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Injury KOs Hampshire’s Kruse

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This was not how it was supposed to end for Hampshire’s Cassie Kruse.

Kruse, one of the area’s most decorated distance runners, watched Thursday’s Fox Valley Conference Girls Track and Field Meet with an immobilizing boot on her right foot.

Instead of winning Hampshire’s first FVC track championship, either in the 800 meters (where she would have been favored) or by anchoring the 4x800 relay team (which could have contended), Kruse was a spectator.

Her right foot that had been nagging her for some time has a stress fracture. She learned Wednesday that she will miss the rest of her final high school season.

“It had been bothering me for a month and a half,” Kruse said. “It’s disappointing, but what am I going to do?”

Kruse, who was second in the FVC Cross Country Invitational Meet in the fall, has seven state medals on her résumé, two in cross country and five in track.

Kruse anchored Hampshire’s Class 2A state championship 4x800 relay in 2010 with Paige Membrano, Tiffany Phu and Holly Plichta. She was second in the Class 2A 800 each of the last two years.

“I have to have the boot for six weeks, then I can do some cross training,” Kruse said. “I should be able to run by the middle of June.”

The good news is Kruse will not need surgery, so her recovery time will be much shorter. She will head to NCAA Division I New Hampshire next year and run with Woodstock graduate Elise Beattie.

It’s just a shame Kruse will not be on the medal stand at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium, adding to her medal total.

Kaveney to Beloit: Cary-Grove pitcher Ryan Kaveney, who is 7-0 for the Trojans, will continue his baseball career at NCAA Division III Beloit College next season.

Kaveney said his final decision came down to Beloit and Augustana College in Rock Island.

“[Beloit] just seemed like the right place,” he said. “When I went there, it just seemed right.”

Kaveney said he wanted to play at the college level ever since he could remember. The left-hander has worked with pitching coach Ken Raines at Pro Player Consultants in McHenry since his freshman year.

Beloit saw Kaveney at the Stevenson Showcase last June.

C-G is tied for first place in the FVC Valley Division with Crystal Lake South, with Kaveney playing a large part.

“It’s been great so far,” he said. “The guys play great defense behind me. It’s nice to have that. I just throw strikes and know they will be there.”

O’Kane to North Central: Richmond-Burton defensive back Brett O’Kane will play football at D-III power North Central College in Naperville this fall. O’Kane will be joining his brother, Chad, who plays wide receiver.

Brett O’Kane was a starter on defense for R-B’s Class 4A state runner-up team, although he played a lot of offense early in the season when fullback Jack Dechow was coming off a broken ankle.

The familiarity with North Central played a big part in O’Kane’s decision.

“I know the coaches very well,” he said. “It definitely helps with my brother there. He helped me through it.”

O’Kane considered wrestling in college before picking football.

“When North Central was interested, I really started looking at football,” O’Kane said. “I did have a hard time at first [picking a sport].”

• Joe Stevenson is the senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at joestevenson@shawmedia.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.

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