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Druley: Marmion graduate Kanute raises profile

Geneva resident Ben Kanute passed largely under the radar as he walked the University of Arizona campus Monday.

Sweeping the sprint and Olympic distance races at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships in Tempe, Ariz., over the weekend certainly earned him recognition among friends, but, Kanute said, “It’s not like there were any strangers. I haven’t reached celebrity status.”

Kanute still raised his profile in his sport’s rabid community by completing Saturday’s 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run in 1:46:36. A day earlier, he traversed half those distances in 58:26 to win the sprint title.

“Once the races started, I just focused on doing what I had to do,” said Kanute, a sophomore at Arizona. “I felt pretty good throughout the weekend and was able to keep a strong pace going and really stay up front.”

Kanute had watched other triathlons on the Tempe bike and running courses, although he was experiencing the city’s Town Lake for the first time.

His victories figure to propel Kanute into a busy upcoming stretch. He’s set to compete in the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Fla., in two weeks before preparing for a June 1 world championship qualifier in Dallas.

One day after that race, Kanute plans to travel to France to train and compete with a French grand prix triathlon team.

“I took Spanish [at Marmion], so it’s going to be a little bit of an adventure for me to go to France,” Kanute said.

In search of stability: Moving Thursday’s Suburban Christian Conference tennis meet against Aurora Central Catholic from its outdoor courts to the Regole Fieldhouse literally brought the Marmion boys tennis team under one roof.

Regardless of venue, that has been a struggle for the Cadets in the first few weeks of the spring because of various conflicts.

“The challenge this season, it’s been difficult trying to get everyone together,” Marmion coach John Tsang said. “There’s been other commitments with ACTs. I know some of my players are part of band and Kairos [retreats]. So there’s been a lot of other events that’s hurt the ability to have everyone together at the same time.

“As the season progresses, it will be very important for us to come together as a unit and keep coming together and get stronger.”

Marmion jump-started its bid for a fifth successive SCC title with a 5-0 win against the Chargers. Top singles player Jackson Rettig, a doubles standout in past season, was among the team’s winners.

As for the move indoors, the Cadets appreciate the flexibility their fieldhouse offers in the event of inclement weather.

“Everybody was very accommodating and it worked,” Tsang said, “so this could be a tradition [with ACC].”

B-Towner earns lacrosse plaudits: Batavia eighth-grader Sean Mills is a rising star in a growing sport.

Mills, a student at Rotolo Middle School, has been tabbed as a 2013 Brine National All-Star midfielder, and is set to represent Team Illinois at Brine’s National All-Star Lacrosse Academy and National Lacrosse Classic this summer.

The top middle school talent nationwide will participate in the events from June 30 to July 3 in Boyds, Md..

• Kevin Druley is a sports writer for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or

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