State champs from Wauconda High honored by village
Two track-and-field stars from Wauconda High School who won state titles this spring are being publicly celebrated by the village.
Grace Daun and Juan Rodarte were honored Monday night by Mayor Lincoln Knight and village trustees at the start of the village board's meeting.
Additionally, signs describing their accomplishments soon will be displayed in town for residents and visitors to see.
Daun, a recent Wauconda High graduate who lives in Wauconda, won the Illinois High School Association Class 3A high jump title in May during the state championship meet at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. It was Daun's second-straight state title in the event.
Rodarte, an incoming senior, won state titles in the 100-meter and 200-meter wheelchair races in the boys' division. He also finished second in the 400-meter and 800-meter races.
At Monday's meeting, the young athletes received small plaques from Knight. Officials also unveiled large, green-and-white street signs bearing their names, their championship events and the Wauconda High name and bulldog mascot.
Knight called the state wins by local athletes exciting.
"We're very proud of them, their coaches and support systems," he said.
Rodarte said he isn't used to being in the spotlight. The Island Lake resident on Tuesday called the attention "overwhelming."
He also said he plans to win the state titles in all four wheelchair races next year.
Wauconda High Athletic Director Mark Ribbens crediting Rodarte's time in the weight room for building the upper-body strength to win two state titles.
More big wins are possible, Ribbens said.
"He has a chance to be one of the most decorated athletes here," Ribbens said.
Daun was the first female athlete from the school to win a state championship, and the first to win two.
Daun, who will attend Illinois State University on a track scholarship, also was named Wauconda High's female athlete of the year for 2018-19.
She couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.
Noting how difficult it is to repeat as a state champion, Ribbens called Daun "an amazing, amazing athlete."
"She's given all the young girls who are coming up the ability to dream," Ribbens said.