Catherine Sommerfeld

Working her way back after missing most of the girls indoor track and field season, Lyons Township High School junior Catherine Sommerfeld tried the 3,200-meter run for the first time at Distance Night in Palatine on April 23.

Sommerfeld not only won her top-seeded heat but also the overall title among 61 finishers in four heats. In addition, her time of 10 minutes, 37.74 seconds broke the school record of 10:43.80 by Sarah Barcelona as a sophomore in 2017.  

“That was my goal, to go out, be more aggressive. I just tried to respond when somebody ever made a move. I was still there the last 400 [meters] and I had a kick in me to go for it,” Sommerfeld said. “I didn’t really expect it. I tried not to look at the clock while I was running or worry about the time too much.” 

The annual meet featured many of the state’s top distance runners in girls and boys 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races with at least 49 finishers in each event. There also was a freshman boys 1,600 with 17 finishers.

An IHSA Class 3A cross country all-stater in November, Sommerfeld ran only in the Lions’ first indoor track meet (1,600) and last (3,200 relay) because of a shin injury. 

In 2021, she barely missed a state track berth in the 1,600.

“I’ll see what events I’m going to do going forward. It’s just a good confidence booster,” Sommerfeld said. “[Distance coach Eric Simon] wanted me just to see what time I could produce, and running [the 1,600], this would make it feel shorter to me. Now I’ll have to rethink things.”

LTHS sophomore Nick Strayer was 19th in the boys 1,600 (4:26.01) among 62 finishers. The Lions’ Isaac Constas was ninth in the freshman boys 1,600 (4:44.34).

Strayer’s personal-best 4:21.76 indoors Jan. 16 already is under the 3A state-qualifying standard of 4:23.68.

“The time [on April 23] wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but mentally I felt like I was more in the race. I was more focused on my form throughout,” Strayer said. “I know I’m capable of making state. I just have to physically perform consistently. [This race is] not the end goal yet, but it’s definitely a step forward.” 

LTHS baseball

Junior third baseman Jack Falls continues handling the transition to his first full varsity season with the Lions.

“I’ve been hitting the ball well. I think I can get better at moving my feet in the field, making less errors,” said Falls, a late-season call-up in 2021. “I feel pretty comfortable. Definitely the pace of play is a lot faster. The pitching’s faster. The pitching’s better. Kids are hitting the ball harder when I’m in the field.”  

Currently hitting .350 with two homers and 16 runs batted in, Falls had two hits in the Lions’ 15-5 West Suburban Silver victory over Hinsdale Central on April 20, their lone victory in the three-game series with the Red Devils, and two doubles in a 15-5 six-inning victory over Downers Grove South on April 23. He also homered in a 13-4 victory over Proviso West on April 25.

Troy Stukenberg homered and doubled and Cooper Ohlson tripled and doubled for the Lions (10-6, 6-4 in WSC Silver) against Proviso West. Winning pitcher Luke Stockbridge struck out nine in a complete-game performance.

Jack McNamara, Frederick Ragsdale III, James Georgelos and Charlie Breen also had two hits against Downers South. Catcher McNamara (.490, 3 HR, 25 RBIs) remains the Lions’ top hitter. 

LTHS boys volleyball

The Lions (12-6, 1-3 in West Suburban Silver) took seventh at the Downers Grove South Invitational on April 23 by beating Niles West 26-24, 25-16. LTHS defeated Glenbard East and Rockford Boylan in Friday’s pool play and lost to Barrington and Maine South earlier Saturday.

Season statistical leaders include Joe Watkins (111 kills), Markas Venclovas (87 digs and 24 aces), Carson Turner (176 assists), Connor Kachmarik (171 assists) and Leo Wiemelt (38 blocks).

LTHS water polo

The LTHS girls (23-1-1) edged Evanston 12-11 on April 25, Neuqua Valley 14-2 on April 21 and Oak Park and River Forest 18-3 on April 19.

Emilia Mladjan (99 goals on season) had four goals against Evanston. Maya Mladjan (68 goals) scored three and Novalee Roberto (2 goals, 2 assists), Evie Reinsich and Ava Wright (goal, 3 assists each) and goalie Allie Schroeder (10 saves) also excelled. 

The LTHS boys (18-1) beat Neuqua Valley 15-6 on April 21. Jack Bradbury (79 goals) had five goals with four assists and Jimmy Bolan (43 goals, 26 assists) added four goals.

LTHS girls soccer

The undefeated Lions (11-0, 2-0 in Silver) opened Naperville North Tournament play by beating Waubonsie Valley 4-0 on April 22 and Bolingbrook 5-0 on April 23 after blanking rival Hinsdale Central 3-0 April 19.

Leading scorers Eleanor Musgrove (8 goals, 3 assists) and Caroline Mortonson (6 goals, 3 assists) each scored against Bolingbrook and Hinsdale Central. Rielly Chesna (3 goals, 3 assists) also had two goals for the week. The Lions now have nine clean sheets.

LTHS lacrosse

The LTHS boys (4-6) defeated rival Hinsdale Central 12-9 on April 21 and lost to Neuqua Valley 14-6 on April 18. 

The LTHS girls (3-6) edged Downers Grove North 7-6 on April 22 and lost to Maine South 9-7 on April 20.