STERLING – Clear a path, Charleston. Ben Barnes is coming back.
Barnes, a Kaneland senior boys track and field standout, earned individual titles in the long jump (22 feet, 61/2 inches) and triple jump (44-11) at Friday’s Class 2A Sterling Sectional to advance to next week’s state meet at Eastern Illinois.
Barnes is the defending long jump state champion.
“It’s awesome to be going back down there,” he said. “It’s my last year, and I didn’t want to miss out on that experience again. Being able to be there in both jumps and the 4x200 (meter relay) is great, and hopefully I can help my team score a lot of points at state.”
Kaneland scored 74 team points, finishing behind champion Burlington Central (87).
In addition to Barnes’ jumping events and the 4x200, Kaneland qualified relays in the 4x800 and 4x100 as well as individuals Zach Thielk (shot put), Tanner Robertson (110 hurdles and 300 hurdles), Austin Kintz (1,600), Matt Richtman (1,600) and Danny Walker (pole vault).
Kintz and Walker were sectional champions. Kaneland has advanced a pole vaulter to state in every spring for the past three-plus decades. This marks Walker’s first trip.
“I’ll just have to keep going through the motions until it hits me what I’ve accomplished,” Walker said.
Stanford recruit Lucas Ege boosted BC with titles in both hurdles races, taking the 110s in 14.45 and the 300s in 38.11. Ege won state in the 300s last season and was third in the 110s.
BC won the 4x800 (8:03.34) and 4x400 (3:22.54) Friday. Other qualifying individuals were Jared Trupp (pole vault), Dionte Smith (triple jump), Nick Harvey (800), Kyle Neubauer (400) and Clay Musial (1,600).
Waubonsie Valley Sectional: At Aurora, Batavia’s doubles tandem of Adam Maris and Andrew Nelson reached today’s sectional semifinals, securing a berth to next week’s state tournament.
“It was just a really special moment for me as a coach and as a dad,” said Bulldogs coach Brad Nelson, Andrew’s father. “Adam and Andrew have known each other for years.”
Marmion singles player John King earned a state berth, as well, but with Marmion holding commencement ceremonies Friday, other qualifying matches involving Cadets will resume this morning.
St. Charles East Sectional: At St. Charles, St. Charles North qualified three entries to today’s semifinals, assuring a state berth. Aaron Amburgey and Matt Kramer moved on in singles, while the doubles team of Luke Dunteman and Matt Ernst also qualified.
St. Charles East produced a pair of state-bound doubles entries: Connor Anderson/Alex Winters and Nick Hauptmann/Kevin Schreiner.
Class 1A Lisle Sectional final – Aurora Central Catholic 3, Timothy Christian 0: At Lisle, ACC scored each of its goals after halftime to earn the program’s first sectional title. Jordyn Sundberg assisted on the Chargers’ first two goals before capping the scoring with a goal of her own.
“I like seeing that she’s getting the assists because I feel like she, throughout her career, has always had this amazing passing ability as well as a wonderful scoring ability,” ACC coach Kristy Kane said. “It’s nice seeing other girls stepping up to finish while she keeps creating those opportunities.”
Goalkeeper Bry Mandarino made 12 saves for the shutout. ACC (14-7) advanced to Tuesday’s Concordia Supersectional against Latin.
“It’s amazing,” Kane said. “Our goal this year was to win a regional, and when we did that we definitely saw that based on the competition, we could vie for sectionals, too.”
Class 2A De La Salle Regional final – St. Francis 8, De La Salle 0: At Chicago, St. Francis rolled and will host Nazareth Academy in a sectional semifinal Tuesday.
Class 2A Wheaton Academy Regional final – Wheaton Academy 8, Montini 0: At West Chicago, Erin Teevans’ hat trick vaulted Wheaton Academy (18-3-1) into Tuesday’s St. Francis Sectional semifinal against either Riverside-Brookfield or Glenbard South.
St. Charles North 6, Kaneland 5 (11 inn.): At St. Charles, North (30-4) outscored Kaneland (19-11), 2-1, in the 11th inning. Cory Wright had three hits for the North Stars, while the Knights' Danny Hammermeister was 4 for 5 with three RBIs.
Geneva 4, Bartlett 1: At Geneva, Nate Montgomery went 3 for 3 with two RBIs for Geneva (19-11, 16-9 Upstate Eight Conference River Division). Nick Porretto earned his seventh save, a single-season school record.
Batavia 10, Streamwood 1: At Batavia, Luke Beckmann and Joey Gross drove in three runs apiece to lift Batavia (15-18, 14-10 UEC River).
St. Charles East 11, Larkin 0 (5 inn.): At Elgin, East (28-4, 20-2 UEC River) scored each of its runs in the fifth inning.
Geneva 7, Elgin 1: At Elgin, Kyla Chenier had two hits for Geneva (21-8, 16-6 UEC River).
Batavia 11, Streamwood 1: At Streamwood, Batavia’s Alyssa Klemm and Rachael Lovestrand homered.
Geneva 18, Jacobs 12: At Geneva, Geneva advanced to the quarterfinals of the IHSLA B-class playoffs.