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Jackson Grambart AOTW

Monticello boys’ cross-country runner Jackson Grambart, right, with family members, from left, Kylie, Sean and Sheila.

Jackson Grambart | Monticello boys’ cross-country

Why he’s Athlete of the Week: The junior set a new personal-best 3-mile time in an important moment, clocking in at 15 minutes, 40.36 seconds during the Illini Prairie Conference Meet in St. Joseph. Grambart placed second, leading the Sages to a close runner-up effort in the team chase of one of the state’s most competitive distance-running leagues.

From Grambart: “It was super important to me. For a little bit during the season I was out, and this was my third meet back. I was super happy to be back where I am, and I was happy with what the team did.”

I need tickets to see ... the college basketball championship game. I really want to experience that atmosphere and see one of those games.

One movie I could watch over and over is ... “The Other Guys.” I watched it with my friends one time, and it was just a super funny movie.

If I could choose one superpower, it would be ... super speed. It would just be super cool, and it would help while running and just being able to get to places really fast.

The social media platform I use most is ... Instagram. I use it to get notified about sports.

My biggest pet peeve is ... when people rub Styrofoam together.

My favorite cross-country memory is ... last year, when we won Class 1A state. The whole day was super fun, just all the hard work paying off. We were all super happy, and the rest of the day the entire guys’ team hung out together.

My most embarrassing cross-country memory is ... one time before a race started my coach told me to wear spikes, and then I didn’t. My shoe came off during the race, and I ran a really bad time from it.

Before a meet ... I usually listen to music on the bus ride, and then I talk to some of the guys. While warming up, me and the guys tell some jokes and have fun to get the nerves out.

After a meet ... I go home and play video games with my friends, and then since meets are usually on Saturdays, I watch college football.

In five years, I see myself ... hopefully somewhere in college, probably running still.

Honorable mention: Ethan Black, Clinton cross-country; Will Haegan, Sullivan golf; Dylan Howell, Cerro Gordo cross-country; Eli Mojonnier, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin cross-country; Luke Rogers, Bement golf.

Reed Broaders AOTW

Uni High swimmer Reed Broaders, center, poses for a photo with parents Karen, left, and Rod, as well as dog Bentley.

Reed Broaders | Uni High girls’ swimming and diving

Why she’s Athlete of the Week: In just her second meet of the season, the senior reminded why she was The News-Gazette’s 2018 All-Area girls’ swimming and diving Athlete of the Year. Broaders won every event she entered versus Champaign Central at Unit 4 Pool, clocking 2 minutes, 22.89 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle, 26.00 seconds in the 50 free, 1:01.66 in the 100 butterfly and 58.49 seconds in the 100 free.

From Broaders: “I would have to say the 200 free (was my best race), but I actually swam it butterfly so I’m happy I actually completed it. I hadn’t swam the 200 fly in like two years. ... That’s one thing I was really proud of. Coach Dave (Young) was like, ‘Why don’t you do a 200 fly? I’m pretty sure you’re doing to be the first person to swim a 200 fly on your senior night.’”

I need tickets to see ... Lil Uzi Vert. I like his music a lot. Me and my friends are big fans of him, and he’s just a cool guy.

One movie I could watch over and over is ... “Black Panther.” I’ve watched that a lot of times.

If I could choose one superpower, it would be ... whatever Black Panther does. Those powers are really cool.

The social media platform I use most is ... Snapchat. A lot of people are on it. I send goofy pics to my friends a lot. It’s either Snapchat or Instagram, for sure. They’re kind of interchangeable for me.

My biggest pet peeve is ... people leaving before their set interval.

My favorite swimming memory is ... sophomore year sectionals, for sure. Our whole team did overall amazing. There were some eye-opening swims that nobody expected to happen.

My most embarrassing swimming memory is ... slipping off the blocks at Urbana, because their blocks are slippery. Last year, preparing for sectionals, my team went there to practice and we all just kept slipping.

Before a meet ... I always drink a protein shake. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t physically eat or chew. I have to talk to my team and warm up, and then definitely listen to music before my races.

After a meet ... this year it’s been another practice right after a meet, but during Heat (club) season or a big meet I’d say I warm down and I have an ice bath.

In five years, I see myself ... in med school. I want to be a doctor, so definitely med school. I think I will have just retired from swimming, unfortunately.

Honorable mention: Honora Hoey, Urbana swimming and diving; Mia Kirby, St. Thomas More golf; Sydney McTaggart, Watseka tennis; Gabriella Moreman, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin cross-country; Ainsley Winters, Mahomet-Seymour golf.

Colin Likas is the preps coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).