Freshman Hannah Kilbane is lifted by her teammates after she led the team with a 73 in sectional play on Monday.
In 2013, Hannah Kilbane was a seventh grader at St. Michael School in Orland Park when Sandburg’s girls golf team qualified for the Illinois High School Association State Tournament for the first time in school history.
The Eagles finished 11th in class 3A that year.
“I sort of heard about them,” she said.
Kilbane was an eighth grader when the Eagles qualified again and finished fifth in the state.
“I heard a lot about them when they made it last year.’’ she said.
Now that she is a freshman at Sandburg, people are hearing about Kilbane. She had not only been in the middle of a successful season, she has been a leader.
Kilbane’s 73 led the Eagles to a runnerup finish in sectional play Monday and the team advanced to the state tournament Friday and Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur. Chicago Christian’s boys team is the only other area team to make it down state as the Knights won by two strokes to finish third in the Class 1A Byron Sectional. They will play over the weekend at the Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
Sandburg’s girls finished second in the Neuqua Valley Sectional with a 312, 17 shots behind defending state champion Hinsdale Central and nine shots ahead of Downers Grove North. Mother McAuley finished 12th in the 12-team sectional with a 371.
Senior Emily Cosler added a 74, junior Emilyee McGiles had a 79 and senior Erin Cronin had an 86.
Kilbane won the SouthWest Suburban Conference championship to help lead the Eagles and finished second on the team in regional play before taking the lead in the sectional.
“It’s been a really fun year because my team is awesome,’’ Kilbane said. “They have been really kind and understanding with me. No one is putting pressure on me except me because I want to do really well.’’
Chicago Christian shot a 337 at the Byron Sectional, edging out Aurora Christian by two strokes for the final state-qualifying slot. Junior Pete Vos led the Knights with an 80, junior Nate Kamp had an 82, senior Bobby Schaaf fired an 85 and senior Sean Ozinga carded a 90.
The Knights have qualified for state twice in school history finishing 13th in the state in Class 1A in 2005 and ninth in the state in Class 2A.
The area also is sending three individual golfers to state.
In Class 3A Brother Rice junior Liam Sweeney advanced individually with a 79 at the Alton Sectional.
In Class 2A, St. Laurence junior Angel Sandoval qualified with an 81 t the Nazareth Sectional.
In Class A girls, Evergreen Park’s Liz Stalla qualified at the Nazareth Sectional with an 84.
On Sept. 6, Sandburg, Brother Rice and Marist’s boys advanced to the sectional thanks to their play at the Class 3A Stagg Regional at Silver Lake North in Orland Park.
Sandburg was the regional champion with a 311, one shot better than Brother Rice. Sweeney was the medalist with a 72.
For Sandburg, Brett Katalinic and Brett Been each carded 76s while Andrew Barvinek had a 78 and Brad Vetter 81.
Things didn’t go as well for the area teams in the Alton Sectional as Sandburg finished 10th, one shot ahead of Brother Rice and Marist took 12th in the 12-team event.
In Class 1A, Chicago Christian was the Seneca Regional champion at Nettle Creek in Morris with a 315, 12 shots ahead of IC Prep. Ozinga fired a 76, Kamp a 77, Pete Vos a 78 and Lautenbach an 84.
In Class 2A, Evergreen Park advanced to sectional as a team with a third-place finish at the U-High Regional at the Brian Ridge Country Club in Schererville, Ind. Danny Smith led the way with an 85.
Sandburg’s girls dominated the Marian Catholic Regional with a 302 on Sept. 7. McGiles shot a 68, Kilbane fired a 72, including a 32 on the back nine, Cosler rang up a 75 and Jenna Perdue had an 87.