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Vote: CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos, May 13-19, 2024

Updated: May 22

The second full week of May brought along some of the best Central Illinois high school sports performances of the season, including a pair of girls track and field athletes who won state championships and set state records. 

Other nominees for the latest CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos, included sectional champions in tennis and boys track, eye-opening games from two-way softball stars, and clutch playoff performers in baseball and girls soccer.

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The following athletes are our nominees for CSM Spring Athletes of the Week, presented by Dominos, with information on their standout performances below. There are polls for CSM Boys Athlete of the Week and Girls Athlete of the Week.

UPDATE: Delavan's Cole Noreuil won CSM Boys Athlete of the Week and Bloomington's Reilly Vetter and Normal Community's Ali Ince both won CSM Girls Athlete of the Week in the first ever tie in voting in AOTW history. Voting closed on Wednesday evening.

Girls Athlete of the Week nominees

Mya Strahm, Elmwood/Brimfield girls track and field

Strahm took her spot as the undisputed best pole vaulter in Illinois, winning the Class 1A State Championship in the event and setting the season-high mark across the state of 14 feet, 1.25 inches. The height was also the third best across the entire country this season. The state title was the second in a row for Strahm, who will compete at the University of Tennessee. 

Sutton Centoni, Dunlap softball

Centoni helped Dunlap softball finish on a tear, winning four Mid-Illini games in four days to earn a share of the Mid-Illini Conference title. Her most impressive performance came in a game against East Peoria on Friday, which was resumed after being postponed earlier in the season, where she totaled 22 strikeouts in a 13-inning marathon, as Dunlap won 3-2. She also powered the Eagles to a huge win over Metamora on Thursday, throwing a complete game one-hitter with 11 strikeouts. She struck out 12 in six innings against Washington on Wednesday and finished it off with 13 K’s in a regular season-ending win over Morton on Saturday. At the plate, she went 8-for-16 with three RBIs and two doubles during the week combined.

Ali Ince, Normal Community girls track and field

Ince cemented her legacy as one of the best track runners in state history with two more state championships, plus a silver medal, at the Class 3A State Finals. The Oregon commit won the 800 meters in a state record 2:05.33, nearly seven seconds ahead of the runner-up, as well as the 1600 meters in a state-best time of 4:44.86. Ince ran the final leg on Normal Community’s 4x400 meter relay team that ran a 3:50.80 and finished just 0.07 seconds behind the state champions from Lincoln Way-East. Ince finished her high school career with 10 first-place finishes at state and 13 total medals.

Delaney Reynolds, Richwoods girls soccer

Reynolds and the Knights found themselves in a pressure-packed penalty kick shootout with Dunlap to decide a regional title after the teams were tied 1-1 following overtime, but the freshman goalkeeper made four straight saves in the shootout, closing out with a two-handed stop while diving to give Richwoods the plaque. Reynolds has limited opponents to 0.438 goals per game this season with 14 clean sheets. 

Reilly Vetter, Bloomington softball

Vetter finished the regular season with a flourish as Bloomington won two out of its last three games before the postseason. She struck out 14 batters while only allowing one run in 11 innings in a 3-1 win over Danville on Tuesday before fanning 16 in seven innings in a 9-1 win over Galesburg on Thursday. Her strikeout total on the week was 40 after fanning 10 in narrow 7-6 loss to Lincoln on Monday and she went 6-for-12 at the plate combined, with five RBIs and five of the six hits being doubles.

Boys Athlete of the Week nominees

Cole Noreuil, Delavan baseball

Noreuil was on fire last weekend, helping Delavan win another Class 1A regional title. He struck out all but one of the 18 batters he faced in 5.2 innings of work on the mound in the Panthers’ 6-0 regional title win against Havana on Saturday, which ended up being a no-hitter after Bryce Horning finished the last 1.1 innings. Noreuil also went 2-for-3 in that game and was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and three runs to lead Delavan in its 15-0 regional semifinal win against Midwest Central the day prior. 

Carter Kendall, Morton boys tennis

Kendall won the singles championship at the Class 1A Dunlap Sectional over the weekend, qualifying for the state tournament. The top-seed won his first two matches in straight sets before beating Dunlap’s Timothy Liu 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals, then came back after an opening 6-2 loss to Dunlap’s Alex Fei in the championship to win the final two sets 6-0 and 6-3. 

Kamar Sanders, Limestone boys track and field

Sanders was a two-time sectional champion last week, earning him spots at the Class 2A state meet in the 100 meters and the long jump. The Limestone junior won the 100 in 10.99 seconds and had a personal-best jump of 22 feet, 9 inches in the long jump, which was the eighth-best mark in all of Class 2A this season, to take that title as well. 

Lawson Alwan, Peoria Notre Dame baseball

Alwan delivered in a situation that many dream of, hitting a 2-run home run in the sixth inning of a regional championship game against Canton that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 Irish lead, which they would hang onto to win their first regional crown in 10 years. The PND catcher added a single earlier in the game to go 2-for-4, and hit a double and scored in the Irish’s 4-3 regional semifinal win over Farmington on Thursday. 

Carson Lehman, Eureka boys track and field

Lehman had a great day at the Class 2A Pontiac Sectional, where he qualified for state in three events. The Hornets senior won the 800 meters in 1:57.68 and ran the anchoring leg on Eureka’s 4x800 meter relay team that finished first as well. Lehman ran a quick final leg on Eureka’s 4x400 relay team that came in second and moved on to race in Charleston. 

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