Bri Zabierek, of Lockport
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:37AM
This week we shine the spotlight on: Bri Zabierek, Lockport bowling; Neil Slowinski, Richards swimming; Jamie Valla, Andrew gymnastics and Ryan Hernandez, Mt. Carmel bowling.
Sr., Bowling, Lockport
Zabierek, second individually, was a key Jan. 19, when the Porters won the SouthWest Suburban Blue title.
“I had my high six-game series (a 1,416) and we broke school records for single game, three-game series and six-game series as a team,” she said. “It was such a great day.”
Entering high school, Zabierek chose bowling over basketball.
“I decided that I didn’t like basketball at all anymore,” she said. “I was over it.”
Sr. Swimming, Richards
As a team captain, Slowinski believes it’s his job to make sure “everyone comes to practice and is working.”
Slowinski said his best event is the 100-yard backstroke. He started competitive swimming at age 10.
“I did everything — football, soccer, basketball, baseball,” he said. “Swimming is competitive. I like the races and beating your times. If I could make it to state, that would be awesome. That’s going to be hard.”
Sr., Gymnastics, Andrew
Valla has multiple injuries to her right leg which limited her to the bars event in Saturday’s Southwest Suburban Conference meet.
The three-time SWSC all-around champion and two-year state qualifier hopes to participate in four events in the Neuqua Valley Regional Tuesday night but won’t make a decision until she sees how it feels that day.
“The pain is not going to go away -- I’ll have to deal with it no matter what,” she said. “My goal is to do all four events but if I can’t do it, I’ll just do the bars.”
Sr., Bowling, Mt. Carmel
Hernandez led the Caravan to its first appearance at state since 2003, where it finished 21st.
“Ryan’s been a great leader all season long,” Mount Carmel coach Steve Gorches said.
Hernandez embraced the role of being the one to fire his team up.
“Most of the team is real quiet,” he said. “When I start yelling, they’re like ‘This guy is crazy.’ But when I stop yelling, we struggle. I decide ‘I guess I have to sacrifice my voice today.’ ”