Lady Eagles place 11th at state golf
When Sandburg’s girls’ golf team qualified for the state tournament by capturing last Monday’s Class AA Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional championship, the Lady Eagles broke new ground.
No other Sandburg golf squad had ever made the downstate trip as a team.
And while the Lady Eagles didn’t fare as well they would have liked in last weekend’s finals at Hickory Point in Decatur, they still finished 11th overall. That was accomplished with a roster completely devoid of seniors, which means big hopes exist for a return appearance next October.
As she has been all season, junior Frankie Saban — who shot a state-best 69 in the sectional round — was Sandburg’s big gun as she carded a two-day total of 166. Close behind her was sophomore Emily Cosler, whose 36-hole score was 170. Freshman Emilyee McGiles (186) and junior Patty Meza (199) were the Lady Eagles’ other scorers, while sophomore Erin Cronin gave them a 210.
Sandburg coach Todd Allen said his young players were very grateful to reach the state meet, which he admitted came earlier than expected.
“We’re really a year ahead of schedule,” Allen said. “They would have liked to have scored a little bit higher, but it was a great experience for them. We have no seniors, so I’m very excited that they got the experience. We had a great time and it was valuable for us.
“I really thought that next year would be our year to qualify for state because we’re so young, [but] we now have more of an edge for next year. We had a fantastic year — we were [SouthWest Suburban Blue] conference champs, regional champs, and we went 13-1 in dual meets.”
Allen said the course in Decatur was longer than his team was used to playing, a circumstance that was intensified by cold and windy conditions. The thrill of being the first Sandburg team to reach state was more than enough to overcome any disappointment, however.
“I think they all came away feeling good about the whole experience,” Allen said. “They were all saying on the bus that they’re all excited about being able to put in the work over the next year to not only be able to get down there again next year, but to also improve their finish.
“We already talked about going down to that course once or twice in the summer. It will be good to play it, and all [the girls] will be back next season to build on our success.”
Saban’s 69 at the H-F Sectional established a school record and bettered her previous personal best by four strokes. She had four birdies on the back nine and shot a blistering 31 on the second half of the round.
Sandburg carried a team score of 329.
Chicago Christian’s Jay Timmer, the area’s lone male golfer to make the journey to Decatur last weekend, wound up 93rd among 110 competitors at the Class 2A boys’ state meet.
Timmer was an individual qualifier for state out of the Nazareth Sectional. He fired a round of 80 there last Monday.
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Shepard’s Alondra Delfin ran a winning time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds for three miles to lead the Lady Astros to the South Suburban Conference Red team title on Saturday at North Creek Meadow in Lansing.
Cassidy VandeKamp placed 25th for Chicago Christian in 21:27.9 at Saturday’s Suburban Christian Conference meet, which was hosted by Marmion Academy. Wheaton Academy scored 59 points to rate as the top team.
Lockport bested Sandburg 27-54 on Saturday at Channahon Community Park to claim the SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue championship. The Lady Eagles had two runners finish among the top five, as Casey Jensen was the individual runner-up in 18:23 and Grace Foley was four seconds behind her in the No. 5 position.
Stagg placed seventh at the meet.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Behind Josh Meier’s winning effort of 15:33 for three miles, Shepard’s boys matched the school’s girls’ squad by running to a team championship at North Creek Meadow. Aiding the Astros’ cause as well were Mike Evancich (16:11), Nick Heidinger (16:17) and Caleb Washington (16:18), all of whom landed among the top five.
Sandburg (29 points) was dominant at Saturday’s SWSC Blue race at Channahon Community Park as it finished 61 points ahead of second-place Joliet Central. The conference crown was the Eagles’ fourth in a row.
Making it possible was five scorers within the first eight runners to hit the chute. Greg Burzinski’s third place in 15:15 led Sandburg, but clustered right behind him were Sean Torpy (fifth in 15:24), Tom Brennan (sixth, 15:32), Will Becker (seventh, 15:38) and Chris Torpy (eighth, 15:39).
Stagg (215 points) was eighth in the team standings.
Stagg captured its own sectional on Saturday with 25 points, which put the Lady Chargers four ahead of District 230 sister school Sandburg.
It was an all-Stagg final in singles play, as Nicole Pamphilis defeated Lady Chargers teammate Jillian Atkenson 6-2, 6-2 for the title. The Lady Eagles, meanwhile, boasted the championship doubles tandem after Priya Sharma-Allia Abunaim notched a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Chicago Christian’s team of Grace Furlong-Raquel Hamstra in the last match.
The Furlong-Hamstra duo was responsible for all eight of the Lady Knights’ sectional points.
Also taking part in the Stagg Sectional was Shepard, which got its only two points from singles player Rhonda Habbal.
Shepard gained a share of the South Suburban Conference Red title by edging Bremen in an overtime shootout last Monday and then romping past Evergreen Park on Tuesday.
A one-goal loss to Tinley Park had put the Astros in a must-win situation both days and they responded, albeit in nail-biting fashion versus the Braves. Bremen held a 1-0 lead until just 4:53 remained, which is when Shepard’s Ivan Magana forged a tie and eventually forced OT after receiving a throw-in from Will Somerfield.
The Astros (9-7-1, 8-3) prevailed 4-3 in the shootout, with Somerfield booting home the deciding marker. Magana, Colm McGee and Edgar Madrigal also scored for Shepard.
Astros keeper Fuad Abuzerr made two saves during the shootout, including one on Manny Esparza that set the stage for Somerfield to become the hero.
Beating Evergreen required far less drama, as a pair of goals from Casey Bledsoe laid the groundwork for a 7-0 Shepard triumph.
Chicago Christian won its own Class 1A regional by slipping past Beecher 5-1 in the championship match on Friday. Key performers for the Knights (11-9-3) included Getenet Timmermans (one goal, two assists), Noah Friesen (one goal, one assist), Fiki Timmermans (one goal) and Jake Robertson (one assist).
Christian reached the finale on the strength of a 5-1 victory over Peotone in last Tuesday’s semifinal. Timmermans registered a hat trick, giving him a school-record 35 goals this season, while Sean O’Meara delivered the Knights’ other two markers.
Goals by Mike Staunton and Manthey lifted Sandburg (13-6) to a 2-0 win over Thornton co-op last Wednesday.
Stagg beat Joliet West 4-1 last Tuesday behind Tom Krumpolc and Tim Buss, each of whom tallied in the SWSC Blue match.
Lincoln-Way North edged the Chargers (11-5, 4-3) 1-0 last Wednesday.
Shepard defeated Bremen 111-70 in a South Suburban Conference crossover dual meet last Tuesday.
Mary Lippert won the 50-yard freestyle in 27.67 and the 100-backstroke in 1:11.36 to pace the Lady Astros. Other event winners included Annie Rangel (200-free in 2:15.84; 100-free in 1:01.56), Christina Calderon (diving) and Grace Spindler (500-free in 6:17.33).
Sandburg’s Ann Girlich (320.60) finished 14th in diving after completing 11 attempts off the 1-meter board at Saturday’s Evanston Diving Invitational.