Prep Sports Coordinator

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

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Olivia Gunn | Champaign Central girls’ tennis

Olivia Gunn

Champaign Central tennis player Olivia Gunn, center, poses for a photo with teammates Thursday between Class 1A state singles matches at Palatine High School.

Why she’s Athlete of the Week: The senior closed the sectional portion of her prep career with a bang, capturing the Class 1A Champaign Central Sectional singles championship by last defeating Uni High’s Catherine Guo 6-1, 6-0.

From Gunn: “This was my first year going into sectionals as a singles player, so I was very proud of myself that I was able to win on my own. The competition at state will be tough, but I’m excited to play strong competitors and I’m hoping to improve just from the experience.”

I need tickets to see ... the U.S. Open. It would be amazing to see the players’ talents in real life as opposed to on television.

One movie I could watch over and over again is ... “Joker.” I feel like you can learn something new from it every time you watch it.

If I could choose one superpower, it would be ... invisibility because I could sneak into concerts or events, surprise my friends and get away with a lot of things.

The social media platform I use most is ... Instagram. I like to go on the explore page and find funny videos or stories.

My biggest pet peeve is ... when people are condescending because I like when everyone is treated equally, and I think it is disrespectful to think you are above someone.

My best tennis memory is ... when I played a tennis match with my doubles partner and the ball got stuck in her racquet, and she was looking around for the ball because she couldn’t see where it went.

My most embarrassing tennis memory is ... when I went to state last year, I tripped over my feet and fell during a point and my opponents were not sure how to react.

Before a tournament ... I like to keep things light and talk to my friends while I warm up.

After a tournament ... I like to say hello to my family and teammates and then watch my peers play their matches.

In five years, I see myself ... graduated from college and hopefully discovering a concrete career path.

Honorable mention: Celia Barbieri, Urbana cross-country; Bree Buck, Heritage volleyball; Reagan Cheely, Villa Grove volleyball; Catherine Guo, Uni High tennis; Kelly Jones, Ridgeview volleyball; Lyla Kauffman, Arthur Christian School volleyball; Makenna Klann, Paxton-Buckley-Loda volleyball; Lauren Minick, Mahomet-Seymour volleyball; Noelle Schacht, St. Thomas More tennis; Angela Xu, Centennial tennis.

Luke Manolakes | Centennial boys’ cross-country

Luke Manolakes

Centennial cross-country runner Luke Manolakes, right, poses for a selfie with teammates Thursday at the Centennial High School track in Champaign.

Why he’s Athlete of the Week: The senior’s final Big 12 Conference Meet went almost as well as could be expected, with Manolakes racing across the Detweiller Park course in 15 minutes, 34.2 seconds to rank second and help the Chargers to fourth place as a unit.

From Manolakes: “I feel like my season has gone pretty good so far. I won the Nike Valley Twilight Open race a few weeks ago, so that was fun. Runner-up at Twin City, probably not what I wanted but it wasn’t that big of a meet, so I was happy with the time there. And then Saturday (at the Big 12 Meet), I honestly didn’t feel like I raced the best, but I just came in and did my job.”

I need tickets to see ... Lil Tecca because I love his music and he has some really good songs that are really popular right now.

One movie I could watch over and over again is ... “Yesterday.” It’s about The Beatles, and I’m kind of into The Beatles.

If I could choose one superpower, it would be ... to travel back in time because I could repeat a lot of things that have happened.

The social media platform I use most is ... Snapchat because it’s a good way to communicate with my friends and see what they’re up to.

My biggest pet peeve is ... when I’m in a study hall or I’m focusing on schoolwork and other people are talking and distracting me.

My best cross-country memory is ... becoming all-state my sophomore year. I wasn’t really expecting doing that, and when I accomplished it, I was really surprised.

My most embarrassing running memory is ... after a track meet, I threw up all over the place after a relay.

Before a meet ... I listen to music. I sleep, move around and get focused.

After a meet ... I eat — go to a fast-food place and eat. Probably more like Panda Express or something like that.

In five years, I see myself ... definitely running for a school, so I’ll be finishing up my senior year, and hopefully going into nursing.

Honorable mention: Will Delaney, Fisher football; Tyler Heldt, Argenta-Oreana cross-country; Rodney Kaeb, LeRoy football; Devin Miles, Danville football; Jordan Perez, Urbana soccer; Gavan Shelton, Georgetown-Ridge Farm football; Luke Sokolowski, Monticello cross-country; Blake Staab, St. Thomas More soccer; Logan Tabeling, Tuscola football; Judson Wagner, Champaign Central soccer.

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