Loyola freshman places 3rd in class at first IHSA girls state wrestling final

  • Glenbrook North's Matthew Yuan completes a dive during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday.

      Glenbrook North's Matthew Yuan completes a dive during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Herstory Made: 224 athletes statewide competed at the first Illinois High School Association girls wrestling state finals on Feb. 25-26 in Bloomington's Grossinger Motors Arena.

    Herstory Made: 224 athletes statewide competed at the first Illinois High School Association girls wrestling state finals on Feb. 25-26 in Bloomington's Grossinger Motors Arena. Courtesy of the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association

  • Loyola Academy's Max Rice swims the breaststroke portion of the 200-yard medley relay as the Rambler's compete in the consolation final during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday.

      Loyola Academy's Max Rice swims the breaststroke portion of the 200-yard medley relay as the Rambler's compete in the consolation final during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Matthew Yuan, left, who finished third in diving, shakes hands with first-place finisher Harrison Nolan of Riverside-Brookfield during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday.

      Glenbrook North's Matthew Yuan, left, who finished third in diving, shakes hands with first-place finisher Harrison Nolan of Riverside-Brookfield during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Loyola Academy's PJ Spagnolo cheers for his team during the 200-yard freestyle relay during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. The Ramblers finished second with a time of 1:23.47

      Loyola Academy's PJ Spagnolo cheers for his team during the 200-yard freestyle relay during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. The Ramblers finished second with a time of 1:23.47 Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Loyola Academy's PJ Spagnolo, front, and Lachlan Andrew cheer for their team in the 400-yard freestyle relay during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. The Ramblers won the event with a time of 3:03.99.

      Loyola Academy's PJ Spagnolo, front, and Lachlan Andrew cheer for their team in the 400-yard freestyle relay during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. The Ramblers won the event with a time of 3:03.99. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook South's Ryan Eidelman competes in the 1 and Under 200-yard freestyle during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday.

      Glenbrook South's Ryan Eidelman competes in the 1 and Under 200-yard freestyle during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • New Trier's Aiden Musick competes in heat one of the 200-yard freestyle during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday.

      New Trier's Aiden Musick competes in heat one of the 200-yard freestyle during the boys state swimming and diving finals at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/3/2022 8:47 AM

Coming in the 50th anniversary year of the passing of Title IX -- which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs -- last weekend more than 200 female student-athletes made state history.

The first Illinois High School Association girls individual state wrestling finals were held at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

 

Some 224 girls distributed throughout the 14 weight classes advanced out of four sectionals to reach the finals.

Battling over Feb. 25-26, Batavia sophomore Sydney Perry won the first state championship awarded in the single-class event, at 145 pounds.

At 105 pounds, Loyola Academy freshman Harlee Hiller entered the competition with a record of 22-5. She won two matches until losing 5-3 in the championship semifinals to eventual state champion Gabriela Gomez of Glenbard North.

Hiller responded in the consolation bracket with two straight wins, defeating Morris sophomore Ella McDonnell by technical fall to place third in her class.

Maine East senior Amy Villegas (22-15) placed sixth at 110 pounds.

At 120 pounds, another Maine East senior wrestler took third. Hannah Suboni-Kaufman (30-4) made it to the championship semifinals before losing to state champion Cadence Diduch of Freeport.

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Bounced to the consolation bracket, Suboni-Kaufman won her next two matches, pinning Red Bud's Avery Smith in the second round.

The Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association held state tournaments for female wrestlers from 2017-21. IWCOA will hold an open tournament for girls who did not qualify for this year's state meet, on March 12-13 in Springfield.

Splash

Loyola Academy enjoyed its highest finish in the boys swimming and diving state finals since the Ramblers placed sixth at the 2013 meet.

A championship 400-yard freestyle relay of seniors P.J. Spagnolo, Andrew Lachlan, Demetri Zemenides and Andy Kelly led Loyola to fourth place at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont.

The Purdue-bound Kelly swam on the Ramblers' relay that won the 2020 state meet; their 400 free relay swam the state's best time in 2021, said Loyola coach Mike Henglemann.

"Had there been a state meet last year, it would have been a three-peat," Henglemann said.

New Trier finished fifth in the 400 freestyle relay, and fifth in the team standings. Stevenson won going away with 167 points.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Kelly returned to take fifth in the 100 backstroke, with fellow senior Lachlan tying for fifth place in the 50 freestyle sprint.

Jimmy Dukes joined Lachlan, Spagnolo and Kelly in a second-place 200-yard freestyle relay.

New Trier, the 2018 state champion, opened its competition with a fifth-place 200 medley relay of Joe Dienstag, Red Ricciardi, Connor James and Max Lestina.

It was a whole different foursome for the Trevians' fifth-place 400 freestyle relay: Aiden Musick, Graham Wilson, Alex Michael and Ward Wilson -- two juniors, a sophomore and senior Michael.

Glenbrook North freshman Matthew Yuan entered the diving finals with the sixth-highest sectional score. He improved his position from there, placing third in an event that featured the weekend's sole new IHSA record, Riverside-Brookfield's Harrison Nolan with 569.50 points on the 1-meter board.

In the division for athletes with physical or visual disabilities, Glenbrook South's Ryan Eidelman competed in all four events. The freshman placed no lower than fourth in any of them and finished second in three events. In the 50-yard freestyle, Huntley senior Gavin Heard edged Eidelman by .01 second, 26.44 seconds to 26.45.

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