Local cross country fans know of the running ability of former Class 3A Lake Forest regional champion Kevin Wood.
But the former Stevenson star is also talented in the classroom.
Now a junior at Middlebury College (Vermont), Wood was one of 228 men to earn a 2013 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Award.
He is an environmental studies-literature major, education minor.
Wood was 10th at the New England Regional meet.
Congrats to Dale
Libertyville legendary wrestling coach Dale Eggert was one of four Grand Marshalls at this year's state wrestling meet.
Few individuals in state history have been able to accomplish as much as Eggert as a student-athlete and then as a coach (has win 500 matches) at the same high school.
His link with Libertyville High School began in the early 1970's, where he was a standout three-sport athlete (football, wrestling and baseball).
Eggert twice qualified for the wrestling state finals, including a runner-up finish at 126 in 1974.
After a decorated wrestling career at Southern Illinois University, Eggert graduated in 1978 with 13 Prairie State Games Gold Medals and was hired by his alma mater as a teacher and coach one year later.
He taught at Libertyville High School from 1979 until his retirement after the 2012 school year, and was named the school's Teacher of the Year in 2007.
Augustana senior Kelsey Moon (Mundelein) took fourth in the 300 in :47.97 as the Vikings defeated St. Ambrose 123-62 and Ashford 165-15 at PepsiCo Recreation Center.
The Vikings won 10 events and set a new field-house record in rolling to the lopsided wins over the two NAIA schools.
The St. Ambrose/Ashford dual meet is the final tune-up for Augustana before competing in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship on Feb. 28 and March 1 in Bloomington, Ill.
• Augustana junior Stephanie Burbidge (Palatine) was fifth in the mile (5:50.49) at the same meet.
Former Conant three-sport athlete Paul Strauch led his Harmony High Scholl girls basketball team to second place in the Florida Class 7A state finals in Lakeland.
His team lost to Wekiva, which won the first state championship for any sport at the school, which opened in 2007.
The Mustangs (26-6) hit 17-of-18 free throws in the final minutes to overcome Harmony (29-4), 59-48.
"Early on, they were missing free throws, and we kind of marked it in our minds that if it came down to it, we wanted to shoot free throws," Strauch told the Orlando Sentinel. "We were hoping they would continue that pace. But good basketball players and good basketball teams hit free throws when it counts. That's what they did."
Strauch's Julia Ingler was named the 7A state tournament MVP. She led Harmony with 21 points, all on 3-pointers.
• While local girls basketball fans probably never got a chance to see scoring sensation Trya Buss of Mount Carmel play, one former local athlete had the opportunity a handful of times.
And Jimmy Colloton will get a courtside seat to watch her in college.
Colloton, who played basketball at Rolling Meadows, is the third assistant for the Indiana women's basketball team and handles a lot of scouting duties.
Buss will play for the Hoosiers next season and recently finished her career at Mount Carmel by shattering the state scoring record for all time points with 4,882.
Buss has also qualified for the IHSA state finals in tennis, cross country and track and field.
St. Viator High School celebrated its latest seniors who have committed to Division I programs.
Senior midfielder Kevin Klinkenberg of Barrington signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., while senior defender Maria Petrillo of Arlington Heights signed with DePaul.
That makes five seniors from St. Viator's Class of 2014 who have committed to Division I programs: Dana Gattone of Addison (golf at Illinois), Robert Renner of Lake Barrington (golf at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers) and Ore Arogundade of Arlington Heights (basketball at Drake) "It takes a lot of hard work and dedication," said athletic director Tim Carlson. "But they have earned the right to compete at the next level."
Klinkenberg and Petrillo played soccer for coach Mike Taylor, who was on hand for the signing.
They are the first Lions to sign with a Division I program since Trevor Wheeler committed to Wisconsin in 2010.
"They are outstanding players that I think will come into their own in college," Taylor said. "They are both going to programs that are building with young players."
Klinkenberg was named to the East Suburban Catholic All-Conference team before being named one of its 'Players of the year' when he scored 8 goals and handed out 8 assists.
Among his teammates, he shared MVP honors with fellow midfielder, Spencer Moore and together they helped lead the Lions to a share of first place in conference.
"Kevin is one of the most skilled players I've coached," said Taylor, who has coached soccer at St. Viator for 26 years. "He reads the game well and is a great student of the game."
He also loves to share his passion for the game with others. Last summer, Klinkenberg ran a five-day soccer camp for youngsters in Kibuye, Rwanda.
In choosing Lehigh, Klinkenberg will play for the Mountain Hawks in the Patriot League at Lehigh's new Ulrich Sports Complex and its turf field.
"Lehigh is a really good school," Klinkenberg said. "Academically, it's a really good fit."
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