Fenwick High School has a longstanding reputation of producing some top-notch athletes and teams from its many sports programs every school year, and 2009-10 was no exception.

Kelly Ryan swam to a state title in the fall, while the girls basketball team finished third at state in the winter and the boys water polo team won its seventh-straight state championship during the spring season. And that’s only mentioning a few of the highlights. A bevy of All-State selections emerged from the school year, as well as conference, regional and sectional championship teams. Here’s a closer look:

Fall season

Cross-country runner Martin Grady ran his way to a First-team All-State selection by placing eighth at the state meet. Grady, a senior who also finished 13th at the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships in San Diego, Calif., timed out at state in 14:48.

Margaret Connelly and Rebecca Steinmeyer also had some success in cross-country, both qualifying for state.

Other state qualifiers for the fall season included golfers Mike Sullivan and Mike Kwasigroch, who was also named the Chicago Catholic League’s Lawless Senior Golfer of the Year. After shooting an 85 in the first round at state, Kwasigroch came back with two birdies and nine pars to finish with a 78 in the second round.

One of the biggest highlights of the fall season for Fenwick was the girls swim team finishing third at state. Backed by Ryan, Mary Kate Campbell, Casey Dollard, Stephanie Ovalle, Veronica Gibson, Maureen Barron, Haley Wickham and Mary Devereux, the Friars garnered 96 points to finish in the top three. Ryan, who will swim at Notre Dame next season, won the 100-yard backstroke and placed fifth in the 200-yard freestyle. Campbell, who was named the Metro Catholic Aquatics Conference Diver of the Year and will swim at Northwestern, finished fourth at state in the diving event.

While the boys soccer and girls volleyball teams secured regional titles, Julie Comfort, Mia Mastrangeli, Christina Janda and Audrey Kiefer all made it to the IHSA State Tennis Meet.

Winter season

It didn’t take long for Fenwick’s winter sports to heat up the frigid season. Fenwick basketball star Tricia Liston kicked things off by scoring 39 points against rival OPRF in the season opener. The Duke-bound senior, who scored 30 points or more in 13 games during the regular season and 40 or more in four games, eventually led her team to third place in the Class 3A State Tournament. She was selected Illinois Ms. Basketball, the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year, the Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year and the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year, among other titles.

But Liston wasn’t the only Fenwick athlete racking up accolades during the winter. Wrestler Matt Garelli grappled his way to a state mat, going 2-2. Hockey players Aiden Verbeke and Anne Gomolinski were named to the AHAI All-State Team for their play on the ice. Swimmers Eric Bell, Connor Brown, Ryan Greenway and Will Rigali qualified for the state swim meet after the Friars won the sectional title.

Spring season

Rigali stayed strong in the pool as the spring season sprang up. The senior successfully aided the boys water polo team in its pursuit of a seventh consecutive state title. During the regular season, Rigali led the Friars in goals with 81. The team went 30-2 on the season, scoring an 11-8 win over Naperville Central in the state title game. Rigali, along with goalkeeper Dan Francisco, were selected First Team All-State.

The girls water polo team snagged its eighth straight MCAC title, won the sectional for the seventh-straight year and finished fourth overall in the state tournament.

Out of the pool and on the track, both the Fenwick girls and boys track and field teams finished the season on high notes. Margaret Connelly, Eric McCoy, Cathleen Cahill and Alex Anton all qualified for state, while Steve Blazer, Matt Hipskind, Bill Toohey, Matt Shannon, Ian Barnett, Dan Yerkes, Ryan Clardy, Grady, Dan Nierzwicki and Ray Laforteza did the same for the boys team.

On the tennis courts Tyler Kiefer and Rob Hickey tore it up in doubles, going 2-2 at the state tournament.

Other achievements

The accolades were aplenty for Fenwick athletes and coaches during the 2009-10 school year. Edward Bruce, a golfer, basketball and tennis player, became one of 26 students in the state named to the IHSA All-State Academic Team. Bruce was also selected, along with football and basketball player and Harvard-bound Jack Dittmer, as the Fenwick Lawless Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Ryan, the girls state champ swimmer, and Liston were named Lawless Scholar Female Athletes of the Year.

Along with the student-athlete achievements throughout the school year, several Fenwick coaches reached personal milestones. Boys basketball coach John Quinn was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, while girls basketball coach Dave Power was named both the Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year (District 7) and East Suburban Catholic Conference Coach of the Year.

After coaching his team to a seventh consecutive boys water polo state championship and 15th state title since 1990, Dave Perry was honored with the Tony Lawless Coach of the Year award.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...