May 24, 2016

Robbins 8th In The Mile At State

Liberty's Katelyn Robbins.
May 19, 2016 - Liberty's Katelyn Robbins runs the second lap of her race during the Class 1A 1600-Meter Run during Thursday's preliminary competition at the Illinois High Association State Track Finals in Charleston. Robbins, a freshman, qualified for Saturday's finals with a time of 5:16.36. She went on to place 8th in the championship race and was a member of the Eagles 4x800m relay that finished fifth at 9:56.77. See more photos of Robbins and other members of the Liberty track contingent here: Liberty Girls Track.

It's Time To Position Yourself Today

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Good fishing requires positioning. Baiting your hook and dropping it in a place where there are fish is a start to successful fishing.

A salesman needs prospects and attitude. One shoe salesman was sent to Africa and called home crying, "Get me out of here! Nobody wears shoes!" Another salesman was sent and called back saying, "Send me every pair of shoes in the warehouse. I've never seen so many prospects!"

Selling requires having a product that people either need or very much want. People don't need candy but they want candy so they buy it. People don't really want to spend money on insurance but they need it. Sell what people want or need and you will sell.

Obtaining a certain job requires positioning. Becoming a schoolteacher requires college, teacher education, supervision and certification. You have to work hard and position yourself for potential opportunities.

A young man wants to be lucky in dating and maybe marriage. Yet, he may refuse to change his lifestyle. He doesn't want to hold down a job, refuses to lose twenty pounds and is rude and inconsiderate. Thus, he refuses to try to position himself for potential dating prospects.

Every facet of life requires positioning. Positioning yourself for stability, success, or a major change always requires lots of time, training, sacrifice and commitment. Nothing is guaranteed, but with positioning comes potential.

Retiring at 65 most likely requires sacrifice the 30 years prior. It doesn't always require 30 years. A friend of mine was flat broke at 50. He rented an old abandoned hamburger stand with an option to buy. He and his wife cleaned it up and worked it hard for sixteen years. They made the best food in town and averaged pocketing over $300,000 a year. They were able to retire. He knew at the age of 50 that he had to position himself if he had any chance of truly retiring.

Where do you want to be and what do you want five or ten years from now? Start positioning yourself today and in a few years it just might work. However, it never comes with a snap of the finger. A garden is produced from preparing the soil, planting, cultivating and tending to the field. In time, you will reap some kind of a harvest if you don't quit.

A lot of counties across America are hurting economically. People have left and nobody seems to be coming back to take over. The future of depressed areas begins today and it will probably take years to position these areas for economic stability. We all want it now, but we have to start today with hopes for tomorrow.

America needs to recuperate. We have debt to pay. We have an infrastructure to rebuild. There are millions of jobs that we must recapture and bring home. We have a military to strengthen and healthcare challenges. We can get to where we need to be. Getting there will take hard work and positioning ourselves to be where we need to be to accomplish what we want to do.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication.

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


Knights Take A Share Of Girls State Track Title

Coming in fifth in the 2015 team standings, Kaneland placed in the top five or better spots in all four relays at this year's Illinois High School Association's State Track and Field Finals to find themselves in a duel for the team champion trophy. After the cinders had settled and the finally tally set, the Knights and two-time champions Cahokia were deadlocked with 53 points splitting this season's 2016 team title.

Carly Elliott and Becca Richtman

Carly Elliott and Becca Richtman mug for the camera while waiting outside the gate to return to the field for the team title announcement and awards ceremony after the final race of the day. The Knights won a share of this year's state title tying with defending champions Cahokia on Saturday. See photos from Friday's preliminary competition here and Saturday's championship finals here.

With a share of the crown to take back to Maple Park High School, Saturday's win was the first state championship for the school since the spring of 1987 and 1988 when the ladies' track team earned back-to-back Class A titles.

The quartet composed of Nicole Sreenan, Carly Bartholomew, Sarah Daley, and sophomore Jamie Martens brought home the only single event state title winning the 4x400m relay. The victory in the final event of the day gave Kaneland 10 points for the tie with the Lady Comanches.

At one point Springfield Southeast threatened to move into first but with Martens on anchor maintaining the cushion built earlier, the squad shaved more than four seconds off their qualifying time of 4:00.37 a day earlier, clocking in at 3:56.15.

Both Bartholomew and Martens ran in the 2015 title race that brought home a second place finished.

Noelle Espino runs strong at State

Noelle Espino runs a strong pace in her race during the Class 2A 4x800-Meter Relay prelims on Friday. Espino and her relay squad advanced to Saturday's finals after placing first in their heat with a time of 9:43.16.

Carly Elliott and Lizzie Rupkey

Carly Elliott gives her all to beat Monticello's Lizzie Rupkey across the finish line in the championship 2A 4x200-Meter Relay on Saturday. The relay squad placed 4th in the championship race with a time of 1:43.42. Monticello finished 5th in the race at 1:43.57.

The lightning fast Sreenan, a junior who won runner-up titles in the 400m Dash and the 100m Dash adding 16 points toward the team title, also ran anchor for the 4x100m Relay squad. She finished the race with a burst the last 50 yards after sophomore teammate Shanya Hurston, Allie Heinzer and junior Carly Elliott kept the Knights' in position for a second place finish at 48.30.

Heinzer added another individual award to her collection. Last year she finished third running twice the distance in the 400m Run finals. Clocking at 24.88, the senior placed fourth in the shorter 200m Dash.

Finishing a mere two seconds behind the championship squad from Rich South, Heinzer, Bartholomew, Martens and Elliott teamed up to finish fourth in the 4x200m relay. Concluding their race with a time 1:43.42, the foursome was just three seconds shy of the Class 2A record set by Springfield Southeast in 2013.

In the first relay race of the day Daley teamed up with fellow junior Becca Richtman along with seniors Noelle Espino and Brianna Bower to run a 9:46 in the 4x800m Relay. Their combined effort beat out teams from Dunlap (6th), Mattoon (7th), Rochester, Freeburg in ninth, Mahomet-Seymour, 11th place Charleston and Metamora (12th).

With junior Maddie Keifer eliminated from both the high jump and triple jump on the first day, Lexie Guerra and Sydney Davidson were the only two members of the Knight's state qualifiers to advance to the finals in the field events. Guerra finished 8th with her best vault of 10'9" inches and Davidson placed 12th overall at 10'3".

Allie Heinzer

Allie Heinzer explodes with a burst of speed as she rounds the turn in the Class 2A 200-Meter Dash prelims on Friday. She advanced to Saturday's finals after placing second in her heat with a time of 25.01.

Kaneland pole vaulter Lexie Guerra

Kaneland's Lexie Guerra attempts to clear the bar at 10'3" in the Class 2A Pole Vault. She went on to finish 8th in this year's finals. See more photos of the Kaneland Knights competing a state here...

May 16, 2016

Badminton's big bashers

This weekend was the 40th installment of the Illinois High School Association's state badminton championships. Ninety-six players, 32 singles and 64 doubles specialists, gathered in Charleston to battle for this year's state championship titles. Here's a look at some of the state's top high school players smashing, slicing and stabbing their way through tough matches vying for a coveted state title.

Rei Uemaki hits an overhead
Oak Park-River Forest's Rei Uemaki hits an overhead smash during her quarterfinal match against Hinsdale South's Judy Yang. Uemaki, who went on to finish in fifth place, fell 21-13 and 21-8 to the eventual state champion on Saturday. Visit later this week for more photos and coverage from this year's state tournament.

Cindy Tang hits overhead smash
Hinsdale Central's Cindy Tang hits overhead smash in her match against Stevenson's Ashley Richardson during their consolation round match. Richardson defeated Tang after three games, 21-19, 17-21, 21-19.

Neuqua Valley's Eva Chen
Eva Chen hits a big smash during her doubles match against Hinsdale South's Jacque Cameli and Caroline Lee. Chen along with partner Sophia Li earned the victory in two games, 21-7, 21-9. The Neuqua Valley duo later went on to win this year's doubles title.

Red Devils' Angela Li
Hinsdale Central's Angela Li keeps the shuttlecock in play during her state semifinal doubles match against Hinsdale South's Jacque Cameli and Caroline Lee. Li and partner Lana Millman fell, 17-21, 21-13, 21-9.

Metea Valley's Moriah Gau
Metea Valley's Moriah Gau reaches out to keep the point going on a smash from Stevenson's Ashley Richardson during their consolation quarterfinal bout. Gau fell, 21-19, 21-17, to Richardson.

Julianna Rylko at state badminton
Wheaton Warrenville South's Julianna Rylko tosses here racquet after making an error during her quarterfinal match against Oak Park-River Forest's Rei Uemaki. Rylko fell 21-19, 21-13 to Uemaki.

Maya Trinka fell after three hard-fought games
Oak Park-River Forest's Maya Trinka attacks a short, drop shot from New Trier's Julia Matyjas during their quarterfinal meeting. Trinka fell after three hard-fought games, 21-16, 17-21, 21-18.

Naperville Central's Surya Nair
Naperville Central's Surya Nair prepares to hit a shot back over the net during her semifinal match against Neuqua Valley's Lauren Ho. Nair, who went on to place third at this year's tournament, fell after two games 21-15, 21-12.

Grace and Julia Monti eliminated
Julia Monti attacks a shot from Lockport Township's doubles pair for a put-away smash during their consolation bracket quarterfinal match. Monti and twin sister Grace were eliminated after a tough 21-16, 21-19 loss to Porters' duo Jessica Miller and Haley Egelhof.

Visit the PhotoNews later this week. See additional photo and recap from this year's state finals on Wednesday.

May 13, 2016

Rockets win OVC track title

Without a doubt, Unity dominated boys side of the Okaw Valley Conference meet earlier this week. The Rockets, who earned back-to-back titles, collected 11 of the 18 possible titles from Tuesday meet at Hicks Field and finished with a team score just shy of 200 with 194 points.

Andrew Warnes and Getch Eisenmenger running at the OVC conference meet
Unity's Andrew Warnes and Getch Eisenmenger lead the pack around the turn on the first lap of the 800m Run. The pair finished one-two respectively at 1:57:27 and 2:00:54. Click here to see more photos from the meet.

St. Joseph-Ogden finished in second place with 132 points and Rantoul rounded out the top three places with 94 points.

The Rockets won gold medals in the Shot Put, Long Jump, High Jump, 4x100m Relay, 300m Hurdles, 110m Hurdles, 3200m Run, 1600m Run, 800m Run, 400m Run, and the 100m Dash.

Unity's Stephen Migut won title in both hurdles events and Jayden Kaiser added three more conference titles to his name winning the 100m Dash, 400m Run and 4x100 Relay.

"It was my third time running it this year," said Kaiser. It was also the third time he ran the 400m race as well. "I just try to do my best every time."

Andrew Warnes won both the 800m Run and 1600m event in two solid performances. The senior clocked a 1:57:27 in the shorter of the two distances and crossed the finish line 4:26.94 from the mile run's top spot.

As expected the Rockets wrapped up the final distance event with a win by Dawson Dodds in the 3,200m Run. The senior two-miler was challenged by St. Joseph-Ogden's Justin Phillips all the way to the end of the race.

Dawson Dodds at the end of the 3,200m run
Unity's Dawson Dodds crosses the two-run finish line at the OVC conference meet on Tuesday.

"The first mile or so was pretty easy," Dodds explained. The steady breeze out of the west presented a challenge, but nothing he couldn't handle with the rest of the pack behind he and Phillips. "The second mile I found the strength to carry on with the group around me."

From there the pack separated with Phillips leading until the final turn with Dodds on his heels. The Unity senior surged past the Spartan front-runner with a hard kick to the finish line crossing at 9:54.42, 21 seconds off his P.R. of 9:33.

Unity's Steven Migut
Unity's Steven Migut runs to a first place finish in the 110m hurdles.

Spartans finished second
SJO's Brennan Guido takes the baton from 4x400 squad-mate Matt Knipfer in the final race of the day. The Spartans finished second with a time of 3:34.79. Check out 175 photos from Tuesday's conference meet here: OVC Boys Track photo gallery.

DeShawn Buford runs 100m Dash
Flanked by St. Joseph-Ogden's Sean Barber and Nate Phillips, Rantoul's DeShawn Buford (center) runs to a first place finish in his heat of the 100m Dash. He finish 4th overall after two heats with a time of 11.57.