Owen Forberg, left, and Josh Smith of Richards examine their letters-of-intent that they signed on Nov 9. Photo by Jeff Vorva
Area Sports Roundup: Runners sign letters, SXU heads to volleyball nationals
By Jeff Vorva
Back in the early 1970s, Richards had an outstanding distance runner, Ray Giff, who went on to run at Indiana University.
History has repeated itself.
Richards cross country and track standout Owen Forberg put forth an all-state effort at the cross country state finals on Oct. 5, and four days later signed a letter-of-intent to attend Indiana. Teammate Josh Smith inked a letter to NAIA school Mount Mercy (Iowa).
Giff, a retired compliance examiner who lives on Chicago’s southwest side, was on hand for the signings at the Oak Lawn school. He said he has been watching Forberg run for years.
The two took different paths to Bloomington.
“Owen has been outstanding throughout his career,” Giff said. “I didn’t really run super-fast for Division I quality until later my senior year. I might have gotten a scholarship after what I did my junior year, but it wouldn’t have been Division I.”
Forberg finished 20th in the state in the Class 2A race at Detweiler Park in Peoria with a time of 16:04.56 seconds, the best area finish in Class 2A.
His father, Lawrence, is a former head cross country coach at Riverside-Brookfield, which just won the 2A XC title.
Owen plans to pursue a degree in environmental science and police, with the hope of someday becoming a city manager.
He said he has loved cross country since his early childhood.
“Running is rewarding,” he said. “It’s not necessarily liner growth, but you see the work you put in through the season by the end. The results are there that reflect what you have done.”
Forberg has some business in the spring he wants to take care of. He is taking aim at Giff’s school record in the 800-meter run.
Giff hope he gets it.
“There’s too much dust on the record and too many cobwebs on it; it needs to be cleaned off and freshened up,” Giff said. “He’s the guy to do it.”
Smith is eyeing a pre-law degree at Mount Mercy with the hopes of becoming a lawyer.
He said he loves running to stay active and healthy, and enjoys meeting people.
“I love the running community and all of the different people to get to know,” he said.
He’ll get to meet some more new runners in colleges. The current Mount Mercy roster features athletes from Georgia, California, New Mexico and Austria.
Cougars heading to nationals
Saint Xavier won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament with a 17-25, 25-23, 25-12, 25-23 victory over St. Ambrose Nov. 12 at the Shannon Center.
The Cougars head to the NAIA Women’s Volleyball Opening Round, to be played Saturday. The location and time that was not announced until after this newspaper’s deadline.
Against St. Ambrose, senior outside hitter Chloe Memenga (Bradley-Bourbonnais) had 17 kills on a .448 attack percentage. Junior middle blocker Courtney Hunter (Bradley-Bourbonnais) registered 12 kills.
Sophomore setter Kaleigh Ritter (Lincoln-Way East) recorded her 18th double-double of the year with 38 assists and 10 digs, along with two kills and a block.
Lyons ninth in swimming
Lyons’ girls swimming and diving team took ninth place in the IHSA girls state swimming meet Nov. 11-12 in Westmont.
Senior Maggie Adler claimed fifth in the 200 free with a 1:51.67.
The 200 free relay team of Adler, Audrey Cavaliere, Ella Jean Kelly and Julieta Tracy took fifth with a 1:34.45.
The 400 free relay team of Adler, Cavaliere, Kelly, and Phillips took sixth with a 3:28.55.
The 200 medley relay team of Kylie Thompson, Dylan Jorgensen, Lindsay Forebaugh and Cavaliere took 12th with a 1:47.36.
Sandburg’s Julia Barry closed her high school career on a big note, finishing ninth in the 100 butterfly with a :56.97.
Yuki is back
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