Winter sports wrapup: A state champ and a record of success

IC Catholic Prep's Joey Bianchini leads way for Elmhurst athletes' successful winter

winter sports
IC Catholic Prep junior Joey Bianchini captured an individual state wrestling title this winter. (Photo provided by IC Catholic Prep)

ELMHURST – The 2016-17 winter sports season was quite the successful one for the three high schools in Elmhurst. York, IC Catholic Prep and Timothy Christian all had individual athletes and teams who produced plenty of memorable moments. So as the spring campaign quickly approaches, here is a look back on several noteworthy accomplishments over the past four months, beginning with a local state champion, in our winter sports wrapup.

Wrestling

No individual moment could top that of IC junior Joey Bianchini, who captured an individual state wrestling title by emerging victorious in the Class 1A 113-pound bracket. Bianchini, who was also the Coal City sectional champion, notched a 9-1 decision in the championship match and finished the year with a record of 38-1. Teammate Victor Vargas also qualified for the state meet and came in sixth place at 220 pounds. He totaled 36 victories on the season.

York had a single state qualifier in junior Austin Hoffman, who advanced after finishing fourth at 145 pounds at the Conant Class 3A sectional.

Basketball

This season won’t soon be forgotten by the IC Catholic boys basketball team, which counts a share of the Metro Suburban Conference Blue division championship among its many highlights. The Knights, led by the junior trio of Kevin Cheng, Alex Meurer and Amari Reed, went 10-2 in league play to forge a tie with Aurora Central Catholic. The squad then went on to secure a Class 2A regional title as junior Luke Ricobene made a shot in the final seconds to defeat Timothy Christian 53-52. IC ended with an overall record of 21-8 after losing to state-ranked Orr in the sectional semifinals.

As for the Trojans, they put together a solid 2016-17 campaign, compiling a record of 17-11. Led by three-year varsity player Joey Davidson, Timothy Christian started off the season in excellent fashion, winning seven of its first eight games. York’s top moment came on Feb. 11 as a buzzer-beater gave the Dukes a 47-46 decision over Hinsdale Central, which entered play atop the West Suburban Silver Conference standings. They finished with 14 wins.

On the girls’ side, each of the three teams made it into double-digits for victories, led by the 16 wins of IC Catholic. York checked in with 15 wins and Timothy Christian ended with 13.

Bowling

Courtesy of a fourth-place finish at the Hinsdale Central regional and a third-place showing at the Oak Lawn sectional, the York girls bowling team punched their ticket to the state meet. The squad then came in 20th in the prelims with a pin total of 5,234. Lauren Gould led her team with a six-game score of 1,133. Jessica Cwik (1,063) and Jennifer Diamond (1,057), Lauren Steck (1,015) and Krystyna Panek (966) rounded out the group.

Competitive cheerleading

The York cheerleading team qualified for the state meet in the coed division and once there, advanced to the finals of the competition. On the final day, the Dukes posted a score of 82.78 to place 10th. Earlier, the squad competed at the Conant sectional where they finished as the runner-up.

Timothy Christian also made it to the state meet out of the Andrew sectional in the small team division. The Trojans were 10th in the prelims to advance to the finals and once there, totaled a score of 75.06 to come in eighth.

Competitive dance

York competed in the 3A portion of the Grayslake North sectional and moved on with a score of 90.20, which was good enough for fourth place. The Dukes then went on to place sixth at the state finals with a tally of 91.14, which was less than a point away from third place.

Both IC Catholic and Timothy Christian participated in the Huntley sectional in the 1A division. The Knights came in sixth to qualify for state while the Trojans narrowly missed with their eighth-place showing. IC then fell short of advancing to the state finals by .06, instead finishing 13th in the prelims with a total of 82.72.

Swimming

Finishing third at the Downers Grove South sectional with 147 points, York also sent four athletes to the state swim meet. Pete Barabolak went on to qualify for the finals in the diving competition and would later place 13th with a total of 315.65. In addition, Flanagan Waldherr was 18th in the 500-yard free with a time of 4:42.53, Alex Marlott came in 31st in the 100 back with a clocking of 53.37 and Branko Kosanovich was 33rd in the 100 butterfly after touching the wall in 52.41.

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