Tag Archives: Sydney Bilotta

KHS spring sports awards put fitting cap on 2010-11

KANELAND—Coming a little later due to the storybook run of Kaneland baseball, KHS released its spring sports awards for 2010-11, highlighting a successful first step into Northern Illinois Big XII play.

In girls track, Lauren Zick and Andie Strang took home the co-MVP for track, while Brooke Patterson was named MVP on the field end. For most improved, Abby Dodis and Briana Stark took home the honor.

Sydney Bilotta, Strang, Kris Bowen, Jessica Stouffer and Keara Palpant were recognized as captains.

Zick and Patterson were joined by Gabby Aguirre as part of the Northern Illinois Big XII (NIB-12) All-Conference squad. Strang (1600 meter run, 4x800m relay), Bowen (4x800m relay), Patterson (pole vault), Sydney Strang (4x800m relay) and Zick (400m dash, 4x800m relay) were also recognized for their State trip.

For boys track, Taylor Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were named track MVP’s, while teammate Matt Spitzzeri took the field MVP. Curtis Secrest was given the Drendel Award.

Secrest, Trevor Holm, Whittaker, Andrews, Matt Cowans and Spitzzeri were recognized as captains, and Kory Harner took the Ron Probst Award.

The NIB-12 also named Andrews, Spitzzeri, Whittaker, Holm, Brandon Cottier, Mickey Marin and Jesse Balluff as part of the All-Conference squad.

Harner, Marin, Luis Acosta, Clayton Brundige, Balluff, Brandon Bishop, Dylan Nauert, Sean Carter, Holm, Cottier, Whittaker, Andrews and Secrest were all recognized for their State qualifying efforts.

In soccer, Emily Heimerdinger secured an All-State honor, capping her four-year output in style, while also named the NIB-12 MVP. The Class of 2011 member was also named co-MVP for the Lady Knights with teammate Amy Fabrizius.

Conference-wide, Heimerdinger, Fabrizius, Sophia Blank and Sam Wantuch were named to the All-Conference team.

Katie Taylor earned the Lady Knights Award, while Blank took home the Coach’s Award.

Keeper Michelle Ortiz was named Rookie of the Year, while Wantuch was named Most Improved Player for the roster that made it to the regional championship. Blank, Fabrizius, Heimerdinger and Taylor were also recognized as captains.

In softball, McKinzie Mangers and Andrea Potts were recognized as captains, while Allyson O’Herron took home the Lady Knight Award.

Potts was also named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Alexis Villarreal was named Most Improved Player for her efforts on the mound, and teammate Rilee Vest was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Lady Knights softball unit.

Additionally, Potts was a unanimous selection to the NIB-12 All-Conference team as an infielder. Vest and Katy Dudzinski were named as honorable mention candidates.

For the State Champion Knights baseball program, Bobby Thorson was named team Offensive MVP.

Kyle Davidson, Jake Razo and Brian Dixon took the Defensive MVP awards, and Dixon, Razo and Tyler Heinle were named Most Improved Players.

The No. 41 award was given to Sam Komel, Corey Landers and Dixon.

Mr. Kaneland Baseball was given out to the whole of the 2011 Class 3A State winners.

Additionally, Kaneland held the Senior Athletic Banquet Awards in June, giving the Knight Award for three-sport athletes to Stouffer, Strang and Davidson.

Strang was named female athlete of the year, while Andrews was named male athlete of the year. Strang also won the female Birkette Award, while the male Birkette Award went to Curtis Secrest.

4x800m relay, Zick lead good times at State

Photo: Lauren Zick tries to outrun the field in the 400 meter dash prelims on Friday at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. Zick, who ran a 58.58 seconds time in the prelims, was a finalist and finished ninth in the Class 2A State finals. Photo by Ben Draper

CHARLESTON—By the very nature of the State meet, athletes need a certain level of performance to even be part of the collision of talent at Eastern Illinois University.

So Kaneland’s girls track faithful could be confident that the four events featuring the Lady Knights would have the potential for good things.

As it shook out, two events yielded finalists, putting the cap on 2010-2011 girls track.

The 4×800 meter relay squad of seniors Andie Strang and Kris Bowen, and freshmen Sydney Strang and Lauren Zick finished sixth in Class 2A State competition, after a finals effort of 9 minutes, 37.49 seconds.

Meanwhile, Kaneland’s other finals action came courtesy of Zick. The freshman phenom finished ninth in the 400m dash finals with a time of 59.76 seconds.

In team standings, your Class 2A champions are Springfield Southeast with 50 points, one point better than Chicago’s Morgan Park Academy. Springfield was third with 45 points, and Kankakee was fourth with a total of 32. Northern Illinois Big XII rep Rochelle was fifth with 29 points.

The 4×800 crew lost on a tiebreaker for fifth place with Mahomet-Seymour’s team, but edged Hampshire by 1.26 seconds.

Yorkville’s unit took the event with a time of 9:17.32.

In the Friday preliminaries, Kaneland won its heat with a time of 9:41.78, beating Effingham’s crew by 1.69 seconds.

In the 400m dash, Zick was .33 behind Mahomet-Seymour’s Jessica Melchi. Shamier Little of Chicago’s Lindblom High School took the medal with a time of 54.85 seconds. Ottawa’s Alex Ortiz was fourth in 57.40 and Sycamore’s Lake Kwaza was sixth at 59.22.

Zick took third in her preliminary heat with a time of 58.58.

In the pole vault, State qualifier Brooke Patterson vaulted to 10 feet, with the qualifiying mark having to be 10-06. A year ago, Patterson finished 10th overall. Pontiac’s Emily Grove won the event with a 12-06.

Finally, Andie Strang had solo time in the 1600m run, finishing in 5:20.06, 3.1 seconds off the closest qualifying time for finals. Woodstock’s Kayla Beattie’s 4:43.65 was good for the State crown.

With the end of the season, KHS girls track says goodbye to seniors Athina Ajazi, Sydney Bilotta, Bowen, Mackenzie Curran, Ariana Espino, Liz Hylland, Jordan Krawczyk, Keara Palpant, Patterson, Alyson Rehr, Nicole Rymarz, Briana Stark, Jessica Stouffer, Strang and Cara Zagel.

Third-place at Jenni’s ABC for KHS

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For a top-three finish, ideal elements evidently don’t matter.

Kaneland rallied against wind and cold, amassing 288 team points in the annual Jenni’s ABC Meet at Peterson Field in Maple Park.

Huntley took the event with a 363-point total, followed by Rockford Boylan High School at 306. The Lady Knights were ahead of Rosary (250) and Rock Falls (172). Mt. Assisi Academy of Lemont was sixth at 59 points, while Mercer County High School was seventh at 57.

Freshman asset Lauren Zick was tops for the Lady Knights in the 100 meter dash A flight with a time of 12.6 seconds, .2 seconds ahead of Huntley’s Taylor Schau.

In the 200m dash A group, Ashley Castellanos took second with a time of 27.3.

Senior Andie Strang was first in the 800m run A group at 2:28.5, 3.5 seconds ahead of the pack.

Kris Bowen took third in the 1600m A race at 5:53.7, running through winter-like conditions.

“It’s not the greatest weather, but everyone has to run in this. It’s just about seeing who’s the fastest and who’s the toughest,” Bowen said.

Sydney Luse finished second in the 100m hurdles A at 18.10 seconds, while the 4x100m relay team (Sydney Bilotta, Castellanos, Brooke Patterson and Zick) won the A relay at 52.20.

The foursome also finished second in the 4x200m relay A race in 1:50.

Field events saw Gabby Aguirre take second in the high jump A flight at 4 feet, eight inches.

Zick took the long jump A group with a jump of 16-09.

Patterson won the triple jump A event with a final effort of 33-5.25.

In the 800m run B race, Sydney Strang won in 2:31.4, while teammates Ashley Diddell, Luse, Brianna Stark and Rachel Steinmiller took second in the 4x100m relay B race.

4x400m relay B accolades went to KHS with a win by Athina Ajazi, Lisa Jennings, Amanda Lesak and Savanah Miles in 4:42.10.

Castellanos topped the triple jump B category with a jump of 32-2.5.

Ahead for KHS is the usual Dixon Relays stop, but on an unusual day: Thursday, April 21, at 4:30 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ecker’s crew has young, old as formula for success

Photo: Andie Strang has established herself as a threat at any distance and looks to finish her Kaneland tenure with a flourish. Photo by Linda Bell

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Here comes Lady Knights track.

If the early practice sessions and indoor season were any indicator, many a girl in KHS garb will be finishing quite well in 2011 races.

Second-year head coach Doug Ecker is eager to see what the large roster can do, with a mostly healthy lineup.

“The indoor season was encouraging,” Ecker said. “The most encouraging thing is all the distance runners are healthy and we’ve been consistent,” Ecker said. “When we get outside, we’ll have to have a little more depth.”

So far, the three big names to pop up are senior Andie Strang in the distance and relay events, senior Brooke Patterson in pole vault and triple jump and freshman Lauren Zick in sprints and long jump.

“We knew Lauren was fast, she has the temperament and she’ll do what the coaches ask her to do. She listens well,” Ecker said.

Sophomore and state qualifier Ashley Castellanos has excelled in the jumps, as well.

Gabby Aguirre returns and looks to make a mark in the jumps.

With a Division II career ahead of her, Strang is ready to go for the distance events, but Ecker believes a challenge lays ahead.

“This conference is going to be brutal for distance. She can run extremely well one meet and get fifth in the mile. You have so many good distance runners,” Ecker said.

Sydney Strang and Kris Bowen also look to add to the distance ranks for Kaneland.

For relays, the 4x800m team could be in store for big finishes. The Strang sisters, Bowen and Castellanos, will all see time in that event along with Jessica Stouffer. The 4x200m has Sydney Bilotta and Ariana Espino ready to go with Patterson.

Kaneland looks to continue the pole vault excellence.

“Brooke is very good and works very hard, and Sydney Luse has worked very hard, and Shannon Wallace will give us some depth, too,” Ecker said.

Junior Nicole Ketza looks to rise in the weight events after a good late-season run.

Kaneland is still looking for young hurdlers to take the reins in that event.

The stronger each event is, the better for the Lady Knights in the new Northern Illinois Big XII scheme.

“Our conference is maybe one of the better conferences in the state. You throw in every event, we are really solid,” Ecker said.

All-WSC, team awards handed out at KHS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fall sports preview: Girls XC sees return of talent

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

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

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

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

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

Junior Sam Collins and senior Johnson also come back.

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

Krissy Chapman also makes up the senior side.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lady Knights have steady showing at Holmes Invite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main keys were coaching and preparation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

WSC, team honors dished at Winter Sports Awards

Last week saw Kaneland High School dole out its winter athletic awards with four sports being recognized on various levels.

In varsity girls basketball, Mallory Huml was given defensive player of the year, and Mallory Carlson was named most improved player. Katie Hatch and Sarah Rose were named co-MVP’s. Cece Anderson won the Kaneland Knight Award, and Rose was also recognized as a member of the all-Western Sun Conference team. Rose, Anderson, Hatch, Huml, Brianna Hurst, Chassidy Mangers and Alyssa Galvan were also recognized as captains.

In sophomore basketball, Jessica Stouffer and Liz Hylland took the Kaneland Knight awards, while Sydney Bilotta won defensive player. Andrea Dimmig-Potts and Katie Taylor were named co-offensive player of the year. Keara Palpant was given MVP honors.

For the freshman level, Anna Olson took the hustle award, and Katie Tolan won most improved. Christina Janes was named Queen of the Boards, while McKinzie Mangers was given the Dedication award. Kylie Siebert won the Lady Knight award.

For boys basketball, Dave Dudzinski was honored for making the All-WSC team, and was also named as the team’s offensive player of the year.

The Most Improved Player award went to the tandem of Christian Dillon and Sean Paulick. Dudzinski took the team MVP honors, and Curtis Lubic earned the defensive player of the year nod.

Brody Root, Dillon, Mike Prtichard, Lubic, Chris Ott and Joe Spitzzeri were also recognized as captains.

On the freshman level, Eric Eichelberger and Brandon Stahl earned most improved honors, while Jake Razo took home outstanding defensive player, and Jordan Jones was outatanding offensive player.

For the Lady Knights bowling team, Jessica Stebbins was given kudos for high game, high series, and high average.

Danielle Rose earned the most improved award. Emily Curran took home the coaches award and Stebbins, Curran, Kathleen Moravcik and Cassie Wilson were recognized as captains.

For wrestling, Jay Levita was named most valuable wrestler, as well as getting the Bob Domena Memorial Award for hardest worker, and was also given accolades for making the All-WSC team and State.

Jimmy Boyle took the most improved award, while Devon Scholl won the Dave Osman Award for most dedicated. Boyle was given the Russel Anderson Memorial Award, and Matt Weaver took the Heart and Soul Award.

Levita, Weaver and Scholl were also recognized as captains.