The winter sports season is still in its early stages, but it’s not too late to look back at some memorable achievements from the fall season.
Riverside Brookfield had a number of standout athletes this fall, but none were as impressive as Mailin Struck. Struck won the Class 2A girls cross country state title in dominant fashion, and while her performance was unquestionably the best moment of RB’s fall season, there were plenty of other memorable accomplishments, listed in no particular order.
1. Struck wins state title
Mailin Struck was a Christmas present come early for the RB girls cross country program. Struck, a German exchange student, was a dominant runner the entire fall. She won conference, regional and sectional titles to put her among the favorites in the Class 2A state race. Once there, Struck left no doubt by winning the race by 29 seconds and recording the fastest time among girls from all three classes.
Struck’s efforts helped the Bulldogs take 19th at state. She later went on to compete in regional and national races earlier this month. Struck placed 18th at the Foot Locker National Championships to cap off her sensational cross country season.
2. Adamec claims regional medalist honors
Austin Adamec led the RB boys golf team throughout the fall. His best tournament may have come at the regional when he won the meet with a 67 at Silver Lakes in Orland Park. His score tied for the second-best round of any boy from a Class 3A regional, and the senior’s 67 was a personal best. The Bulldogs were fourth at the regional, one spot shy of advancing as a team to the sectional, but Adamec advanced to the sectional along with sophomores Aleks Penaherrera and Mike Gruber, although none of them qualified for state.
3. Veon makes state swimming for second time
Sydney Veon highlighted a record-setting sectional meet for RB at Lyons Township. The Bulldogs came in fourth place at the 14-team meet and set two school records. Veon broke her own record in the 100-yard breaststroke to qualify for state in the event for the second straight year. She came in 52nd at state.
Also at the sectional meet, Veon teamed with Dana Callanan, Julia Keller and Hannah Flynn for set a new school record in the 200 medley relay by three seconds.
4. Girls volleyball wins 20 matches
The Bulldog girls volleyball team finished with a 20-16 record and made it to a Class 4A regional final before losing to Downers Grove North. RB was led by all-area selections in seniors Monica Kasper and Amanda Lelivelt and junior libero Natalia Gheewala. Coach Dan Bonarigo has helped build the program up as this fall marked the third straight year RB won 20 matches or more.
5. Boys runners win regional
The girls cross country team wasn’t the only set of runners to enjoy success at RB. The boys team won its own regional in Class 2A. Senior Dan Curtin crossed the finish line first for RB and took second at the meet. Kevin Faje (fourth), Matt Sagan (fifth) and Kyle Georgopolous (sixth) also placed in the top 10. The next week at sectionals, RB ended the season with a ninth place finish.