory Nordine, Sarah Norman, Adam Poczekaj, Kyle Pollastrini, MacKenzie Powell, Lyndi Scholl, Collin Seidelman, Benjamin Sommers, Manuel Tapia- Zachary Theis, Kalani Tovar, Jack Van Gemert, Taylor Velazquez, Jemma Waldrop, Caitlin Wallace, Kaitlyn Wendling, Abbie Wilhelm, Connor Williams, Alexander Willis, Morgan Wojciechowski, Danielle Wylie

Senior: Kourtni Bingley, Melissa Bohorquez, Zachary Brown, Emily Carr, Colton Carter, Sean Carter, Jacob Chevalier, Acalia Cleaver, Zachary Douglas, Megan Dressel, , Tyler Fabrizius, John Goodrich, Joseph Gorenz, Casey Haffner, Bridget Hankes, Daniel Hansen, Samantha Hansen, David Heine, Austin Henkelman, Phoojywg Her, Heather Hochsprung, Alexandria Hornback, Seleana Isaacs, Sarah Kitz, Kelly Kovacic, Alec Krueger, Troy Krueger, Kathryn Lanute, Kayley Larsen, Cesar Lazcano, Nicholette LeBlanc, Victoria Likeum, Madison Limbrick, Madeline Meredith, Amelia Napiorkowski, Diana Nuno, Konstantin Paraskevov, Jari Ramos-Orbe, Sawyer Rego, Courtney Reiss, Jake Rosko, Margaret Ruppel, Alejandro Salinas, Max Sanko, Demi Schlehofer, Dana Schultz, Matthew Simmons, Grace Snyder, Erica Sorensen, Michael Tattoni, Mackenzie Theisen, Carolina Tovar, Shannon Wallace, Nicholas Wielgos, Joshua Williams, Jordyn Withey, Michael Withey, Maverick Wojciechowski

8th in Class 2A for Lady Knights XC

Photos: Freshman Aislinn Lodwig ended her season with a 59th-place finish, passing 25 runners in the last half-mile at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill. on Saturday. Photos by Marshall Farthing

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was an ideal way to wrap up a productive 2011 for Kaneland girls’ cross country.

With six of seven athletes reaching a personal best mark, the Lady Knights unit accumulated a score of 225 at the State race at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday, good for eighth place of all Class 2A programs.

Fellow NIB-12 schools Yorkville (74), DeKalb (229) and Dixon (243) finished first, ninth and eleventh, respectively.

It was Sami Staples of Crystal Lake Central taking the individual crown in 17 minutes, seven seconds, but fellow freshman Victoria Clinton nabbed All-State honors with an 11th-place finish at 17:41. The finish includes Clinton as only the fifth girl in KHS history to make an All-State run.

<strong>Victoria Clinton</strong> enjoys her moment after earning All-State honors.

Junior Maggie Brundige ran a PR of 18:29, good for 45th place, 49 seconds better than any previous effort.

Freshman Aislinn Lodwig, who emerged as a talent Kaneland can conceivable count on for three more years, finished 77th at 18:52.

Lodwig passed 25 runners in the last half-mile.

“She had a great finish the last 1,600 meters, and so did all of them,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “That was a hard question to answer (on best race), all seven were great.”

“I just tried to run as fast as I can. It was kind of chilly, and it took me awhile to warm up,” Lodwig said.

With the big finish, Lodwig knows there is more work to come to stay in the mix.

“We can still build up our strength, and there is still a lot more to work on, but we have good coaching,” Lodwig said.

Teammate Abby Dodis was immediately behind Lodwig with the same time for 78th place.

Junior Amanda Lesak ran in 18:53 for 80th place. Sydney Strang finished 99th overall at 19:08, while Ashley Castellanos took 120th at 19:21.

LADY KNIGHTS XC:
Maggie Brundige
Ashley Castellanos
Victoria Clinton
Abby Dodis
Jessica Kucera
Amanda Lesak
Aislinn Lodwig
Anna Piazza
Natasha Ring
Sydney Strang
Carolina Tovar
Head Coach Doug Ecker

Younger Lady Knights go west

KANELAND—Under sunny skies in Sterling, Ill., a younger KHS girls cross-country lineup was trotted out to deal with the field spreading from Iowa City, Ia., to Schaumburg, Ill.

Kaneland took fifth with the freshman-sophomore group, thanks in large part to Victoria Clinton’s top finish.

Pleasant Valley High School won the F/S meet, but Kaneland’s 131-point total was good for fifth.

Clinton’s second top finish in a row saw her run at 18 minutes, 57 seconds.

Teammate Aislinn Lodwig was fourth overall at 19:34, while Sydney Strang continued to march back from injuries with a time of 20:26 (17th place). Jessica Kucera finished in 21:38, for 48th overall.

Saturday, Oct. 15, brings the litmus test of where KHS varsity fits in the conference scheme, at the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet hosted by Geneseo of the West Division.

A year ago, Ashley Castellanos of Kaneland made it to the all-conference team with her showing at Elburn Woods.