High School Sports Notes
September 9, 2012 9:04PM
Updated: October 11, 2012 6:15AM
In a 29-team field that included defending Class 3A champion New Trier, four Lockport runners finished in under 19 minutes to lead the Porters to a seventh-place finish Saturday at the Peoria Woodruff Invitational.
“We have to be five strong because we don’t have the lead runners we’ve had in the past,’’ Lockport coach Evon Marie Schlotter said after the Sept. 1 victory at the Plainfield Central Wildcat Invitational. “The girls know it. We’ve discussed it with them at length.’’
Bianca Wiemeyer (36th, 18:39), Aubrey Elwood (37th, 18:39), Courtney Correa (43rd, 18:45) and Kim Johnson (52nd, 18:56) led the pack Saturday for Lockport.
“We’re definitely closer this year,’’ Correa said. “We always had lead runners and now it’s all just the team. It’s all seven of us working together the whole time. It’s really special. I’ve never experienced anything like it.’’
“If everybody stays healthy, we’re still going to have a battle,’’ Schlotter said. “Those lead runners drop your score anywhere from 50 to 100 points at state. It’s going to be a different kind of year.
“Before it was ‘We’ll make it out of regional. We should make it out of sectional. What are we going to do at state?’ This year we’re going to take it one week at a time.’’
With his team winning five of its first seven matches, Lincoln-Way Central coach Sean Fahey has seen plenty of good things from the Knights.
There’s still room for improvement, though.
“We can always improve technically,” Fahey said. “We saw (in a 2-1 loss Thursday to Bloom) that we’ll face teams that are technical all over the field. It’s hard to improve that over the course of a season or even a high school career, but we’ll try to get better there.
“We can get better at finishing chances, too. Our kids are great, though. They work hard and they’ve been playing great.”
C.J. Zuraitis, Nick Kowalkowski, Jacob Lysik and Alvin Landaverde have led the Knights offense. Ryan Fremgen, Freddie Bartuch, Nick Bertucci and Jeff Neukom anchor the defense.
Fahey said one of the team’s biggest strengths is having senior goalie Mike Dybala between the pipes.
“Mike is huge for us,” Fahey said. “He’s one of the best goalies in the state, without a doubt.”
The Knights have a tough stretch ahead, finishing the Lincoln-Way Invitational with two matches this week before taking on Lockport and Sandburg.
Key SouthWest Suburban Red matches are slated for October against red-hot Andrew, Lincoln-Way West and defending champion Stagg.
Lincoln-Way West coach Kristen Neuberg challenged her team as the season started with one objective. Heading into the school’s fourth year as a varsity program, Neuberg wanted school and pool records to start falling.
“The girls are going after it,” Neuberg said. “They see it is possible and they want to put up a whole new set of records.”
The Warriors got off to an impressive start, finishing second at the Sterling Invite after finishing in third the previous three years at the six-team meet.
Emily Gallagher was named the swimmer of the meet, winning the 100-yard freestyle and finishing second in the 200 breaststroke. Divers Alexis Skiniotes and Emma Hahs took first and second, respectively.
“It’s definitely a confidence boost,” Neuberg said. “A lot of the girls are surpassing their all-time best times and it’s only September. It shows them that three years of hard work is paying off.”
In a meet against Marian Catholic, Joliet co-op and Crete-Monee, Gallagher broke school and pool records in the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.
“I’m super happy with the performances but our team goals are to send individuals and a relay, which we’ve never done, to state,” Neuberg said.