High School Sports Notes
February 10, 2013 8:48PM
Updated: March 12, 2013 6:12AM
Lincoln-Way West won the area’s battle for most state qualifiers with 10 advancing from its Rich East 2A Sectional. Wilmington was next in line with eight Class 1A wrestlers moving forward, while Lincoln-Way Central and Lockport led the area’s Class 3A schools with seven apiece.
One of the most anticipated potential state finals will be at 195 pounds, where Plainfield Central’s unbeaten Jordan Ellingwood could clash with Sandburg’s undefeated Ricky Robertson. It appeared Robertson, a Wisconsin recruit, might move to 182 pounds for the state tournament, but he didn’t and thus a marquee title match looms. It will be interesting to see who the IHSA gives the No. 1 seed.
“We’re excited for the matchup,” Plainfield Central coach Jim Kappas said. So is everyone else.
By winning the Plano 1A Sectional, Coal City sophomore Cody Minnick secured the likely top seed at the state tournament. Minnick, a fifth-placer finisher last season, ran his record to a gaudy 44-0 with an 8-1 decision over Bishop McNamara’s Zach Lorek.
Teammates Corey Jurzak (113 pounds) and Casey Brown (120) also captured sectional titles. Combined with Minnick, the record of the lightweight trio is 125-7.
Coal City qualified five for the state tournament.
Lockport will host an 11-team sectional Saturday that includes SouthWest Suburban Blue champion Sandburg. A challenge has been issued to the Porters.
“We need some guys to step up if we’re going to give Sandburg a run for their money,’’ Lockport coach Grant Ferkaluk said. “We’re just going to have to get tougher, going to have to get better.’’
The winner in each sectional event advances to the state meet and individuals or relays that equal qualifying times.
“For sectional, I want to compete as a team with Sandburg,’’ said Lockport’s Jake Knowles, a defending sectional champion in the 100-yard breaststroke and 100 freestyle. “We’ve got to get our relays ready for sectional. I still want to go out and win the 100 breaststroke and 100 free.’’
Lemont and the Joliet co-op team also will be in the Lockport Sectional.
Lincoln-Way East, Central and West will be among the 13-team field at the Lincoln-Way North Sectional. East’s Spencer Smith is coming off a 50 freestyle victory in the SouthWest Blue meet after he missed last season with a back injury.
The Plainfield co-op team and the Morris co-op squad will be at the Neuqua Valley Sectional that includes state powers Marmion and Naperville North.
Entering the final game of the state in 15th place, Lemont sophomore Kyra Udziela had a shot at a state medal – awarded to the top 12.
A 170 in the finale ended that chance, dropping her to 28th, but it was still a strong state debut for Udziela.
“For the most part, I’m happy,” she said. “There’s always another shot and another spare you could have made.”
After ending Friday’s play in 33rd place, Udziela quickly moved up thanks to a 707 three-game session Saturday morning – the third-highest score of the session - that included a 275 in the opener.
“The lanes were really oily in the morning and I knew how to read them,” she said. “It was exciting. I definitely want to come back next year and do even better - start strong and finish strong.”
While Udziela looks to the future, Lincoln-Way West’s Morgan Flaherty concluded her high school career.
The 2012 state champion finished 33rd.
“I wish I would have bowled better,” she said. “I know I did really well last year and it’s nice to have that (championship) under my belt.”
The Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association meet gives high schools a second chance at some glory.
Some schools who may have been stinging from sectional losses or sub-par showings in the IHSA state meet the previous two weekends had a chance to feel a little better after competing in the ICCA event Saturday at the Prairie State Convention Center in Springfield.
The ICCA doesn’t call its event a state meet, however teams had to qualify for it through various invitational meets held throughout the state in the past three months.
A couple of area teams used their second chance this weekend and were rewarded with top three finishes.
Wilmington took third place in the small school division behind Sesser-Valier and Rockridge. Rockridge was the same team nudged out of an IHSA championship by .20 of a point by Dwight. Wilmington had taken 12th place in the IHSA meet in Bloomington.
Bolingbrook’s coed team kept its rollercoaster ride going but finished on an upswing, taking third place behind Rich Central and Normal U-High. The Raiders strange postseason run started by posting the best IHSA sectional score in the state. But in the preliminary round, the Raiders fell to 14th and did not qualify for the finals.