The latest athletic achievement in the Bukovsky family has nothing to do with football, softball or wrestling.
Katie Bukovsky, a Montini sophomore golfer, notched the family's first hole-in-one. It's also the first year for girls golf at Montini.
Competing in Willowbrook's Rachel Gibson Invitational on Aug. 26 at Twin Lakes Golf Club in Westmont, Bukovsky aced the 137-yard Par-3 No. 4.
She had no idea she sank the shot until finding it in the cup. Why would she? In previous rounds at Twin Lakes she pulled out an old ball for No. 4 in case she didn't carry the water that runs basically from tee box to green.
Katie Bukovsky is the niece of Broncos football and softball coach and former wrestling coach Mike Bukovsky. It sounds like Bukovsky and his brothers, Mark and Jeff, Katie's father, are more comfortable on the 19th hole than on the prior 18.
"I was surprised with the Bukovsky family. Not at her, she's a good kid," Mike said. "Bukovskys and golf are not exactly what you call compatible. We all golf like wrestlers."
The following item typically enters the realm of our periodic "College Achievers" columns, but it feels too good to hold ...
Alyssa Domico, a Neuqua Valley graduate who played softball at Dominican University in River Forest and is now at the University of Kentucky's school of dentistry, is among the top 30 honorees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
While wrapping up her career at Dominican last spring, Domico earned first-team Academic All-America honors for Division III softball by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). A first baseman, she hit .320 with 26 RBI and 29 runs scored, on top of a 4.00 grade-point average in her neuroscience major. In 2016 Domico was a second-team Academic All-American.
Last spring Dominican named Domico its senior scholar athlete, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Diversity Award. (As was Waubonsie Valley graduate Julia Bond, a bowler at Nebraska; Glen Ellyn's Nicole Evans, a softball player at Illinois, won the 2017 women's Diversity Award.)
Later this month three female student-athletes apiece from Division I, II and III will be selected as NCAA Woman of the Year finalists. The award winner will be named in a ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 22.
Strength at the top
The Illinois Cross Country Coaches Poll trends to DuPage County for both the boys and girls in Class 3A.
Downers Grove North, which returns five of seven runners who placed second in 2016, including all-staters Jacob Ridderhoff and Matt Moravec, takes the top slot among boys squads. On the Trojans' heels is Zach Kinne and defending 3A champion Neuqua Valley. York follows at No. 3 with Wheaton Warrenville South and Lyons Twp. tied for fourth.
Hinsdale Central, Downers Grove South and Glenbard West all are in the top 15; Naperville Central and Wheaton North are among the "best of the rest."
Naperville North's girls merely reload. Coach Dan Iverson's Huskies, Class 3A champs three of the past five seasons, including 2016 with a young squad, head the coaches poll. Downers Grove South, Hinsdale Central rank Nos. 3-4 followed by Glenbard West, whose Katelynne Hart and Lindsay Payne went 1-2 at state last year.
WW South and Naperville Central also are in the top 15 with Benet, Neuqua Valley and York in the next tier.
Sept. 1 was a bittersweet day for Kate McNamara, she wrote in an emailed reply to the Daily Herald -- sad to be leaving the support of Glenbard North but happy and excited to enter a new chapter in a life that, for good and bad, has become very interesting.
Recapping a story we followed before summer, McNamara is a 2005 Glenbard South graduate who since a wakeboarding wipeout in 2012 has made lemonade from lemons in the form of a succession of health challenges.
A car accident here, a bike spill there, by 2016 she was in surgery to repair a flattened lumbosacral joint and herniated disc. That got fixed, but other things arose such as blood clots, swelling and pain in her left leg and nerve problems that, as we wrote back in May, contributed to hip and foot issues that prevent her walking any real distance.
Not content to sit and stew, McNamara connected with a wheelchair softball team that finished eighth in the 2016 Wheelchair Softball World Series.
This spring, while serving as a special education assistant and assistant girls track coach at Glenbard North, she rekindled a junior high and College of DuPage passion in discus and shot put. Though McNamara fell short of her goal to advance to world competition she placed second in discus and fourth in shot put at the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships in Los Angeles.
Now, a fresh turn.
This summer McNamara attended a wheelchair basketball camp, where she was asked to attend graduate school at Wisconsin-Whitewater and play wheelchair basketball there. Having previously earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois, she had been in Northern Illinois' graduate program to be a learning behavior specialist. At Whitewater she'll play basketball and switch her major to counseling.
McNamara said Sept. 1 would be a "hard day" due to leaving the Glenbard North family that "is why I am where I am today," she wrote in the email.
"It needed to be a golden opportunity for me to depart Glenbard North," she said, "and indeed it has been."
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