Webster earns conference acclaim at Augustana

  • Emily Webster, here competing for Lakes in the Illinois high school championships, is excelling in the throws for Augustana's track and field program this spring.

      Emily Webster, here competing for Lakes in the Illinois high school championships, is excelling in the throws for Augustana's track and field program this spring. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Updated 5/1/2017 8:58 PM

Augustana junior Emily Webster became the first Viking to win the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin athlete of the week honor in women's track and field this season.

The Lakes High School graduate did it by finishing fourth in the shot put at the Viking Invitational with a season-best toss of 40 feet, 8¼ inches.


Her shot put distance ranks her seventh in the CCIW heading into the conference meet. Webster also had a season's best in the discus with a toss of 117- 3.

She has the best three throws for Augustana in the shot, disc and the hammer throw when she uncorked a toss of 139-5 on April 8 at the Ashton May Invitational in La Crosse, Wis.

She currently ranks in the top 10 on the Vikings' all-time career list for all three throws. Her shot put of 40-8¼ is currently fifth, while her hammer toss of 139-5 is ninth.

Webster's best discus toss in her career is a mark of 125-5 from 2016, when she was a sophomore. That mark is 10th-best in Augustana history.

Women's tennis

Carthage junior Max Mella has been named a CCIW women's tennis player of the week.

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She was 6-0 for the Lady Reds while playing No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles.

She teamed with Kristen Kalinka for a doubles win against Wisconsin-La Crosse's Hayley Clope and Alaina Bublitz (8-0), Concordia-Wisconsin's Bailey Kelly and Hannah Tresedder (8-4) and Edgewood's Alicia Picard and Jaclyn Swift (8-1).

Mella's singles wins came against La Crosse's Sadie Spahn (6-1, 6-0), Kelly (6-1, 6-3) and Edgewood's Alyssa Carew (6-1, 6-4).

Boys volleyball

Libertyville setter Ryan Hirschel, who has helped the Wildcats to a 24-1 start this spring, plans to give an assist to the Augustana program when he gets to college. He will play on the Vikings' inaugural boys volleyball team in 2018.

The 5-foot-11 senior is a three-year letter winner and two-time team captain in coach Jenny Smith's Libertyville program.

Through 19 games this spring, he had 389 assists in 40 sets with 58 digs, 22 blocks and 11 service aces. He had 50 kills and just 4 errors in 84 attempts for a sparkling .548 hitting percentage.

Hirschel won the school's Athlete of the Week award on April 6.

As a junior, Hirschel played in all 86 sets for a 27-10 Libertyville squad and had 798 assists, 142 digs, 83 kills, 34 blocks and 33 aces.


He was a first team All-North Suburban Conference and all-area selection.

In addition, he was named to the all-tournament team at the Libertyville Tournament and was chosen as the Wildcats' top player at Conant. He was named the LHS Athlete of the Week in early April.

Hirschel was chosen as a representative to the North Suburban Conference Athletic Leadership Council and was an NSC all-academic honoree.


Zion-Benton multisport standout Ariel Gonsowski-Padron has made a commitment to Augustana's inaugural bowling team.

Gonsowski-Padron held down the leadoff spot for coach Justin Manning's Zee-Bees. Her high game of 279 came in December at the Vernon Hills Invite, where she finished tied for seventh with a series of 1,250.

She also rolled a 222 in a dual meet with Lake Zurich this season. She earned All-North Suburban Conference honors as a junior.

In addition to bowling, Gonsowski-Padron also lettered in Coach Kevin Smyk's tennis program and for Coach Matt Bonnivier in badminton at Zion-Benton.

Gonsowski-Padron joins a Viking program that will begin play in the 2017-18 academic year.

'Walk for Booklynn'

The 'Walk to Cure JM' hits home for Fremd athletes this Sunday.

Brooklynn Yates, the seven year-old daughter of Fremd girls basketball coach Dave Yates, was diagnosed in October of 2015 with the very rare disease called Juvenile Myositis.

More than 350 Fremd athletes, coaches, teachers and families are 'Walking for Brooklynn' looking to raise $10,000 to $15,000.

The event will be held this Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon (registration at 9 a.m.) at the Busse Woods Forest Preserve in Elk Grove. The site is located just off Higgins Road just West of Arlington Heights Road.

The walk is intended to help find a cure for Juvenile Myositis, a life-threatening disease which causes the body's own immune system to attack healthy cells and tissues.

It can cause pain, weakness, inability to walk and disfigurement. It can affect virtually any system of the body, including the heart, lungs, skin and muscles.

Brooklynn went from a healthy little girl to one who needed help to get out of bed and being carried much of the time, in and out of pain, as this disease attacked her body.

She is improving with medical treatment and her doctors are trying to send her JM into remission. But she is not there yet.

Without the help of research money and educating doctors to recognize this serious disease quickly, progress with this disease cannot continue.

You can help support the walk by either joining the 'Walk for Brooklynn' team or making a donation so progress can continue. More info can be found on CureJM.org.

With public support, better treatments and a cure are getting closer.

Last year, funding was able to provide research at 10 prestigious research institutions, one being Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. It helped advance JM research at an unprecedented pace.

All donations go straight to Cure JM and more than 91 percent of all funds raised go directly to research.

For more information contact Brenda Schwantz at schwantz@comcast.net.

Please let us know

Lake County sports fans, please send news items about former local prep athletes excelling in college athletics to jleusch@dailyherald.com.

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