High School Sports Notes
January 20, 2013 7:14PM
Updated: February 22, 2013 6:12AM
Each year after the individual qualifiers have been determined at the 12 sectionals, six additional bowlers receive at-large bids to the state tournament.
Last season, the cutoff was 20 pins behind the second automatic individual qualifier, so Lincoln-Way East’s Brandon Nathan and Lincoln-Way Central’s Nick Kross seemed like safe bets to advance when they finished four and six pins out, respectively, at Saturday’s Sandburg Sectional.
As it turns out, sectionals across the state were exceptionally close. Kross fell short, while Nathan had to sweat it out. Nathan got the last at-large berth as four pins was the cutoff.
Nathan joins Lincoln-Way West’s Josh Glover and Plainfield Central’s Bryan Blair, who advanced out of the Plainfield North Sectional, as local individuals at state. Lockport and Minooka also are in the state finals, which begin Friday at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon.
Blair survived a tough field at Plainfield North.
“The competition is always so tough in our sectional,” he said. “It definitely prepares you for the state tournament.”
Nathan finished 25th in the state last season. Blair was 36th.
Lockport won all three relays, the 100-yard breaststroke and took first and second place in diving to win the title Saturday at the Porters’ 11-team invitational.
Lockport had 358 points in the meet to 349 for runner-up Stagg.
“Overall, we swam pretty well,’’ Lockport coach Grant Ferkaluk said. “I was pretty pleased with it.’’
Ferkaluk called the medley relay the “Jake relay.’’ It consisted of Jake Speechley, Jake Knowles, Jake Gillis and Jake Elias (1:42.27). The 200 freestyle relay (1:30.69) was Knowles, Brandon Witsaman, Gillis and Elias. The 400 free relay (3:21.55) was Dan Oldendorf, Witsaman, Ian Mead and Knowles.
Knowles also won the breaststroke (59.31, meet record) to give him four first-place finishes.
Diver Jake Voltarel took first place (426) ahead of teammate Tyler Pastore (418).
Alex Netzel and Brandon Tran had strong meets for the Plainfield co-op squad. Netzel finished second in the 500 freestyle (4:55) and 200 individual medley (2:01.60). Tran was second in the breaststroke (1:00.25) and third in the IM.
Plainfield’s medley relay of Netzel, Tran, Matt Sheehan and Danny Bochucinski took third.
The last three SouthWest Suburban championships have gone to Lincoln-Way co-op.
The last three individual all-around titles have gone to Andrew’s Jamie Valla.
Will any of that change in 2013?
Early indications are it will remain status quo.
The four SWSC squads will battle it out at 11 a.m. Saturday at Homewood-Flossmoor.
During the dual season, no one was able to knock off Lincoln-Way or Valla.
Lincoln-Way has won four team titles in the seven-year history of the league. Lincoln-Way athletes to watch include senior Sam Duggan, sophomores Kaila Pohrte and Shelby Wiktor and freshmen Mallory Winter and Jalyn Hobbs.
The Illinois High School Association announced its regional assignments, and area teams will be headed to two sites.
Lockport individual gymnasts, juniors Kacia Kenney, Kaitlyn Lee and Athanasia Pappas, and Romeoville senior Alina Rodriguez will compete Jan. 29 in the Neuqua Valley Regional.
Lincoln-Way’s co-op team and Plainfield North
individuals will compete in the Oswego Regional on Feb. 2. The hosts are the favorite, with Lincoln-Way seeded second.
Notes from the SouthWest Suburban Tournament:
After earning his second conference championship Saturday, Lincoln-Way Central’s Robbie Mikenis (138 pounds) looked ahead to the Knights’ regional match-up against Lockport and Plainfield Central on Feb. 2. “It’s going to be wild,” Mikenis said. “I think we have a good shot to take it. It’s a good sign that we beat Lockport in (Saturday’s) tournament scoring.” Sandburg finished first, Lincoln-Way Central was second and Lockport took third.
Before the conference tournament, Lincoln-Way West coach Brian Glynn noted Kyle Rodriguez as his most consistent wrestler. Rodriguez proved that again with a title at 132 pounds. The junior believes his consistency comes from competitiveness. “Throughout practice, I’m always the first one done. I’ve got the fastest sprint, fastest done with the mile. I’m always the one pushing the pace for everyone.”
Now a three-time conference champion, Joliet Central’s Trayvon Zabala (120 pounds) looks for state tournament redemption. “I want to come out with it all this year. I got disqualified last year at state. I did the wrong thing, slammed (Barrington’s Jared Parvinmehr) too hard and got disqualified. I wrestled back and got third, but this year is going to be different. I want to win the state title with an undefeated record.”