Tag Archives: Kris Bowen

Fall sports preview: Girls XC sees return of talent

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

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

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

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

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

Junior Sam Collins and senior Johnson also come back.

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

Krissy Chapman also makes up the senior side.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KHS hands out year-end awards for athletes

Rose, three others highlight senior banquet
MAPLE PARK—The end of the year awards and spring awards were handed out on June 9, recognizing the year-long effort of Knight athletes.

At the Senior Athletic Banquet awards, Knight awards were handed out to the five three-sport athletes from the class of 2009: Katie Hatch for tennis, basketball and track, Chassidy Mangers for cross country, basketball and softball, Curtis Lubic for golf, basketball and baseball, Chris Ott for football, soccer and basketball and Matt Weaver for cross country, wrestling and track.

The female Birkette award went to Mangers, while the male Birkette award found its way to Lubic.

Sara Rose was named the female athlete of the year at KHS, while Mike Pritchard was named male athlete of the year.

For boys track and field, Logan Markuson took the Track MVP, while Nick Sinon won the Field MVP.

Weaver took the Drendel Award home, and seven captains were recognized in the form of Lucas Ross, Weaver, Brendan McCarthy, Colin Zagel, Hayden Johnson, Paul Davies and Joshua Bloome.

Taylor Andrews won the Ron Probst Award.

The boys track had a glut of Western Sun All-Conference reps in the form of Derek Bus, Johnson, Edgar Valle, Markuson, Andrews, Sinon, Bloome and Matt Reusche.

Markuson, Johnson, Valley, Davies, Sinon, Bloome, Bus, Sean Paulick, Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were also highlighted for qualifying for the State gathering at Eastern Illinois University.

For the soccer squad that earned a berth to the regional title match at Burlington Central, Megan Gil, Sarah Goodrich, Paige Rogers and Bridget Crosby were recognized as captains. Crosby was also named most improved player. Savannah Webb took home the rookie of the year. Shelby Koester and Haley Johnson took the coach’s award, while Colleen Gebauer and Gil won the Lady Knights awards. Emily Heimerdinger was named team MVP. Girls soccer had three members named to the All-WSC roster in the form of Gil, Koester and Heimerdinger.

In the freshman soccer ranks, Haley Garcia was awarded Team Leader, Tatiana Brown took home the most improved honor, while Maggie Ruppel won the team spirit award.

In softball, the best offensive player award went to Jessica Lubic and Andrea Potts.

Brianna Hurst was given the best defensive player award. Rose took home the team MVP award, while Jordan Herra took home the most improved honors after her showing at the plate and in the field.

Erin Heyob, Hurst, Mallory Huml, Rose, Mangers and Herra were honored as captains.

Huml, Rose, Potts, Delani Vest and Lubic also brought home All-WSC honors.

For baseball, Curtis Lubic earned the Mr. Kaneland Baseball award, while Pritchard and Joe Gura took the Offensive MVP awards. Jeff Smith won the Defensive MVP award. Joe Spitzzeri took the 41 award, in honor of late teammate Jeff Malewig. Pritchard, Gura and Smith were named to the All-WSC team.

For girls track, Lindsay Gierke, Lisa Roberson and Andie Strang were given the track MVP award, while Kelli Patterson and Jordan Pinkston were named field MVP’s.

Patterson was honored with the Most Improved award.

Laney Deliginais, Alyssa Galvan, Gierke, Patterson, Roberson, Katie Weiss and Lauren Whittaker took home nods for captain.

Named to the all-conference group for the WSC were Whittaker, Gierke, Patterson and Pinkston.

Gierke, Pinkston, Strang, Roberson, Kris Bowen, Sara Wallace and Kelly Evers were also recognized for their State-going effort.

KHS girls track secures 9th-place finish at State

Lady Knights girls track put an exclamation point on its 2009 story this past weekend in Charleston.

Buoyed by stellar performances in the preliminaries and finals, Kaneland came away with a ninth place finish (26.5 points) in the Class 2A State track meet at Eastern Illinois University.

Rock Island turned out to be the champs with 49.5 points, followed by Springfield Southeast at 48 and Cahokia at 39.

Incidentally, five of the six Western Sun Conference schools were bunched together in the standings. Sycamore and Rochelle tied for seventh at 27, while Yorkville finished just behind Kaneland in tenth at 25 points. Glenbard South was tied with Kankakee with 24 points for 11th place.

Lindsay Gierke claimed her spot as one of the most exceptional track athletes in school history with her showing on Friday. The senior finished second in the 100 meter hurdles at 14.67 seconds, second only to Cahokia’s Laquitsha Bejoile (14.48). Gierke made the finals by tying for first in the preliminaries with a 15.02 effort in her heat.

Gierke also finished fourth in the 100m dash at 12.28 seconds, after finishing second in her prelim heat at 12.35.

Gierke also finished third overall in the 300m hurdles event at 45.14 seconds. Cahokia’s Bejoile took that event as well at 44.92. The Lady Knight senior finished second in her prelim heat at 46.13.

Sophomore Andie Strang was up to her old tricks at her second trip down to State. Not only did she finish 10th in the 800m run (2:22.95) but was also part of the ninth-place 4x800m relay squad that finished in 9:47.58. Strang joined Kris Bowen, Kelly Evers and Lisa Roberson for the honors.

Lady Knight Jordan Pinkston took home a fifth-place tie overall in the pole vault at 10 feet, three inches. In the prelims, Pinkston went 10 feet, and teammate Sara Wallace finished with nine feet.

Photo: Lady Knight senior Lindsay Gierke goes for the finish during Friday’s Class 2A girls track State gathering in Charleston. Gierke came away with a second overall in the 100m hurdles, a fourth in the 100m dash (pictured) and a third in the 300m intermediate hurdles. Photo by Ben Draper

Girls track sending large group to State competition

by Mike Slodki
For those who were looking for a bigger Kaneland High School presence at the upcoming IHSA Class 2A State finals, they’ll get their wish.

Include the seven Lady Knight athletes in that group.

Based on its showing on Saturday morning at the 2A Sterling Sectional, KHS, which finished third with 71 points, sends seven entries to Eastern Illinois University beginning on Thursday, May 21.

Senior Lindsay Gierke enters her final postseason listed in three State events, thanks to a 15.09 second effort in the 100 meter high hurdles, a 12.48 time in the 100m dash and a 48.69 second tally in the 300m low hurdles.

“It felt a little different and the endurance was a bit harder, but I still gave it my all,” Gierke said.

Gierke has qualified for State all four seasons in Kaneland colors.

“I’m just going to go out there and run and not think about anybody else,” Gierke said.

Teammate Andie Strang qualified for the ultimate season’s end for the second consecutive year as the sophomore ran a 2:24.62 in the 800m run and was part of the 4x800m relay along with Kris Bowen, Kelly Evers and Lisa Roberson, which ran 10:04.44.

“We were worried about a lot of teams in the sectional, but it’s all the mental part now. We’re just trying to get faster and we know what we need to do,” Strang said on the relay.

“It was coming down to State and we knew how hard we worked and how much we wanted it, so we just left everything out on the track,” Roberson said.

Kaneland also sends a double-barreled attack to Charleston, thanks to a 10 foot effort from Jordan Pinkston and a 9-0 try from Sara Wallace.

“My coach (Barney Callaghan) looked at me and said my try was bigger than 10 feet and I was so excited,” Pinkston said. “Then Sara made it and it was even more exciting. I think we know what to expect down there.”

“I was more nervous than most meets,” Wallace said. “I felt prepared and it was a good season. Turning over was my biggest problem, and it makes a big difference, and I just have to keep it up.”

Gierke narrowly missed the 200m dash threshold by finishing third in 26.25 seconds.

Sycamore and Yorkville, with 88 and 79 points, respectively, finished ahead of Kaneland in the sectional.

Freeport, at 64 points, finished fourth and Rochelle took fifth with 57 points.

Gierke’s Hitlist: State events for Lindsay Gierke through the years.
2006
100m dash
300m low hurdles
200m dash
2007
100m dash
300m low hurdles
200m dash
2008
100m high hurdles
100m dash
300m low hurdles
200m dash
2009
100m high hurdles
100m dash
300m low hurdles

Girls track shows talent at Jenni’s ABC

Kaneland High School girls track spent its Saturday winning.

The Lady Knights squad hit a stride in a well-spent showing in its own Jenni’s ABC Invite in Maple Park. The meet returned after a one-year layoff due to less-than-favorable conditions in 2009.

KHS had a 354 point total to take the invite crown while Huntley took second with 319 points. Rockford Boylan finished third in the seven-team group at 306 points.

Team anchor Lindsay Gierke took home four first places, beginning with her 100 meter dash “A” heat showing. The senior blazed to a 13.16 seconds finish, and followed that up with a 200m dash “B” first of 26.5 seconds. Gierke then won the 300m intermediate hurdles “A” race at 48.83 seconds, and also won the 100m intermediate hurdles challenge at 15.77 seconds.

Teammate Lisa Roberson continued her strong season with a first in the 800m run “A” (2:26.89) and a first place in the 1600m run “B” (5:45.61).

Andie Strang nabbed herself a first-place showing in the 800m run “B” with a time of 2:29.17 and took a second in the 1600m “A” at 5:35.17.

Kelly Evers’ effort consisted of a first in the 3200m run “A” at 12:24.84 and a first in the high jump “A” with a mark of four feet, four inches.

Kelli Patterson finished second in the high jump “B” with an effort of 4-6 and in the triple jump “A” at 31-10.5.

Brianna Stark took home a second place in the long jump “B” grouping with an effort of 14-1, and also won second in the triple jump “B” at 30-6.

Athina Ajazi had a second-place effort in the 400m dash “C” with a time of 1:10.96. The discus was supported by Kathleen Kuhar in “B” at 74-9, good for first, and second-place Katie Weiss in “C” at 72-9.

Kris Bowen won first in the 800m run “C” with a run of 2:37.11. In the pole vault event, asset Jordan Pinkson vaulted to a 9-6 and a first in “A” and Sara Wallace managed an 8-0 and a first in the “B” group.

Lindsay Douglas won first in the long jump “C” heat with a 14-0 jump. In the 300 intermediate hurdles “B”, Ashley Augusty took second at 55.11 seconds. The 4x400m relay “B” team won second at 4:38.87 and Kelsey Gould threw a 27-6 in the shot put “C”.

The Kaneland girls track roster is set to participate in the Dixon Relays on Friday, April 24.

Photo: Lady Knight Lindsay Douglas competes in the Long Jump at Saturday’s Jenni’s ABC Meet at Kaneland High School. Kaneland won the meet with 354 points, outdistancing Huntley (319) and Boylan (306). Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights have steady showing at Holmes Invite

by Mike Slodki
This past Saturday, Geneva was crowned the overall winner of the 32nd Holmes Invitational for the second straight season thanks to a 147.75 point output.

West Aurora came in second with a 123.5 point day. Rosary of Aurora finished third with 59.5 points, followed by fourth-place Rockton Hononegah at 52. The Lady Knights finished fifth overall in the 16-team invite with a total of 48.5 points, tied with Lockport. Oswego East finished sixth with 40 points. Western Sun Conference rivals Sycamore (22) and DeKalb (21) finished 12th and 13th, respectively.

Tuesday had the Lady Knights appear at a Western Sun Conference clash in Rochelle along with Batavia. Kaneland finished third with 43 points, compared to Batavia’s 73 and Rochelle’s 63.

The Lady Knights had plenty of representation in the final heats on Saturday, improving their standings. University of Northern Iowa-bound senior Lindsay Gierke took the 100 meter dash event with a final time of 12.84 seconds, edging Geneva’s Sammi Hill by .17 seconds. Gierke finished third in the 200m dash finals at 26.30 seconds, behind Hononegah’s Ana Armitage (25.95) and Geneva’s Erica Miller (25.93).

Lisa Roberson finished a solid fifth in the 800m run with a final time of 2:27.33. The 4×100 relay foursome of Gierke, Sydney Bilotta, Jordyn Lawrence and Arianna Espino finished sixth in 52.99 seconds. The 4×400 squad of Bilotta, Gierke, Lawrence and Roberson finished third at 4:19.15.

Roberson, Andie Strang, Kris Bowen and Kelly Evers put in a third-place result in the 4x800m event with a time of 10:04.40. Junior Sara Wallace took sixth place in the pole vault with a eight-foot vault in the final. The discus had a strong Kaneland flourish as Lauren Whittaker finished second with a final throw of 96 feet-6 inches, and Katie Weiss finished sixth at 91-1.

With the throwing ranks of Kaneland showing big numbers in the early outset of the season, the discus troops were encouraged by Saturday’s showing.

“You can kind of tell how the day will go by how you feel right then, and I thought my last throw was better,” Whittaker said.

Main keys were coaching and preparation.

“(Pat) Sheetz encourages us the whole time, and he’s a great coach,” Weiss said. “It’s been great because we use what he says and we see what the other throwers on the team do and feed off of that.”

In Rochelle, Gierke was up to more of her old tricks and ran to a first in the 100m high hurdles (15.45).

Gierke also won the 300m low hurdles at 47.87 seconds. Strang was crowned the winner of the 1600m run at 5:40.69.

Pole vaulter Jordan Pinkston won the event at 9 feet, six inches.

The Lady Knights look to impress at Jenni’s ABC Invite at Kaneland on Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. They’ll also travel to Glenbard South on Tuesday, April 21.

Lindsay Gierke makes quick work of the 200m dash field in her first victorious heat at the Jill Holmes Invitational on Saturday at Kaneland. Photo by John DiDonna

KHS track hits Bloomington

At the Illinois Prep Top Times Indoor Classic in Bloomington, Kaneland’s presence was felt in a number of events.

The Knights and Lady Knights participated in the A and AA school grouping on Friday, with Nick Sinon kicking things off with a fifth place finish in the high jump at six feet, one inch in the finals. Lady Knight Jordan Pinkston finished seventh in the pole vault at 9-6.

Logan Markuson’s pole vault of 13-6 was good for fifth, while teammate Josh Bloome went eighth at 13 feet. The 4×800 relay team of Lisa Roberson, Kelly Evers, Kris Bowen and Andie Strang finished fourth with a final effort of 10:10.18.

The 4×800 boys group of Hayden Johnson, Derek Bus, Matt Reusche and Edgar Valle went sixth at 8:20.03. Strang finished 18th in the 1600m run with a time of 5:45.47.

Lucas Ross, Johnson, Valle and Logan Markuson took seventh in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:35.23.

The first outdoor meets of the season are Tuesday, April 7 for the Lady Knights at Burlington Central and Saturday, April 11 at East Moline United.

Photo: Freshman Kelly Evers runs her leg of the 3200m Relay at the 18th annual Illinois Prep Top Times Indoor Classic, held at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. Friday. Evers and teammates Lisa Roberson, Kris Bowen and Andie Strang placed fourth overall, with a time of 10 minutes, 10.26 seconds. Photo by Ben Draper

Spring Sports Preview: Lady Knights track off to running start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Improvement will bring about team-wide success.

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