Tag Archives: Lucas Ross

Boys track looks to top themselves

Photo: Preparation continues for members of the Kaneland boys track squad that finished 13th in Class 2A a year ago. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
Maple Park—Can the Kaneland High School boys track roster top last year’s exceptional finish?

Seven separate events saw Kaneland representation at the Class 2A State meet in Charleston, and the team finished 13th overall.

Senior Logan Markuson was crowned State champ in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles.

Graduate Josh Bloome and Markuson both medalled in the pole vault, and senior Nick Sinon took third in the high jump.

It sounds daunting on paper, but with a roster eclipsing the 70-person mark and with a glut of talent familiar with success, it’s possible for huge things to happen for KHS boys track.

“I would say we’re pretty excited,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “We started with a lot of ambition and excitement about what we think we can accomplish. Winning the indoor invite this week was a first step.”

Markuson, now quickly climbing up the record books for Knights track, is appreciated by Baron for what he brings.

“He’s just a great person,” Baron said. “ It’s about more than just athletic ability. He hasn’t missed one day of school ever. Every meet, he’ll go out and do what you ask him to do.”

Markuson will look to make a mark in the hurdles, pole vault and 4×400 relay once again.

Sinon returns to the ranks after some offseason experience and has already cleared 6-8 in the indoor long jump.

“He’s looking at big things this year and is a real student of the sport,” Baron said. “We’ll be strong in all of our jumps, and this is going to be a big year for him.”

Helping the KHS cause was a Western Sun Conference indoor championship last week.

Also back on the sprint side is Taylor Andrews, who qualified in the 110m high hurdles and benefited from racing alongside Markuson.

Much will have to be done to absolve the loss of Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel and Brendan McCarthy.

“We’re looking for Tommy Whittaker to have a nice year and Serpa ran well for us, and then there’s some young guys like Curtis Secrest and Andrew Essex, who are working super hard,” Baron said.

On the relay side, Whittaker, Edgar Valle and Markuson return from the 4x400m.

Valle, who Baron marked as an unsung contributor to track during his tenure, also qualified for the 4x800m relay, along with Derek Bus, Sean Paulick and graduated Hayden Johnson.

“Bus qualified for State last year and has come out this year so far and made a statement,” Baron said.

“(Edgar) doesn’t get a lot of limelight, but he’s been a relay guy for us every meet,” Baron said.

The freshmen class comes in with personnel like Brandon Cottier, Alex Gil and Chad Swieca, who are primed for action.

“Cottier looks like a special athlete, and we’re figuring out what his best event is,” Baron said.

On the field side of things, it’s open season.

“Alex Mollohan and Brett Ketza are throwing for us and they look ready to step up,” Baron said.

Baron added Ben Kovalick to the throwing list.

For vault, Markuson and Jemmar Parrenas take the reins. Parrenas has gone over 12 feet in indoor competition.

For now, Baron mentions only a couple of nagging injury issues to Blake Serpa and Whittaker.

“A big thing right now is taking it easy on people when we can,” Baron said.

Seniors looking to contribute are Justin Choate, Brock Dyer, Dominic Furco, Kevin Hodge, Carlos Hufshlag, Joe Levita, Lukas Liebich, Justin Phillips, Matt Swift and Kyle Wagner.

Juniors looking to get in the mix are Cody McGinnis and Matt Spitzzeri.

Baron cited Matt Reusche on the senior side and juniors Matt Cowans and Trevor Holm as athletes that are capable of big things.

Sophomores are Chase Borneman, Clayton Brundige, Tom Chidester, Joe Cozzi, Mitch Dienst, Evan Dukes, Andrew Essex, Frankie Furco, Jake Ginther, Thomas King, Jimmy Lagness, Mickey Marin, John Michek, Thanasi Pesmajoglou, Kelvin Peterson, Nate Rehkopf, Brandon Stahl, Devin Swearingen and Nicholas Wieglos.

Freshmen are Trevor Anderson, Tanner Andrews, David Barnhart, Ryan Euting, Marshall Farthing, Dan Goress, Kory Harner, Billy Hart, Brandon Huber, Conor Johnson, Brad Kigyos, Jay Markuson, John Meisenger, Jimmy Merletti, Nick Messina, Liam Mulloy, Ben Nelson, Ryan Paulson, Dylan Pennington, Nick Sharp, Ben Sommers, Gus Stott, Chad Swieca, Zach Theis, Chris Wido and George WIlson.

The outdoor season for Kaneland boys track begins on Saturday, April 10, at East Moline United with conference action against visiting Batavia and Rochelle on Tuesday, April 13.

The Kane County Meet is on Friday, May 7, at West Aurora, with the final Western Sun Conference meet on Friday, May 14, at Geneva.

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.

Boys Track makes presence felt at Seegers, finishes 2nd at Yorkville

Knights boys track finished an exceptional second place in the 11-team Seegers Track and Field Classic at Sycamore on Friday evening.

The Knights’ 132-point total was 22 behind Geneva. Host Sycamore (107), Rockford Jefferson (60) and Oswego East (53) rounded out the top five. Western Sun rivals DeKalb and Rochelle tied for sixth at 41.

Kaneland entry Lucas Ross finished second in the 100 meter dash finals with an effort of 11.26 seconds, just behind Keyeon Hopson of Rockford East’s 11.17.

In the 110m hurdles finals, Kaneland’s Logan Markuson (14.90) and Taylor Andrews (14.91) finished in the top two places.

Markuson took the 300m hurdles crown with a 40.05 effort, 1.12 seconds over Geneva’s Alex Olenck.

In the 4x800m relay event, the Knights foursome of Derek Bus, Sean Paulick, Hayden Johnson and Edgar Valle finished in 8:14.07, good for second place.

Nick Sinon was crowned high jump champ after clearing the six-foot mark. Markuson was second-best in the pole vault with a 14-foot effort.

On Tuesday, Kaneland traveled to Yorkville to do battle with Sycamore and came away with a win thanks to a 77-point effort. Sycamore ended up with 69 and Yorkville had 33.

Markuson won the 110m hurdles at 15.4 seconds and the 300m hurdles at 40.5 seconds. The pole vault also went his way at 14-0.

The Knights’ 3200 relay squad, at 8:29, won the event.

Jake Ginther took the 3200m run at 11 minutes, 24 seconds, while Nick Sinon jumped a 6-5 in the high jump and 41-7.5 in triple jump for his two first places.

Meanwhile, the Knights’ 1600 relay ran 3:38.0 for a first.

Boys track hits the annual Kane County Meet on Friday, May 8 which is hosted by West Aurora.

Photo: Dominic Furco prepares to make an impact during the mile race at a Western Sun Conference gathering at Yorkville High School on Tuesday. Kaneland took first place in a meet also featuring Sycamore. Photo by Linda Bell

Knights take Peterson Prep crown, stop challengers in DeKalb

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland wasted no time impressing faithful fans at the Peterson Prep on Saturday, and continued the top-notch effort on Tuesday in familiar territory.

The Knights pulled out a close .5 win in the annual Peterson Prep with 83 points, compared to 82.5 for West Aurora.

Geneva (80), Dundee-Crown (73) and Sycamore (45.5) rounded out the top five while Rich Central finished sixth in the 15-team invite (33).

Logan Markuson schooled the field and became 110 meter high hurdles champ with a 14.74 second effort in the finals. Markuson came back in the 300m hurdles with a 40.34 time and took first.

The 4x100m relay foursome of Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel, Brendan McCarthy and Blake Serpa finished third at 45.18.

Those same four entries finished the 4x200m course in 1:35.51, good for second.

On Tuesday, Ross felt that as good as that even is, there’s more work to be done at this stage of the season.

“4x200m is the one I’d like to improve on, for sure,” Ross said. “We’d like to get our times down for that one. We’re working on our handoffs and getting the kinks out.”

Hayden Johnson, Derek Bus, Edgar Valle, Logan Markuson took second in the 4x400m relay at 3:31.02

High jumper Nick Sinon’s 6 feet, four inch effort was a second-place entry, while Markuson (13-0) and Josh Bloome (12-6) cleaned up the pole vault.

On Tuesday, Kaneland traveled to DeKalb to face off against the Barbs and Geneva Vikings, winning the event with 85 points. Geneva (67) and DeKalb (34) brought up the rear.

Kaneland’s roster nabbed nine first places. The honors went to the 4×800 relay (9:04.8), Paul Davies in the 3200m run (10:30.5), Taylor Andrews in the 110m hurdles (15.14), Ross in the 100m dash (11.48), the 4x200m relay (1:35.9), Markuson in the 400m dash (52.79), Andrews in the 300m hurdles (42.14), Sinon in the high jump (5-10), Markuson in the vault (13-6) and the 4x400m relay team (3:34.89).

The Knights try to continue their good fortune with a trip to Sycamore’s Seegers Invite on Friday, May 1, and go with the Spartans to Yorkville on Tuesday, May 5.

Photo: Hayden Johnson tries to separate himself from the field during Saturday’s 4x400m relay. The foursome of Johnson, Derek Bus, Edgar Valle and Logan Markuson finished second at Kaneland’s Peterson Prep. Courtesy Photo

Knights leap to second place at Ottawa

Saturday brought Kaneland boys track to its usual mid-April stop: the Ottawa ABC Invite. Kaneland’s success was as easy as that in certain events.

The Knights finished second overall with 160.5 points, behind Moline at 182. Western Sun Conference-mate DeKalb finished 12th out of 15 squads with 55 points.

The first-place parade was led by Matt Weaver, who nabbed a first in the 300 meter hurdles “C” heat at 44.07 seconds. Weaver also took first in the 110m hurdles “C” with a 16.86 second output.

The 4×800 relay foursome won its event with a time of 8:17.86.

Other firsts on the day were turned in by Josh Bloome in the pole vault “B” group (12 feet) and Taylor Andrews in the 110m hurdles “B” event (16.11 seconds).

Lucas Ross finished second in the 100m dash “A” event with 11.60. Logan Markuson took seconds in both the 300m hurdles “A” (40.38) and the 110m hurdles “A” (15.89).

Andrews came back with a second place in the 300m hurdles “B” with an effort of 42.75. The 4x100m relay set finished second at 44.75 while the 4×400 relay team took second at 3:31.95.

Nick Sinon had a productive day with second place efforts in the high jump “A” at 6 feet, 2 inches and the triple jump “B” at 38-8.

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: Fully loaded: Kaneland boys track brings the talent

by Mike Slodki
Fourth-year head coach Eric Baron is happy where things are at with boys track.

“We’re ahead of where we’ve been since I’ve been here. We are as deep and as good as we’ve been in awhile,” Baron said.

That’s good news for KHS fans, and uneasy news for their competition.

Drawing comparisons with the Class A juggernaut from 10 years ago that sent personnel like Bill McKeown and P.J. Fleck, the 66-person team is quite deep.

“We have people fighting for spots, but it’s a pleasant problem and they can’t wait to get out there,” Baron said.

A year removed from sending graduated Phil Christensen to State in the shot put and discus, Logan Markuson in the pole vault, Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel, Brendan McCarthy and Tommy Whittaker in the 4×200 relay and Hayden Johnson, Whitaker, Edgar Valle and Markuson in the 4×400 relay, the Knights return all the State-goers but Christensen.

“Kids get their eyes opened the first time down there, and they get very serious about getting back a second time,” Baron.

Armed and ready for a repeat trip to State are runners like Ross, who looks to make his mark in the 100m dash, 200m dash and relays.

“He’s as fast as I’ve ever seen him,” Baron said.

Hayden Johnson is ready for the 400 and 800 runs and provides great leadership, according to Baron.

Matt Weaver will try to separate himself in the hurdles, and both the 400 and 800.

“We’ve seen what he could do in cross country and we really need him out there,” Baron said.

The distance end of things reveals Paul Davies, who saw a personal best in the two-mile indoor race this season. McCarthy, Brett Ketza, Alex Mollohan and Eric Dratnol also see action at various events.

Matt Reusche can make an impact in the distance and the relays after qualifying for State in cross country.

Nick Sinon, who saw a productive indoor season that included a first-place finish at the WSC indoor meet, looks to do damage in the high jump, and Dominic Furco is set up for distance.

Sinon could also be an entry in the triple jump, while Sean Paulick will try the long jump.

Other ingredients to the mix are Taylor Andrews in the triple jump and Johnson in the long jump.

Newcomers to the track program are Blake Serpa, who’ll try his craft at sprints and relays, and Jimmy Boyle in the throwing events.

The hurdles look to have Markuson, Andrews and Weaver helping the Knights’ cause.

Trying to fill the shoes of Christensen and remaining healthy will be tantamount to the KHS success, but Baron feels that this crew can turn the local competition on its ear.

“This is a group that’s extremely eager to please and great to be around, and we’d like to see improvement from last year. That’ll determine a successful year, rather than trophies,’ Baron said.

The outdoor season begins on Tuesday, April 14, as Kaneland and Rochelle go to Batavia. The famed Peterson Prep kicks off on Saturday, April 25. The Kane County Meet takes place on Friday, May 8, and the WSC meet happens on Friday, May 15, at Batavia.

Photo: Alex Mollohan, seen throwing at the WSC indoor meet last week at Sycamore, looks to be one of the field contributors for a successful 2009 in Kaneland boys track. Photo by Ben Draper

Kaneland chess team earns second place

The Kaneland chess team took part in the Far Side Suburban Chess Conference Championships on Saturday.

The event was a success, as the Knights took second place in the 11-team conference, falling short only to state powerhouse IMSA.

Alex Mollohan and Lucas Ross each won two matches. John Rotella won all three of his matches, good for second place at his board. Taylor Kruause chipped in with a win at board 4. Sophomore Dylan Draper played four boards ahead of his normal position and still managed to earn a win and a draw at board 5. Keli Patterson took home first-place honors at board 6 with a perfect 3-0 day. Cory Clausen also went 3-0 on the day to earn second place at board 7. Zach Brown took home first-place honors with two wins at board 8.

Vickie Likeum earned a draw at her match in the open tournament. Connor Sandquist and Alex Siebert tied for fifth place in the open, each going 3-1. Alejandro Barragan swept through the open tournament at 4-0, taking home first-place honors.

The team looks forward to carrying this momentum into the state championships in two weeks in Peoria.