Northern Lake County Conference Championship Recap

To wind up the last few weeks of the indoor season, the Northern Lake County Conference took action on Thursday, March 7th at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. With many of the top athletes in the state competing, here are some of the top boys' and girls' performances.

Leading the Grant's boys' team to their second indoor conference championship in a row was last year's returning 3A 400m state champ, Jason Thormo. There was no doubt that Thormo would come into the meet performing well. The senior started the day off with a win in the 55m dash over Grayslake Central's Maurice Edwards in a time of 6.54 with Edwards right behind him at 6.59. However, the instant Thormo dashed out of the blocks in the 400m race, it was his race and his only, as he cruised to a 50.96 to take the win.

Thormo and Michael Smith taking first and second place in the 200m was another key factor into the Bulldog's win. Thormo finished at 23.00, while Smith had a time of 23.31, but just behind them was sophomore Dino Kaliakmanis of Antioch who ran a 23.33 to take 3rd. To end the day, Grant's 4x400m relay quartet of Bobby Cayet, Christian Suaste, Alex Alva, and Thormo won an exciting race with a time of 3:31.36.

In the girls' sprint races, honorable performances were made by Antioch's Ayanna Tommy. Right out of the blocks in the 55m dash, there was no competition for Tommy, as she won easily with a 7.25. Coming out of the slower heat of the 200m, Ayanna won with a 26.36 over Allie Johnson from Grant who ran a 26.85 in the final heat. In the 55m high hurdles, senior Noor Abdellatif from Antioch finished with an 8.90 to also take the win. A strong 400m race came from Olivia Schmitt of Lakes who won from behind with a 1:02.33.

For the NLCC, distance is usually one that performs well. On the girls' side, senior Kelli Tosic kicked off the exciting meet and contributed to Grayslake North's team win. With a strong finish in the 3200m, Tosic secured first with a time of 11:42.68. Shortly after, junior Charlie Smith from Antioch paced with senior Connor Riss of Grayslake North, while taking off on the last lap to grab the win in a time of 9:56.57. Later in the day, the 1600m run was one that was competitive and exciting to watch. Once again, Smith claimed the win over Riss with a 4:30.48. With three returning state athletes on the line for the girls, it was anyone's race. Leading the pack throughout the race and taking the win was freshman Aly Negovetich from Grant with a final time of 5:07.75. Barely behind Negovetich was sophomore Brooke Stromsland from Lakes finishing in 5:09.55 and junior Fatima Giron of Round Lake with a time of 5:10.40 in a tight race.

Other than the running events, many athletes in the NLCC came out on top in some field action. For the second place boys' team, Antioch, returning state qualifying seniors Chase Becker and Matt Becker contributed in the shot put by taking first and second place, with throws of 51'0" and 50'9". Grace Daun, returning state champion from Wauconda, high jumped a season-best of 5'5" against a tough group. In the pole vault, well over the state qualifying mark,  Abdellatif vaulted 11 feet to take first place. In the boy's competition, a sophomore from Lakes, Collin Kao cleared 13'6. In the boys' and girls' long jump, athletes performed well. Zach Grindley from Antioch tops Smith with a jump of 21'4" and won by half an inch. Freshman Mia Morello from Grayslake Central took first on the girls' side by over a foot, jumping 17'4".