Daily Herald Honors Year's Best in Prep Sports

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 13, 2016 | Go to article overview

Daily Herald Honors Year's Best in Prep Sports


Byline: Lauren Rohr lrohr@dailyherald.com

The suburbs' top prep athletes and their families gathered Sunday to celebrate their successes on and off the field at the fourth annual Daily Herald Prep Sports Excellence Awards.

More than 600 high school athletes representing 32 sports from 67 high schools were honored at the event, held at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. Each school nominated 10 of their top athletes, all of whom were invited to attend along with their families.

Nominees could be chosen for a variety of reasons, Daily Herald Prep Sports Editor Aaron Gabriel said. Some were chosen for setting records, winning championships and demonstrating great athletic skill. Others were honored for acting as team leaders, showing sportsmanship, excelling in school and being involved in community service.

For Buzz Lindgren, 18, a recent graduate of Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, the ceremony was a chance to reflect on his four years of playing football, baseball and basketball -- the countless hours of practice, the long summers of training and the friends he met along the way.

"It's an honor to be recognized," he said. The Arlington Heights resident's devotion to sports didn't stop him from also working hard in school, and he plans to attend the University of Illinois in the fall.

"I'm proud of him -- proud of what he's done and the guy he's become," said his dad, Rob Lindgren.

Amid performances from the Prospect High School Marching Band and Elk Grove High School cheerleaders, as well as an appearance from the Bartlett and Streamwood high school mascots, eight students were given special awards recognizing their achievements.

Naperville North High School runner Judy Pendergast, who was on the girls cross-country and track teams, received the Sweet Moment Award, which recognizes an unforgettable moment for an athlete or a team. Last fall, Harvard-bound Pendergast became the Class 3A track and field 3,200-meter champion with a time of 15 minutes, 54 seconds, making her the first girl ever to break 16 minutes.

"It's really nice to be recognized for all the hard work I've put in over the last four years," she said, attributing her success partly to the support of her parents, her teammates and her coach, Dan Iverson.

A Sweet Moment Award was also awarded to Christian Brunner, a Dundee-Crown High School wrestler who also finished the season an undefeated state champion. …

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