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HIGH-SCHOOL

Vote now: Who should be the Register Star's Athlete of the Week for May 13-18?

Jay Taft
Rockford Register Star

All of the spring sports have reached their postseasons and the school year is winding down.

But there is still chances for you, the reader, to choose your Rockford Register Star high school Athlete of the Week, this time for May 13-18. So go into our poll and pick from the elite nominees we have this week.

The voting at rrstar.com ends at noon on Friday. You can email Jay Taft at jtaft@rrstar.com by 9 a.m. each Monday to submit a potential nominee who can be placed on the ballot.

Zariah Burnett, Guilford track and field

Burnett hauled in the only state title in Class 2A or 3A for the Rockford-area girls who qualified for the state track and field meet held in Charleston on Saturday. Burnett edged out Hononegah's Jordan Dimke for the state title in the Class 3A high jump event.

More Rockford-area sports:State highlights: track titles for Guilford's Zariah Burnett and West Carroll's Emma Randecker

Jordan Dimke, Hononegah track and field

Dimke came so close to beating her rival and everybody else in Illinois in the high jump at state, clearing the bar at 5-foot-7 3/4, the same height that Burnett cleared. However, Burnett won the title on misses, relegating Dimke to second at state, just like at sectionals and in the conference. Both Dimke and Burnett are sophomores.

Braden Engel, Stillman Valley baseball

Engel, a left-handed pitcher and No. 3 batter, held No. 1-seed Marengo to one earned run in 6 ⅔ innings in an 11-4 victory in the championship game of the Class 2A Marengo Sectional. He also went 3-for-4 at the plate with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.

JJ Ford, North Boone baseball

Ford hit a two-run triple in the sixth inning to drive in North Boone’s and then scored himself to tie the game after the Vikings trailed 3-0 in the final two innings. North Boone won only its third regional title in history on a two-out, two-strike walk-off single by Chris Doetch and an error to beat Woodstock Marian in the Class 2A Richmond-Burton Regional.

Dani Franz, Hononegah softball

Franz had a home run and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored during Hononegah's battle with Harlem in the last week of the softball regular season last week. Hononegah (28-3, 17-1) fell 13-9 to Harlem last Thursday and failed to go undefeated in the conference, but it did still clinch its third straight NIC-10 title. Franz also went 3-for-5 in the other two games leading up to that one last week.

Jackson Heidemann, Harlem baseball

Heidemann threw his second perfect game of the season for Harlem, this time in a full seven-inning game. He struck out 10 in a 9-0 win over Guilford last Monday. Those are believed to be Harlem's first perfect games in at least 30 years.

Gianna McGraw, Boylan soccer

While the rest of the Boylan Titans' girls soccer team was shut out, McGraw, a sophomore who was called up to varsity for the postseason, scored her first varsity goal in a 1-0 Titans' win over Freeport in Friday's regional final. Boylan

Emma Randecker, West Carroll track and field

Randecker not only qualified for state in the very difficult 100-200-400-meter-dash triple, but she then advanced to the IHSA girls state track and field finals in all three and nearly won two of them. The junior won the 100 dash with ease then lost the 200 dash by a head and finished fifth in the 400 run.

Alec Schlichting, Lena-Winslow track and field

Schlichting will participate in this week's state meet in four events after he poured it on at sectionals last week. Schlichting motored to state in the 100 and 200 dashes and was also a key part of Le-Win's 4x100 and the 4x200 relays that advanced to state.

Messiah Tilson, Guilford track and field

This Guilford sprinter qualified for state in all four of his events at last week's sectionals and has a shot at multiple medals this coming weekend at the state track and field meet in Charleston. He won the 100-meter dash in 10.82, and Tilson also advanced with a sectional-winning time of 21.83 in the 200 dash and was part of Guilford's two sprint relay teams that made it downstate.

Jay Taft is a Rockford Register Star sports reporter. Email him at jtaft@rrstar.com and follow him on X, formerly Twitter, at . Sign up for the Rockford High School Sports Newsletter . Jay has covered a variety of sports, from the Chicago Bears and Blackhawks to local youth sports, since the turn of the century at the Register Star.