Updated: November 16, 2012 6:09AM
For the third year in a row, Marian’s Gaby Rosales and Homewood-Flossmoor’s Adesuwa Osabuohein met in a sectional singles championship match. And, for the third year in a row, the match went three sets.
Rosales earned a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory to win her second individual sectional championship. Osabuohein was sectional champion in 2009 and ’10 and helped the Vikings capture their 34th sectional team title with 33 points. Next up is the state meet as H-F tries to better its fifth-place finish of a year ago.
“It will be interesting to see how they gel in the state tournament,” second year H-F coach Don Baron said. “They are a lot of fun to coach.”
Oak Forest junior Kaitlyn Kush and senior Kara Collazo didn’t have much time to prepare for the South Suburban Blue Conference meet.
“Kaitlyn just started playing with Kara on Tuesday, October 2, when Kara’s regular partner backed out of the conference tournament at the last minute,” Oak Forest coach Erica Amoni said.
Kush and Collazo stunned the top seed on their way to taking second in the No. 3 doubles bracket. “Kush just started playing tennis this past summer,” Amoni said.
Boys Cross Country
All’s well with Sandburg going into the state series after the Eagles won the SouthWest Suburban Blue title Saturday led by individual champion Pat McMahon.
“When you have a guy win a conference title and a 1-to-5 split at 45 seconds, that’s pretty good,’’ coach John O’Malley said.
“We’re getting better every week. We’re certainly a lot better than we were two weeks ago. We expect to continue that hopefully right on into state.’’
McMahon, Pat Letz (2nd), Chris Hogan (4th), Nicholas Prajka (7th) and Will Becker (10th) led the Eagles in the conference meet at Channahon Community Park.
“We have four seniors 1-to-4 who are just really tough,’’ O’Malley said. “They get the job done.’’
Getting to the state meet as a team won’t be easy coming out of the Oct. 27 Marist Sectional. The top five teams in each sectional advance to the Nov. 3 state final at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
“I would say the Marist Sectional is the deepest in the state,’’ O’Malley said. “There’s six teams that are ranked in the top 12—Neuqua Valley, Lyons, Hinsdale Central, Downers Grove North, Plainfield South and us. One of those very deserving teams is not going to go to the state meet.’’
After squeaking into the Boys 3A State Finals by winning a four-person playoff at the New Trier Sectional, Sandburg senior Tom Thanasouras made the most of his final opportunity at state.
Thanasouras notched a state medal, finishing in a four-way tie for fifth place with a 74 at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
“I was really happy about the whole situation,” Thanasouras said. “I was glad I made it back down to state in the first place, and getting fifth overall was just the cherry on top.”
Thanasouras said the finish was a bit of a surprise, but he gained confidence in his rounds leading up to the finals.
“Everything was working for me,” Thanasouras said. “I was hitting the ball good on Thursday (in a practice round) and then hitting it good again on Friday morning at the range.
“I didn’t hit too many bad shots. I really didn’t make any big mistakes.”
The finals are normally a two-day tournament, but uncompromising weather caused the second round to be cancelled, leaving Friday’s scores to stand.
“While it’s cool to get fifth in state, you always want to play that final round to see what happens.”
Rather than keying on what other teams are up to this season, Sandburg has tweaked its focus this fall.
After a disappointing performance at the 2011 state meet, the Eagles are looking in the mirror for answers.
“The state meet left a bitter taste in our mouth so this season we’ve tried to focus on where we’re at,” Sandburg coach Jane Caliendo said. “We’re trying to take care of business. We have some big shoes to fill, but our younger kids are contributing. We’re definitely building for the future.”
Sandburg qualified swimmers in six individual events and all three relays last season but failed to advance any individuals or relays out of the preliminaries at the state meet.
Swimmers contributing this season include seniors Brittany Kamper, Kim Katner and Lauren Olson and sophomore Caitlyn Olson.
The Eagles will swim in the SouthWest Suburban Blue meet on Oct. 26 and 27 at Lockport and then host the sectional on Nov. 10.