Burlington Central's Kurosky all set for sectional
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Burlington Central senior Jenna Kurosky, a regional champion, will compete in the Class 2A sectional at Ingersoll in Rockford on Monday.
John Starks | Staff Photographer
Boys and girls golf sectionals will have no shortage of Fox Valley area participants.
An impressive six teams and 22 individuals will compete for berths in the state tournaments, which will be held Oct. 18-19 on courses in the Bloomington-Normal area.
On the girls' side, Burlington Central and Huntley both advanced as teams and will compete in the Class AA Rockford Guilford sectional Monday at Ingersoll.
Central was paced at the regional by senior Jenna Kurosky, who fired a 77. Her sophomore sister Josie Kurosky added an 89, while juniors Alison Colby and Alyssa Mish also contributed scores.
Central is in the sectional for the third time in school history.
"We're really proud of what we've accomplished," said Jenna Kurosky via phone during a break in a practice round Saturday. "Everybody is excited. We know we have to shoot one of our lowest scores yet, but I think we can do it."
Kurosky won the Big Northern Conference title and followed that up with a regional crown last week where she came within 1 stroke of her all-time 18-hole low (76).
"I started off a little rough this season but I've gotten a lot better as the season has progressed," she said. "I've been practicing my swing more and unlocked what I needed to do to play well."
Kurosky noted her iron play of late has made a major difference.
"My irons have always been good and they've helped me stay low with my scores," she said.
Kurosky is aiming for her second-straight state berth.
"I have to remember that I'm not going to know how the other girls are playing," she said. "I have to keep my head on my shoulders."
Huntley is led by the likes of Gillian Young (90 regional score), Zoe Dowell, freshman Caroline Giorgi and junior Leah Virzi.
Central (390) and Huntley (399) posted the two highest regional scores in the sectional field. Naperville North (310), the Crystal Lake co-op (321) and St. Charles North (327) had the lowest.
Crystal Lake's Lexi Harkins (CL Central) won a regional title with a 74, beating teammate Larisa Luloff (Cary-Grove) in a one-hole playoff.
Jacobs sophomore Syndey Goll also advanced and will compete in Rockford. St. Edward junior Ryann Scully advanced to state out of the Class A Freeport Aquin sectional Saturday.
Boys sectionals: Both Jacobs and Huntley advanced as teams and will be part of Monday's Class 3A Huntley sectional at Blackstone in Marengo.
Fox Valley Conference champion Jacobs won a regional title with an impressive 298. Billy Walker (71), Jack Ramsett (74), Gabe Askam (76) and Chris Boyle (77) all broke 80.
Huntley also was impressive with Riley Wicks (76), Brad Spoeth (76), Trent Craig (78), Tyler Ross (78) and Jake Grabner (78) all registering sub-80 rounds.
"We've been pretty consistent all around the board," said Spoeth. "The guys like to work hard. That's been the key. We have enough talent to get past the sectional. We need go in with confidence. If we do that we should be fine. This means a lot to the team. We have four seniors and this is the last chance to make it count."
The Huntley field should be ultracompetitive for the three state finals berths. In addition to Jacobs, St. Viator broke 300 with a 299 in winning the Prospect regional title. Deerfield shot 300 at Prospect, while Barrington sandwiched itself between Jacobs and Huntley with a 301. Prospect shot a 304 at the regional level.
Other individual sectional qualifiers on the Class 3A side include the Cary-Grove trio of Daniel DePrey (74 regional score), Pete Kalamaras and Brandon DiBlasi. They will play in the Huntley field.
The Naperville Central sectional at Springbrook features the Bartlett trifecta of Cal Fanslow, Mike Coyne and Chris Dungey. South Elgin also will have three representatives in Andrew Dylo, Tyler Brown and Nate Reeser. Larkin qualified junior Dan Lenz, while Streamwood (in what could be retiring coach George Rosner's final tournament) qualified two golfers for the sectional for the first time in program history in sophomore Chase Pantle and senior Eric Hamlin.
"My mental game has improved," said Pantle, who added he's been hitting better off the tee of late. "If I hit a bad shot it doesn't affect me the rest of the round. I keep going on. One of the holes at the regional I kind of blew up, but after that I regrouped and hit a nice drive and got confidence from that. You can't let one hole affect the rest of the round."
Pantle has a dual goal at the sectional.
"At this level you have to go out and play and have a lot of fun," he said. "You should be friendly to everybody in your group and not act rude. You are playing competitively, but you have to still have fun out there."
In Class 2A, Burlington Central won a regional title with an area-regional-low round of 295. The Rockets will compete in Monday's Class 2A Freeport sectional at Park Hills.
In addition to Matt Weber's lights-out 66 championship round, junior Austin Niesel shot 72, while junior Andrew Sherman had a 77 and freshman brother Joe Sherman shot 80.
In terms of the team race for a state berth, Central has the lowest regional team score in the 12-team field at Freeport. Aurora Central finished second to Central at its own regional with a 298. After that, Kaneland and Rockford Boylan each shot 310 at the regional level, while Vernon Hills shot a 318.
Also in the Freeport field will be St. Edward's Michael Mattas (72 regional score), Dan Winters (76) and John Butzow, along with the Hampshire trio of Nick Swierczynski, Geoff Beck and Drew Doran. St. Edward lost out on a team sectional berth on a fifth-score tiebreaker with Kaneland.
In Class 1A, Westminster Christian qualified as a team and will compete Monday in the Byron sectional at Prairie View. Warriors' senior Connor Rejman won the regional title at Golf Club of Illinois with a 76. Westminster, which won the NAC league title this year, played at Prairie View in an invitational earlier this season.
In terms of the team race, Westminster's 338 at the regional puts it right in the thick of things for a state berth. The 12-team field at Byron features only three teams that shot lower than the Warriors at the regional level. That group includes the host Tigers (315) and Westminster's regional-advancing counterparts from GCI — North Shore Country Day (336) and Aurora Christian (336).
"We're probably in the Top 5 or 6 so certainly there is an opportunity to get one of those coveted spots," said Westminster Christian coach John Wedell, whose team advanced to the sectional round for the first time in school history. Connor has played great all year and we expect him to continue to do the same. We've developed a little bit of depth through the year and our 2 through 5 guys have continued to steadily improve. Now it's just a matter of the rest of the guys playing their game. What's happened here is a blessing and a great treat. All we have to do is not get caught up in what the day really means and just keep playing like we've been playing. If we do that I think we have a great chance."
The Byron field also includes Elgin Academy sophomores Frankie Bisconti and Elliot Gorman.
At the sectional level, the Top 3 teams and the Top 10 individuals not on qualifying teams advance to next weekend's state finals.
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