The Lady Kougar Track and Field Team honored their excellent season, along with their fellow spring sports last night as Kankakee Valley High School (KVHS) celebrated a terrific spring sports season for 2017. Good luck to boys’ golf in their sectional and softball in the semi-state! Go Kougars!
Season/team highlights for Girls’ Track and Field included: an indoor state meet, Hoosier State Relays Championships, berth in the 4×200 relay: Julianna Colon-Courtney Sizemore-Sarah Martin, (also event sectional champion and regional qualifier (RQ) in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays), and Rae Walther qualified, then Colon-Abby Klemp-Becca Caldwell and Natalie Fox ran at the finals; a 10-2 regular season record, (141-18 in 13 years), 29-7 overall regular season record; area ranked in the top 10 most of the season; won Twin Lakes Girls’ and Corporation Championships; won Gene Edmonds Relays title-29th relays meet title in 13 years; won their 7th straight sectional team championship, which is currently tied for the 4th longest consecutive streak in the state!
Individual highlights/award winners: many personal records (PR) and season-bests (SB) set; all of the following were also regional qualifiers (RQ): All- Northwest Crossroads Conference (NCC) performers were junior Kirsten Hentschel-2nd Team (2nd place) in discus, senior Emma Fase-honorable mention (HM-3rd place) in shot; this caps off a TREMENDOUS coaching job by resigning throws coach, Assistant David Veldman. Veldman, a stellar KVHS prep athlete, was an integral part of the team’s success the past seven years. Under Coach Veldman’s tutelage, KVHS was able to reach another level, due to the excellent, consistent performances of his throwers. Head Coach Lane Lewallen: “David will be sorely missed! His rapport with his throwers and excellent ability to coach these events was a blessing, year after year! It is hard to put into words how much he will be missed! We wish him all the best as he and his wonderful wife, Jilyan, take care of their fine family, Adyson and Harrison.” Junior Brooke Pumnea-All-NCC HM in the high jump, Pumnea was an event sectional champion and RQ in the 4×400 relay; All-NCC Academic Awards: Fase, Walther, Klemp and Allie Tokarz.
Co-Most Valuable Throwers: Hentschel and Fase, both also RQs in the discus and shot, respectively. Fase will play basketball at Trine next year.
Most Valuable Distance Runner: freshman Sam Martin, RQ in the 1600, event sectional champion in the 4×800 relay, ran a PR at regional, and a SB in the 4×800 at regional.
Co-Most Improved Award: Sophomore Hannah Tokarz, went from not lettering as a freshman to being an event sectional champion in the 4×800, running roughly twenty seconds faster in the 800; freshman Megan Nannenga, improved a great deal in the 300 hurdles, was a RQ in the 100 hurdles, and was her team’s #1 pole vaulter, in her first season of vaulting.
Rookie of the Year: stellar freshman Courtney Sizemore, her team’s top long jumper, placed 2nd in both the 100 and 200 at sectional, RQ in both of those events; was an event sectional champion and also RQ in the 4×100.
Kougar Pride Award: senior A. Tokarz, tremedendous leader; RQ and event sectional champion in the 4×800, (Becca Caldwell ran an excellent leg of the 4×800 at regional), which ran a SB time at regional; also a RQ in the 3200, and she ran a PR in that event at regional; will run cross country at Purdue Northwest this Fall.
Most Valuable Mid-Distance Runner: senior Julianna (“Juju”) Colon; very versatile runner; tremendous work ethic; was on all three sectional relay event winners, also RQ in those relays: 4×800, 4×100 and 4×400, plus a RQ in the 400; 4×400 ran a SB at regional; will be running track at powerhouse Indiana Tech this Fall, as well as running cross country.
Most Valuable Sprinter: senior Rae Walther; one of the top female athletes in school history; led all her teams: soccer, basketball and track and field, to multiple team championships; has received many, many individual honors throughout her amazing career; KVHS Female Athlete of the Year-2017; was a 10x RQ in her three years of running track and field; in 2017 defended both her sectional 100 and 200 event titles, also won sectional event championships in the 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay, (SB at regional), where she ran multiple sub 60 second, and very low 60 second, lead off splits.
Academic All-Staters: The Indiana Coaches of Girls’ Sports Association (ICGSA) selects Academic All-State and HM teams for all sports played in Indiana. Only 25 young women from the entire state were selected First Team in 2017 and Fase and Klemp were among this very distinquished group, with Walther also being honored as HM. This marks the first time in many, many years, (if not ever), that KVHS has had THREE total ICGSA Academic All-Staters, with Fase and Klemp keeping a streak of First Teamers alive, dating back to 2012 with Liz Masten. In 2013 it was Rylie Hoffman, in 2014 Joli Jungels, in 2015 Kara Gouwens, and last year, Jenna Jungels, who was also a 10x All-Stater at the indoor and outdoor state meets. Sister Joli, and K. Gouwens, were also state meet qualifiers. These academic all-state honors cap off another terrific season by the Lady Kougar Track and Field Team! Congratulations to the entire team!! With the return of many fine underclassmen, many of whom are mentioned above, including sophomore star Cat Cavinder, (2016 state qualifier and school record holder in the 800, and school record holder in the 400), who is rehabbing very well, and some fine incoming freshmen, KVHS looks to have another strong team in 2018.