With the calendar about to flip over to 2018, there is no better time than now to look back on the top stories from 2017, to recognize the sensational performances of area athletes and more. Here is a look at some of those top stories:
Hart, Glenbard West
Glenbard West sophomore Katelynne Hart is almost halfway through quite a high school career.
As a freshman, Hart completed an undefeated season on the track with state championships in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs in May at the Class 3A state finals.
Amazingly, she was part of an even bigger title.
Glenbard West won the program’s first team state championship.
Hart won the 3,200 in 10:32.33 and the 1,600 in 4:51.54. Lindsey Payne was second in the 3,200 (10:37.55) and seventh in the 1,600 (5:01.50).
“Honestly, none of us really expected it,” Hart said. “Overall, I would say this was an amazing season.”
It got even better for Hart this fall.
In November, Hart repeated as the Class 3A state cross country champion, becoming the first two-time individual state champion in Glenbard West cross country history.
At the same meet, Payne became a four-time All-State runner in cross country.
Tigers run the table in DVC
It was the special season nobody saw coming.
The Wheaton Warrenville South boys basketball team ran the table in the DuPage Valley Conference, going 16-0 to win its first conference championship since 1999.
The Tigers, who finished 29-2, did it on the strength of lockdown defense, a methodical and balanced offense – and a breakout season from Suburban Life Player of the Year Dillon Durrett.
“I don’t think anybody would have thought that these guys would be conference champions and doing what they’re doing,” Tigers coach Mike Healy said.
Glenbard West wins state
gymnastics by a whisker
Glenbard West was on the wrong end of the closest team finish in state gymnastics history in 2016.
In 2017, the Hilltoppers reached the top.
Glenbard West’s 160.95 points edged Lyons Township by just .2 points in May in the closest state finals ever.
Matthew Ideler, Timmy Le, Frankie Pham, Michael Formento, Aiden Rudolph, Shea Rudolph and Alexander Demeris counted toward the team score.
“It was nice to be on the upside this time,” Glenbard West coach Frank Novakowski said. “We performed well. We didn’t really watch team scores.”
to be DVC champs
Maybe Wheaton North had destiny on its side.
The Falcons beat Naperville Central 30-29 on Feb. 4 to clinch Wheaton North’s first DVC title in girls basketball since 2010.
Wheaton North, led by Hannah Swider, also won the Bill Neibch Holiday Classic and the program’s first regional title since 2013.
Wheaton Academy twice
as nice at state soccer
Sophie Lindquist had never taken a penalty kick in a game, but her second in the Class 2A state semifinal lifted Wheaton Academy’s girls soccer team to a shootout win over Lemont in May at North Central College in Naperville. Wheaton Academy, which won the 2016 state championship, finished second to Troy Triad, losing in penalty kicks in the Class 2A final.
Soccer was twice as nice for Wheaton Academy in 2017.
Owen Setran and the Wheaton Academy boys team started its season 7-4, then ran off a 16-game winning streak before a 2-1 state semifinal loss to Waterloo Gibault.
The season’s fun was capped by a 5-1 rout of St. Patrick in the Class 2A third-place game in November in Hoffman Estates. Luke Holwerda scored two goals, giving him 34 for the season for Wheaton Academy, which won its fourth state trophy in the past six seasons.