High School Sports Spotlight
March 24, 2013 11:12PM
Justin Weigel, of Lincoln-Way Central
Updated: April 26, 2013 6:28AM
This week we shine the spotlight on: Shayna Nwokenkwo, Homewood-Flossmoor track and field; Mike O’Malley, Sandburg water polo; Justin Weigal, Lincoln-Way Central tennis; and Nina Izzo, Queen of Peace soccer.
Senior, Track & Field, H-F
Nwokenkwo ran on the third-place 400-meter relay at the 2012 Class 3A state meet, her first trip downstate.
“It was a great experience, me being first leg, just exploding out and taking the lead,’’ she said. “It was amazing.’’
Nwokenkwo runs the 100-meter dash, and the 200 has been added to her schedule this season.
“My goal is to really get my time down in the 100,’’ she said. “I’m having fun with the 200. It should be exciting for state this year.’’
Sr., Water Polo, Sandburg
Coming off a third-place finish at state last season, the Eagles lost some of their stars, but O’Malley said he doesn’t feel pressure to carry the load. “I’m confident that we have guys around me that we can trust and who know what they’re doing,” he said.
O’Malley, who scored 63 goals last season, said he has a blast playing water polo.
“It looks tough and it is tough, but you always get enjoyment out of it,” he said. “It’s never boring.”
Sr., Tennis, L-W Central
Weigal began his career at age 4 when he lived in Brookfield, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee. His family moved to Orland Park, then Mokena. He and Ryan Champlin qualified for the state tournament last year.
“This is a sport that you use every part of your body,” he said. “When you are done, every part of your body hurts.”
Weigal plans to play tennis for the NAIA St. Louis College of Pharmacy next year. He said he recently tried out for the team and was accepted to the school.
Jr., Soccer, Queen of Peace
Izzo was part of a huge turnaround last season as the Pride bounced back from a one-win season in 2011 to finish 12-12-2 and reach a Class 1A sectional final.
“It was honestly just the best feeling ever,” Izzo said. “Knowing that I was part of changing the program was just awesome.”
Izzo, who had 28 goals in 2012, has played soccer since kindergarten. “I love the aggressiveness of soccer,” she said. “Going out and being aggressive feels good.”