TOP STORY: Bethel Lutheran School teams dominated the Lutheran Sports Association of Illinois grade school track and field championships at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest.
How dominant were the Flames? The Bethel boys team won the state championship and the girls team tied for second place.
It was the first state championship for the Morton school in any boys sport. The girls track team won the state championship in 2013.
Bethel’s Seth Glatz (100) and Katelyn Mason (triple jump and 100 hurdles) were individual state champs. Ben Himmel, Blake Shoemaker, Ian McLauchlan and Glatz combined to win the 4x100 relay.
Sixteen Bethel athletes qualified for the state meet based on seasonal times and distances and 11 school records were broken during the season.
Bethel’s other state meet qualifiers were Andrew McLaughlan, Zach Alt, Max Shoemaker, Grant Selke, Danielle Baumann, Sophie Krueger, Jack Knapp, Anna Roberts, Katie Krupa, Kaitlyn Baumann and Eli Mulvey.
The Bethel coaching staff was led by head coach Heather McLauchlan. Her assistant coaches were Jerry Hoyum and Greg Nichols.
PREMIER PERFORMANCES: Morton Premier Soccer Club teams did well at spring tournaments.
Coach Oz Bakirdan’s U9 Girls Red team was the champion at the Moline Armed Forces Cup. On the roster were Anisha Kadam, Izzy Ripka, Abby Van Meenen, Rowan Gannaway, Keaton Albers, Morgan Smith, Madi Greiner, Alaina Hornsby, Claire Doran and Kyle Tisdale.
Assistant coaches were TJ Tisdale and Matej Radonic.
Coach Hassan Brik’s U9 Boys Red team finished second at the tournament.
Players were Max Nestrud, Turner Albers, Collin Yoches, Eli Opel, Tommy Hoeft, Nicholas Soderstrom, Parker Griffin, Kipten Thurman, Jax Doran, Claire Doran and Keaton Albers.
Coach Jose Rodriguez led the U11 Girls team to a second-place finish at the Illinois Fire Juniors Spring Shootout.
Players were Ella Durbin, Ashlyn Ahlers, Karen Canchola, Alison Dellinger, Kelsey Tisdale, Lily Smith, Harper Nightengale, Harper Strube, Addison Blake, Morgan Robinson and Delaney Reynolds.
Brandon Blake was the assistant coach.
NAMES IN THE NEWS: Washington residents Jason Grangloff and Chad McDowell were separated by just .2 seconds while finishing second and third in the Lincoln-Douglas eight-mile race at Metamora High School. Grangloff was clocked in 52 minutes, 51.4 seconds and McDowell in 52:51.6. ... Evan Knoblauch Memorial awards were presented to Washington High School athletes Makenna Beard, Will Crouch, Nathan Faivre, Lily Harlan, Hillary Kulavic, Alex Mitchell, Claire Myers, Kaitlyn Reichel, Jessi Shurman and Sierra Sonnemaker, who each earned three varsity letters this school year. ... Theresa Armstrong was named Fan of the Year by the Washington High School Panther Boosters Club. ... Central College sophomore softball catcher Amanda Sigulas from Morton earned her second varsity letter this spring. She played in 41 games, drove in 15 runs and scored 13 times. ... Central College junior men’s tennis player Josh Phillips from Morton earned his third varsity letter this fall.
QUOTE: “Breck comes from a great program at Washington (High School). He has a tremendous frame and has really improved his skill set. We’re excited to help Breck continue his development and believe his best basketball is yet to come.” -- Monmouth College men’s basketball coach Todd Skrivseth, talking about Breck Biedschied, the Scots’ latest recruit.
MY TAKE: The IHSA has instituted a mercy rule for regular-season boys and girls basketball games. A running clock will start if there’s a minimum 30-point differential in the fourth quarter and continue until the end of the game. I understand and applaud the football mercy rule because of injury concerns. I don’t think a mercy rule is needed in basketball. Assuming the two teams’ bench players are in the game in the fourth quarter, the mercy rule takes away valuable playing time. What are your thoughts?
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Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.