High School Sports Notes
December 22, 2013 11:06PM
Lincoln-Way Central's Ryan Sterling competes in the 200-yard individual medley during the SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue boys swim meet at Sandburg High School in Orland Park Saturday, February 2, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 24, 2014 6:34AM
Competing against some of the best individuals in the state, Lincoln-Way East’s Patrick Hackett was the top local swimmer Saturday at the talent-rich Neuqua Valley Invitational.
Hackett, a sophomore, took second in the 500-yard freestyle (4:48.98) and third in the 200 freestyle (1:49.24).
Naperville Central was team champion of the 12-school invitational with 428.50 points. Lincoln-Way North was 9th, Lincoln-Way East 10th and Lockport 12th.
The meet included three teams that finished among the top 10 at last season’s state meet—Hinsdale Central, St. Charles North and Waubonsie Valley.
Elsewhere, Lincoln-Way Central’s Mike Ramos won the 50 freestyle (23.19) and the 100 freestyle (49.88) at the York Invitational. Teammate Ryan Sterling was second in the 100 backstroke to help the Knights finish fourth.
Lincoln-Way Central won its first three dual meets against West Chicago, T.F. South and Thornton. The Knights host their relay invitational Saturday that includes Plainfield co-op and Lincoln-Way West.
Area coaches are already looking ahead to a new postseason format that will play out for the first time next month.
In the past, postseason play began with sectionals, with 12 played across the state. Two teams and two individuals from teams outside of the top two advanced to state.
Under the new format, 16 regionals will be held with four teams and 10 individuals advancing from each. Four sectionals will be contested the following week, with the top six teams and seven individuals moving on to state.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out,” Lincoln-Way West coach Mike Vogler said. “It’s something new and it’ll give more people a chance to advance, but we know our sectional is still going to be tough.”
Most of the area’s top teams, including West, will find their way to the Andrew Sectional if they can advance out of their respective regionals.
Lincoln-Way North has district bragging rights for the year.
The Phoenix captured Saturday’s Lincoln-Way Cup, totaling 5,274 pins over six games to edge Lincoln-Way West by 50 pins at Tinley Park Bowl.
Lincoln-Way North was led by Sarah Berger, who finished third with 1,159 pins.
The win fulfilled one of the biggest preseason goals set by new coach Ryan Stapinski, who said he also thinks his team is capable of making a run to sectionals.
“Our keys to success include having a great group of girls with a mix of veterans and newcomers that are already working extremely well together,” he said. “We are looking to use this to our advantage to ensure all of our athletes grow as a team.”
Along with Berger, a senior who averaged 152 last year, North is counting on continued improvement from seniors Katie Utsch (180 average last season) and Ronnie Villasenor (163). Katy Lowery and Ariel Beja are also key contributors on the veteran-laden squad.