Marist's boys track team, here celebrating its sectional title in 2022, got its season underway after the offseason death of coach Jon Gordon. Photo courtesy of Marist High School

Marist's boys track team, here celebrating its sectional title in 2022, got its season underway after the offseason death of coach Jon Gordon. Photo courtesy of Marist High School

Area Sports Roundup | Marist runners get season underway after coach’s death

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff writer

After one of the worst possible offseasons, Marist’s boys track team is trying to get down to business.

In December, boys track and cross country coach Jon Gordon died, leaving the team in shock and sadness. The RedHawks were scheduled to open the outdoor season on April 1 at home in a meet dedicated to and named after Gordon, but rain kept that from happening.

Marist made its 2023 outdoor debut under coach Zachary Malanska on April 8 and finished fourth at the Stagg Boys Invitational in Palos Hills.

The RedHawks have won back-to-back sectional titles and hope to keep rolling this year, even with Gordon’s death still fresh on the team’s mind.

“One thing I tell the boys is that they have to be consistent, and I want them to step up,” said Malanska, who was a cross country assistant coach under Gordon. “A lot of that has to do with maturity. We are all-hands-on-deck here, and we can’t have guys messing around and can’t have guys not focused.

“In order for this year to go really well, in light of coach Gordon’s passing, I needed the boys to step up in phenomenal ways, and they already showed me that so I’m excited to see how that transitions into our season this year.”

At Stagg, Marist junior Kamil Kokot won the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.72 second. He was the only sophomore state qualifier in that event in Class 3A last year and is hoping for a big season in 2023.

Junior Darrell Jackson-Mitchell took first in the triple jump with a leap of 42 feet, 6.2 inches.

Junior Lucas Parr took second in both the 100 and 200 meters.

The RedHawks hope to honor Gordon at a meet laters this season. Next year, they are going to try to expand it and make it a bigger meet in the late coach’s honor, Malanska said.

OWEN

Richards runner Owen Forberg enjoyed a strong run in the 3200 meters at a meet in California, setting a school record in the event. Photo courtesy of Richards High School

 

Meanwhile in Cali …
Richards senior Owen Forberg is a record-setting distance runner for his school, but he doesn’t compete in the 3200 all that often.

Forberg ran in the prestigious Arcadia Invitational in California on April 8 and finished the 3200 in 9:17.44, placing him 28th. It was the second-fastest time in the event in Richards history, and just the third time Forberg ran the 3200 in a competition.

The Indiana-bound runner’s time was the best in the state, according to performances recorded by the Track and Field Results reporting service website.

 

CCAC volleyball honorees
Saint Xavier’s men’s volleyball team, which opened play in NAIA national competition on April 11, scooped up some big awards from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Freshman opposite hitter Oskar Krzyzak was named Player of the Year after racking up 314 kills with a .355 hitting percentage during the regular season.

Tom Ryan was named Coach of the Year after leading the team to a 22-4 record, and regular-season and tournament conference titles.

 

New coach at MVCC
Kyle Huppe has been named the new Moraine Valley men’s basketball coach. Huppe replaces John Chappetto, who stepped down.

Huppe has been an assistant with the program since 2019. He played four years at Saint Xavier, and later served as a varsity assistant coach at St. James Academy near Kansas City and a graduate assistant at Louisiana Tech.

 

Learn your assignments
Postseason assignments are out for baseball and softball.

In Class 4A, the Mount Carmel Sectional will be red hot for the area as Morton, Reavis, Brother Rice, Hubbard, Kelly, Mount Carmel, St. Rita Lyons, Oak Lawn, Riverside-Brookfield and Argo are among the 17 teams.

At Lockport, Sandburg, Shepard and Stagg will compete.

In Class 3A, the Marist Sectional features defending state champion Nazareth, St. Laurence, Goode STEM Academy, Kennedy, Marist, Evergreen Park and Richards.

The Brooks Sectional features Back of the Yards, De La Salle and Solorio.

In the Class 2A Joliet Catholic Sectional, Chicago Christian is the lone area team represented.

In softball, the Class 4A Marist Sectional features Morton, Reavis, Kelly, Marist, Mother McAuley, Lyons, Oak Lawn, Riverside-Brookfield and Argo.

The Lockport Sectional will have Sandburg, Shepard and Stagg.

In Class 3A, the Nazareth Sectional features St. Laurence, Back of the Yards, De La Salle, Goode STEM, Kennedy, Solorio, Evergreen Park, Nazareth and Richards.

In Class 2A, Chicago Christian is at the Pontiac Sectional.

 

All-Americans
Morton College’s Mia Simpson was named National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Sophomore Player of the Year and first-team All-American.

Nazareth grad Kaylen Evans was named second-team All-American and Claire Hyde was named to the third team.

The Panthers finished fifth in the national tournament this season.

 

All-Star of good deeds
Jack McGeehan, an offensive lineman for St. Laurence, won a Community High School All-Star Award from the Chicago Bears.

McGeehan has done a lot of good work off the field, including delivering food to the elderly and dressing up as Santa Claus to deliver gifts and food to families.

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