Claire Dalman experienced an eventful winter, which culminated in February with an IHSA award and signing her National Letter of Intent.
In between, the Crystal Lake Central senior also competed in pole vault clinics and occasional meets, working on her craft for the upcoming track and field season.
“I’m definitely a lot stronger, especially with my technique,” Dalman said. “We spent the whole fall breaking everything down and building it back up.”
Dalman cleared 11-9 to finish fifth in the Class 3A pole vault at last year’s IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet, the best vault in her career at that point. She signed with Montana in February and shortly after that was named to the IHSA’s All-State Academic Team, one of 26 student-athletes so honored.
Montana’s coaches spotted Dalman’s recruiting profile on the National Collegiate Scouting Association website. Dalman visited the Missoula school in the fall and loved the campus.
“The surroundings are beautiful,” she said. “There are mountains all over and a river runs through the city. I met with the coaches and the team and everything clicked. It was always kind of a goal of mine [to compete at D-I].”
Dalman, who ranks No. 9 in her senior class, will receive academic and athletic money from Montana.
Through the school year, she traveled on Sundays to work out at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights. She also worked with coach Tim Essig, who did vaulting practices in Huntley.
Now, Dalman is ready for better things in her senior season.
McClaughry will join champs: McHenry senior Geoffrey McClaughry will compete with the two-time NAIA National Invitational Tournament champion Robert Morris next year.
McClaughry, who averaged 199.5 a game for McHenry this season, bowled for the Warriors this season and will receive an athletic scholarship from Robert Morris.
“I found out about Robert Morris at Raymond’s Bowl and have been following college bowling for a few years,” McClaughry said. “They have some of the best coaches in the countryand some of the top collegiate bowlers. I wanted to be a part of that and learn from the best.”
McClaughry has bowled since the sixth grade and later discovered some schools offer scholarships for his favorite sport.
“It’s great to get an education paid for and continue improving at bowling while in school,” he said.
Kiriakopoulos to Augie: Huntley senior Tommy Kiriakopoulos will play baseball at D-III Augustana College in Rock Island next year.
Kiriakopoulos’ hitting coach with the Pro Player Hurricanes, Mike Cohn, played at Augustana and spoke to Vikings coach Greg Wallace about the Red Raiders first baseman. When the Canes played at Augustana’s stadium last summer, Kiriakopoulos was 3 for 4.
“I knew coach Cohn had told them I was going to play there,” Kiriakopoulos said. “Coach Cohn played there and knew the coaches.”
Kiriakopoulos hit .337 with 26 RBIs for Huntley last season. He also was recruited by Aurora University.
“One of Aurora’s coaches works with the Naperville Renegades and had seen me play in the summer,” Kiriakopoulos said. “I just thought Augustana would be a better four years for me. Coach Wallace talked to me about my swing and the liked how I was aggressive at the plate.”
Adams to MCC: Crystal Lake Central senior Britney Adams will continue her volleyball career at McHenry County College next year.
Adams, a 5-foot-7 libero, helped the Tigers to a 32-5 record and the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division championship with a 12-0 record. Adams plays with Club Fusion in club volleyball.
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.