FORSYTH – St. Charles North senior Ariana Furrie played her first four holes at 1-under par Saturday, and a charge up the leaderboard at the IHSA Class AA state tournament seemed imminent.
Unfortunately for Furrie, the thunder and lightning hovering around Hickory Point Golf Club were clicking, too.
Inclement weather canceled Saturday's rounds at the five separate boys and girls state tournaments downstate, limiting results only to what had been completed Friday. Chronicle-area athletes and coaches headed for home earlier than expected on Saturday afternoon, wishing the outcome had been different.
"It's such an exciting time for the girls, and that's their big ultimate goal to get down there and play at state," North coach Chris Patrick said. "When you get down there and weather dictates how much you can play, it's just frustrating for everybody."
Storms in the greater Decatur area (girls) and in Bloomington-Normal (boys) kept golfers waiting throughout the day.
A sizable clubhouse and covered patio at Hickory Point housed its share of frantic onlookers, many of whom checked the radar on their cell phones.
Play initially was set to start with a shotgun start att 9 a.m., but a series of lightning delays hampered any momentum. At Hickory Point, Furrie and St. Charles East senior Paige Jordan were preparing to return to the course with the rest of the field around 2 p.m., but then lightning struck again.
"We needed to be about 20 miles more south and another hour of daylight would have helped," Saints coach Rod Osborne said, " but I don't know if they even would have finished before dark had they gotten out on the last try."
About 45 minutes north of Decatur, at Illinois State's Weibring Golf Club in Normal, the Kaneland boys enjoyed an early turnaround in the Class 2A tournament. The Knights stood tied for 10th in the team race entering the day, but were a manageable 20 shots behind the co-leaders.
Kaneland's first team entry at state since 1995 found the day to be bittersweet.
"It was a goal to make it to state, which we were happy about, but we still wanted to perform well," Knights coach Mark Meyer said. "We started to play a good round today, and unfortunately, the weather kind of came down and that was it. In the end, they were still were very happy to get there."
IMSA Sectional: At Aurora, Batavia's doubles team of Jenny Mizikar and Amelia Cogan downed fellow state tournament qualifiers Andrea Goyao and Megan Conlin of Rosary, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, to win the sectional title. Both entries were their teams' lone qualifiers to next week's state tournament.
Batavia (20 points) finished second in the sectional behind Oswego East (24). Top Bulldogs singles players Liza Fruendt and Miranda Grizaffi lost three-set matches during qualifying round play Friday.
St. Francis 49, Guerin 0: At River Grove, St. Francis (4-4) rolled in the Suburban Christian Conference crossover to snap a four-game losing streak. The Spartans led, 42-0, after one quarter.
Jack Petrando and T.J. Jackson both had two rushing touchdowns. Petrando carried three times for 130 yards.
The Spartans need a win against struggling SCC Blue foe St. Edward next week to become playoff-eligible.
Maine West Pumpkin Tournament: At Des Plaines, Kristen Koncelik (45 kills) and Heather Meyer (39 digs) helped Batavia finish 3-2 and take the Silver Consolation Bracket championship. The Bulldogs (17-16) beat Jacksonville, 25-21, 27-25 in their final match, securing the sweep after rallying from a 24-23 deficit in Game 2.
Audrey Faulhaber added 122 assists in the five matches.
"This was definitely a great tournament for us," Bulldogs coach Lori Trippi-Payne said. "We are continuing to work on improving our overall game, and we made some strides in that direction over the weekend."
Glenbard East Autumnfest: At Lombard, St. Charles East finished 3-2 at the invitational, defeating Lisle, Schaumburg and Waubonsie Valley. Erienne Barry dished 101 assists for the Saints in the tournament, including 30 in the final match, a 15-25, 30-28, 25-16 win against Waubonsie Valley. Nicole Woods had 18 of her 52 kills against Waubonsie, while Emma Johnson added 31 tournament kills.
Lincoln-Way Central Tournament: At New Lenox, Burlington Central rallied from a pair of pool play losses to defeat Thornton Fractional North, Lincoln-Way West and Oak Lawn en route to the Bronze Division championship. Junior libero Allie O'Reilly recorded 74 digs for the tournament to give her 494 for her career, breaking Sam Bohne's previous school record of 449. All-tournament team selection Lexie Bouza added 36 kills and 40 digs for the 23-10 Rockets.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Kaneland fourth at Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference meet: At Peru, Kaneland placed fourth with 118 team points behind Kyle Carter (11th, 15:54) and Conor Johnson (23rd, 16:18). Yorkville won the title with 27 points.
While the Knights managed a 56-second split in their top seven, the team still was hoping for a more consistent run with the state series looming.
"We clearly need to rebound at home next week with the regional," Knights coach Chad Clarey said. "This was the last time this season we can have a race like this."
Marmion wins SCC meet: At Aurora, host Marmion placed six runners in the top 10 to take the SCC title comfortably. The Cadets scored 25 team points, topping runner-up Aurora Central Catholic (60), which boasted overall champ Matt Meyers (16:05).
John Graft (16:38) paced Marmion as individual runner-up; teammates Liam O'Dea and Ethan Young were next, finishing within seven seconds. St. Francis (third, 73), Wheaton Academy (fourth, 85) and Aurora Christian (fifth, 161) also were part of the eight-team field. The Spartans' NIck Vilimek was fifth.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Kaneland second at NI Big 12 meet: At Peru, Victoria Clinton (third, 18:13) and Brianna Bower (eighth, 18:40) registered top 10 finishes to help Kaneland to a second-place team score. The Knights had 65 points, 39 back of champion Yorkville.
St. Francis second at SCC meet: At Aurora, St. Francis' Kate Roback (second) and Jenna DiValerio (fourth) paced the Spartans to 60 teams points and a second-place finish among nine teams. Montini won the conference title with 31 points.
Rosary (99 points) finished third behind fifth-place individual Kara Kalisz. Wheaton Academy (fourth, 110), Aurora Central Catholic (fifth, 124) and Aurora Christian (seventh, 169) also competed.