After getting his wisdom teeth pulled early last summer, Jack Fredian was confined to the couch for a week.
But he was just itching to get back to running, which he did for Hersey’s cross country and track and field teams the past four years.
Little did Fredian know that less than four months later he would be a Division I runner at Villanova.
Fredian has made the Wildcats’ cross country and track teams as a walk-on.
He did it in a unique way, showing he could defeat current Wildcats recruits in a race.
Fredian persistently reached out to the coaches a few times and they finally gave him a list of times he’d have to meet to get consideration.
So he took a friend from the running club as a timer and witness and Fredian ran a 3,200-meter time trial by himself at a high school track.
He went 9:13, beating the coach’s qualifying time by seven seconds,
But more incredibly, he beat his own personal record by 38 seconds.
When the Villanova coach was informed of the time, he offered Fredian to run in an 8,000-meter race at Lehigh University (Paul Short Run) with some other Villanova varsity runners (freshmen and redshirts).
Fredian ran that race in 25:12, finishing fifth out of 437 runners and defeating all the Villanova runners in the race (he also ran faster than four of the 11 Villanova top runners who were competing in Wisconsin that day).
The rest is history.
The Wildcats staff invited Fredian to join the team and Hersey High School now has a former runner competing for Villanova varsity cross country and track teams.
“I didn’t really think I could be fast enough to run D-I,” Fredian admitted. “Originally I was going to try and run D-III at Tufts University or Case Western. At the start of this summer I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to keep running since I had already committed to going to Villanova.”
Fredian. is studying mechanical engineering.
“So far classes have been challenging,” he said. “But I’m not buried under tons of work or anything. I’ve only been to two practices so far, but the team is a great group of guys. The freshman especially seem to be very driven and have a lot of talent.”
Fredian is a story of mixing talent and pure desire to defy the odds.
Prospect graduate Kiley Walsh was named the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2017-18 school year at Illinois State on the school’s annual academics excellence awards night.
She was also one of the nominees for Female Athlete of the Year and for the Good Neighbor Award, which is presented to a student-athlete exemplifying commitment to excellence in academics, service and personal conduct.
Walsh is currently student teaching in the Spanish language department at Conant High School and will graduate from Illinois State in December.
Fremd graduate Rebecca Germain, a senior at the University of Connecticut, is still on the beat after performing for the Vikings’ marching band. Germain is a member of the UConn marching band and drum line. She is also a section leader, a member of the pep band for basketball and president of the UConn chapter of the band fraternity.
University of Findlay sophomore Sarah Miles (Hoffman Estates) helped the Oilers score points in a pair of dual-meet victories.
At home against Ohio Wesleyan, Miles turned in a split of 27.86 seconds in the 50-yard butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay and later took third place in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:12.06.
At Ashland University, Miles led off a second -place finish in the 400 medley relay with a backstroke split of 1:01.12.
In a distance event, Miles earned second place in the 500 freestyle in 5:25.13.
She finished her day by anchoring the 400 free relay with a split of 56.15 seconds to help the foursome take third place.
Miles formerly swam for the Palatine Park District Tiger Sharks.
University of Denver sophomore Claire Gritt (Hersey) collected 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in a 106-66 win over visiting Taylor University.
• Illinois State junior Megan Talbot (Barrington) led the Redbirds with 8 rebounds (three offensive) in an 82-55 exhibition victory over the visiting Quincy Hawks.
Washington University (St. Louis) junior Johnny Davidson (Barrington) was selected as a College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Player of the Week on Monday.
Davidson, a finance and economics major, completed 38-of-49 passes for a career-high 483 yards and 4 touchdown passes in a 38-24 win at Augustana.
His 483 yards are the fifth-most in NCAA Division III this season and he eclipsed 4,000 career passing yards in the victory, which put Davidson in third place on the Bears’ all-time career list (4,383 yards).
• Augustana junior Bobby Jarosz (Prospect), who has 284 yards in 47 carries, is averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Vikings sophomore safety John Kappel (Wheeling) is the second leading tackler on the team. He has 53 total stops with 34 solo and 19 assists.
Lewis senior Colin Williams (Elk Grove) was part of the Flyers’ 200 yard freestyle relay that won with a time of 1:24.13 at the University of Indianapolis Quad Meet in Indianapolis.
Women’s cross country
Chicago-Concordia sophomore Anna Krenz of Hoffman Estates was honored as the school’s Female Athlete of the Week for her 12th place finish at the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Championships. She earned all-conference honors while her 6K time of 24:14.58 was her season-best time, bettering her Sept. 7 time by 30 seconds. Krenz is a communications and marketing major.
• Lewis’ Abby Tripp (Conant) was the top finisher for the Flyers at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship meet held at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.
She finished in sixth place with a time of 22:13.20. The Flyers’ Gabby Sanchez was 23rd (23:24.78) while teammate Vanessa Peinado (Hoffman Estates) covered the course in a time of 23:55.58.
Lewis placed sixth place with 148 points.
Illinois State freshman forward Shaina Dudas, an Elk Grove resident, earned the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week award following her performances against Northern Iowa and Missouri State in the final week of conference action.
The Naperville North graduate combined for more than 120 minutes in the two matches that solidified Illinois State’s postseason run. Dudas took five shots against UNI, putting two on target.
In the MVC Soccer Championships opening-round game against Missouri State, she added a crucial assist, setting up Abby Basler to net the game-winning goal in the 76th minute.
It was Dudas’ second assist of the year, giving her eight points in her rookie campaign.
• Augustana junior goalkeeper Jeremy Klaber, Buffalo Grove native who graduated from Stevenson, played 13 matches and 1,044 minutes in goal this fall. He finished 3-8 with a 1.81 goals against average and a save percentage of .747.
Augustana senior Abby Wendell (Hersey) has a team-best 9 assists which ties her for fifth-most in program history.
The Vikings are 13-2-3 and finished College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin play in second place with a 5-1-2 record.
Men’s cross country
Augustana freshman Karsten Zielinski (Schaumburg) took 35th in 26:39 at the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Men’s Cross Country Championships at St. James Farm in Warrenville. The Vikings placed third in the team race with 114 points while North Central won the team title with a perfect score of 15 points.
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