When Sandburg’s girls’ bowling squad found success last year, it was with Nicole Powell leading the way and a talented group of underclassmen behind her.
This season, the Lady Eagles weren’t able to advance to the state meet as a team, but senior Jessica Colson did so individually at Saturday’s Morgan Park Sectional. Colson rolled a 1,295 six-game series, which was good for second place and put her just 27 pins behind sectional champion Kyra Udziela of Lemont.
Colson’s score was higher than that of every bowler on the state-qualifying teams.
“It was one of our best overall individual performances in Sandburg bowling history,” Lady Eagles coach Joe Geiger said. “Coming into the event, Jessica had some jitters, but she was definitely focused from Game 1 all the way through Game 6.
“Whenever she had a bad game, she would bounce right back with a good game. She actually, at one point, was in the lead -- if she had struck out in the last game, she would have won the meet. She wound up with an open in the 10th frame, and that hurt her.”
Geiger couldn’t say enough about Colson’s impact on the team throughout the season and the fact she’s representing Sandburg at state as an individual qualifier.
“She’s been solid for us all season,” he said. “At conference, she bowled her two best games of the season, and now is the best time to be bowling her best. She feels good about herself and her chances of being competitive at state.”
Besides having the team reach state, Colson’s main goal was to qualify herself.
“She knew that she had to advance past regionals and sectionals, and she was able to do that,” Geiger said. “Now, she gets her chance. We’re excited.”
Shepard sophomore Skylar Hilger was the lone area gymnast to earn automatic qualification for the state meet out of last Wednesday’s Hinsdale Central Sectional. Hilger placed third in floor exercise (9.45 points) and fourth in the all-around (36.05).
The top five finishers in each event and the all-around advanced automatically. At-large qualifiers were to be determined after all the state’s sectionals were completed.
Even though Sandburg was denied the opportunity to defend its state team title, the Eagles still will have numerous wrestlers shooting for championships at this weekend’s individual finals.
In preliminary matches, Christian Robertson (29-11) will face Grant’s Noah Drabek (24-4) at 126 pounds; John Pellegrino (32-4) will square off with Edwardsville’s Sam Andresen (36-13) at 145; Brian Krasowski (20-10) will meet Prairie Ridge’s Charlie Popp (32-5) in a 160-pound match; Patrick Brucki (36-14) will tangle with Belleville East’s Matthew Striegel (36-6) at 170; and Hunter Pindel (38-5) will face Lockport’s Tyler Johnson (48-0) at 195.
Stagg’s Mantas Drukteinis (40-4) will dual Moline’s Adarios Jones in the heavyweight class.
Sandburg, Stagg and Shepard will be among 14 teams competing at Saturday’s Sandburg Sectional for a shot at qualifying for the state meet.
BOYS’ INDOOR TRACK
Shepard (53 points) finished sixth at Saturday’s Bloom Indoor Invitational.