St. Charles East, Sr.
Conquered late-season technique issues to win 3A Hoffman Estates Sectional title and advance to the state meet in 300-meter hurdles.
Chronicle Athlete of the Year was one of three Knights to take part in a pair of 2A state medal-winning relays. Heroics early in 4x800 helped in team’s recovery to win crown.
Placed seventh in the 3A pole vault to lead a strong field of Upstate Eight Conference River Division representatives in the event.
St. Charles North, Sr.
Standout among North’s decorated stable of sprinters battled the flu at the 3A state meet. Joined Jack Feeney, Connor Larson and Tyler Ingham in school-record run in 4x400 at prestigious Penn Relays in April.
Joined Carter and Conor Johnson on Knights’ champion 4x800 and runner-up 4x400, and will stretch career into Saturday’s appearance at Midwest Distance Gala.
Improving throughout the spring, Grahovec will look to build on his run of 1:54.77 in the 800, which netted him fourth place at the 3A state meet.
Aurora Central Catholic, Jr.
A four-event state qualifier in 2A, Lefevre took fifth in the 110 hurdles. He won sectional and Kane County titles in the same event.
Part of a healthy throwing rivalry with teammate Nathan Balettie and Batavia’s Sebastian Vermaas, McNeil won a sectional title and went to 3A state in the discus.
St. Charles North, Jr.
Miller finished fourth in the 3A state high jump, clearing 6-feet, 8 inches to give the program one more medal under outgoing coach Don Spencer.
Helped Kaneland cruise to title at 2A Sterling Sectional, winning both hurdles events. Capped state weekend by anchoring the Knights’ runner-up 4x400.
Burlington Central, Sr.
Marquette-bound Olsen nearly capped his career with a 2A state title, running 49.39 seconds in the 400, nine hundreths of a second behind Cahokia’s Marlin Brady.
Roels sparked the Vikings’ surprise burst to the Hoffman Estates Sectional team title by winning the 200 and taking a narrow second in the 100.
Football convert kept looking like a natural, qualifying for the 3A state meet in the discus. Was pondering walk-on possibilities with DePaul at season’s end.
Luis Acosta, Kaneland, Jr.
Mike Bianchina, Geneva, Sr.
Jorden Berendt, Batavia, Jr.
Brandon Cottier, Kaneland, Sr.
Lucas Ege, Burlington Central, So.
Zack Flint, Aurora Central Catholic, Sr.
Jake Gehman, Aurora Christian, Sr.
Kory Harner, Kaneland, Sr.
Mason Heinz, St. Charles North, Sr.
Mike Hockett, St. Charles East, Sr.
Conor Johnson, Kaneland, Jr.
Wal Khat, Mooseheart, Jr.
Connor Larson, St. Charles North, Sr.
Grant Loess, St. Charles North, Sr.
Tyler Maryanski, Marmion, Jr. Matt Meyers, Aurora Central Catholic, Sr.
Chris Orlow, Batavia, Jr.
Josh Phelan, St. Charles North, Sr.
Jake Ruddy, Marmion, Sr.
Matt Ruff, Wheaton Academy, Jr.
R.J. Viereckl, Batavia, Sr.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Baron guided the Knights to comfortable victories in the Northern Illinois Big 12 and 2A Sterling Sectional meets before Kaneland used its blend of newcomers and veterans to place sixth among 2A teams at state.
“We were young and we gained a lot more experience with a young group of guys,” Baron said. “The way they competed and raced and went up agains the best in Illinois really showed where our program is at.”
Recent graduates like the Knights’ chances to stay near the top, as long as Baron keeps helping athletes stay at ease.
“Going into state he told us to calm down, do what you’re capable of, we’re able to run with everyone out there and we’ll be fine,” senior Nathaniel Kucera said.
– Kevin Druley, firstname.lastname@example.org