Girls Track Season preview
Updated: March 31, 2012 7:38PM
Outlook: Senior thrower Haleigh Theuerkauf returns to lead the Bulldogs. She recently won the shot put at the Prep Top Times “Indoor State” Meet in Bloomington with a throw of 41-8.
Coach: William Anderson.
Last year: Sixth in Upstate Eight Valley.
Key returnees: Sr. – Marta Medina (throws); Jr. – Tyshee Towner (LJ/sprints), Desiree Rhodes (HJ), Vanessa Martinez (1600), Alondra Santiago (800), Nixa Garcia (800).
Top newcomers: Yulisa Feliciano (hurdles).
Outlook: Lacking in experience and sprinters, Tomcats will struggle but look to improve individual performances. Towner could have strong year in jumps and sprints.
Coach: Peter Raak.
Last year: Won Upstate Eight River title and finished fifth in sectional.
Key returnees: Sr. – Kailie Briza (hurdles/jumps), Erica Lagger (sprints), Megan Malone (throws), Kristi Shogren (distance), Mady Temple (sprints); Jr. – Emma Anderson (jumps), Hayley Carrroll (PV/jumps), Isabeau Guglielmo (sprints/jumps); Soph. – Kathryn Adelman (distance), Aime Dappas (hurdles/jumps).
Top newcomers: Jr. – Jenna Ginsberg (sprints/PV); Soph. – Ana Samples (dist.); Fresh. – Hannah Davison (sprints/jumps), Paige Korte (sprints), Liz Markuson (jumps), Kyleie Monahan (dist.), Brooke Nusser (dist.), Veronica Ramming (jumps/throws), Kate Rogers (sprints).
Outlook: “We graduated some great athetes, but we are once again looking to compete for a conference title,” said Raak.
Coach: Greg Burks.
Key returnees: Jr. – Beth Klein (jumps/sprints); Soph. – Kristen Clark (distance), Katie Hoffman (hurdles/sprints).
Top newcomer: Fresh. – Emily Clark.
Outlook: “We have four girls that want to do well. If they continue to put in the work, they will have a positive season,” said Burks.
Coach: Doug Ecker.
Last year: Second in Northern Illinois Big 12 East.
Key returnees: Soph. – Lauren Zick (sprints), Sydney Strang (mid-distance), Christina Delach (PV); Jr. – Ashely Castellanos (LJ/TJ/sprints), Amanda Lesak (hurdles), Abby Dodis (distance), Maggie Brundige (distance), Gabby Aguirre (HJ); Sr. – Jen Howland (relays), Nicole Ketza (throws).
Top newcomers: Fresh. – Elle Tattoni (throws), Madison Keith (sprints), Kaltrina Ismaili (sprints), Jessica Kucera (mid-distance).
Outlook: Young Knights may lack depth in some areas but Ecker expects them to be better in hurdles and throws and solid in jumps, distance and sprints. They’re led by strong individuals in returning all-state performers Zick (400, 400 relay) and Strang (3200 relay). Aguirre was all-conference in the high jump.
Outlook: Mustangs had several strong efforts at the Prep Top Times Meet, led by the fifth-place throw in the shot put by Jasmine Davis (38-7). Lauren Lindholm was eighth in the 800, sprinter Emily Cowan was 10th in the 55 dash, Kendall Cast took 10th in the 3200, Nina Brandenburg was 12th in the 55 hurdles and the team’s 800 relay was eighth.
Outlook: Standout hurdler/pole vaulter Riley Vann returns to lead the Panthers, bolstered by distance specialist Kelsey Hjorth. Vann was third in the 55 hurdles at the Prep Top Times Meet and fourth in the pole vault. Hjorth took fourth in the 3200.
Coach: Lisa Phillips.
Last year: Second in Southwest Prairie.
Key returnees: Srs. – Ariel Michalek (distance), Aliyah Everson (sprints), Kyla Price (LJ/TJ); Jrs. – Andrea Holm (distance), Hayley Zweig (distance), Rachael Walker (sprints), Alex Dudley (sprints/mid-dist.), Vashti Harris (mid-dist.).
Top newcomers: Sr. – Ksandra Jackson (sprints). Jr. – Nicole Burge (sprints/jumps); Soph. – Nicole Buado (sprints), Sajela Harlow (sprints).
Outlook: Phillips takes reins after coaching distance runners previous five seasons and inherits a team with a lot of experience in defending state 3200 champ Michalek and all-conference athletes in Everson, Holm and Harris. Price returns from injury and has already hit state-qualifying marks in long and triple jumps. “We have key individuals who will play a big role in our success, but the extent of what we can accomplish will depend on our depth,” said Phillips.
Coach: Brad Kunz.
Last year: Second in Interstate Eight meet.
Key returnees: Sr. – Lizy Urbina (sprints/relays); Jr. – Tachae Miles (sprints/relays); Soph. – Alexis Smith (LJ/TJ/sprints).
Top newcomers: Jr. – Zhate Jackson (sprints); Fresh. – Hanna Deblois (LJ/hurdles/relays), Ijeoma Agomo (HJ/relays).
Outlook: Miles, Smith and Urbina are returning state qualifiers in multiple events and Jackson placed 10th in recent Prep Top Times Indoor meet in the 55 dash. “We are hoping that our returning athletes can get us over the hump and have a shot at a conference title,” said Kunz. “We have a strong core of leaders on our team. When they compete for each other, they reach another level.”
Coach: Vic Mead.
Last year: Suburban Christian champs, qualified for 9 events at 2A state but move up to 3A this year.
Key returnees: Emily Bakala (relays), Amelia Anderson (relays), Courtney Cox (relays), Kara Kalisz (relays), Grace Petry (LJ/PV), Helen Offerman (mid-dist.), Yesinia Garcia (sprints).
Top newcomers: Abby Hammer (hurdles), Biz Nasharr (1600), Molly Stafanski (HJ), Hannah Kapadia (HJ), Sydney Zargoda (sprints).
Outlook: Graduation losses mean Royals “sprint department is young” but Mead thinks his team’s nice balance will help it again contend for a top-three spot in conference.
Coach: Dusty Behringer.
Last year: 18-2 in duals, Interstate Eight champs.
Key returnees: Sr. – Megan Olson (distance), Gail Rogers (distance); Jr. – Victoria DeFily (sprints/relays), Melanie Tassone (sprints/relays), Melissa Tassone (sprints/relays/PV/TJ); Soph. – Ashley Jones (sprints/relays/HJ), Kaylyn Wedra (sprints/LJ/TJ), Kylie Knur (throws), Steph Sanchez (throws), Amy Underwood (sprints/hurdles).
Top newcomers: Fresh. – Venessa Ortega (sprints/LJ/TJ), Erin Littlejohn (sprints/hurdles/HJ), Rose DeFily (sprints/relays), Ashley Fischbach (sprints/relays), Stephany Sanchez (throws).
Outlook: Three-time state qualifier Jordan Flowers has moved on to North Central College and four-year sprint/relay standout Steff Tassone is running at Rockford College, but Behringer is excited about this year’s prospects. “We are returning six all-conference performers in six different events,” said the coach, whose frosh/soph team also won a conference title, as did the incoming freshmen while in junior high.
Coach: Bryan McMahon.
Last year: Not available.
Key returnees: Jamie Towle (distance), Lauren Zaeske (400), Sami Coomes (sprints/relays), Katie Peluse (sprints/relays), Emily Clark (sprints/relays), Natalie Raebe (mid-dist./relays).
Top newcomers: Not available.
Outlook: Numbers are up a bit but small squad will still lack depth and have to focus on selected relays and individual events. Towle took eighth in the 3200 at the Prep Top Times Indoor Meet.
Coach: Dave Gowing.
Last year: Indoor Upstate Eight Valley champs, second place in outdoor.
Key returnees: Sr. – Morolake Akinosun (sprints); Jr. – Ashley Bruner (800/1600/3200), Anna Klaus (jumps/PV), Tina Marie Frantantion (sprints), Kristina Chapman (distance); Soph. – Alli Wilson (distance), Alyssa Post (sprints/hurdles).
Top newcomers: Sr. – Vaneesha Jones (sprints/jumps); Jr. – Ekta Patel (sprint); Soph. – Aja Hughes (throws), Mandee Lines (hurdles); Frresh. – Michelle Weil (sprints/jumps), Alison Schenone (distance).
Outlook: Akinosun set national best of 6.81 seconds in winning the 55-meter dash and meet-record 23.91 in winnng the 200 at the Prep Top Times Meet and the Illinois recruit hopes to remain healthy and continue strong showings outdoors. Bruner, coming off a strong cross country season, was 11th at the PTT in the 800. “The key is to keep the kids healthy, hope for good weather and get as many to state as possible,” said Gowing. “We have some kids that should be able to make some noise at state.”
Coach: Teresa Towles.
Last year: Won DuPage Valley title.
Key returnees: Sr. – Cynthia Smith (sprints/relays), Shadae Picket (sprints), Megan McKinley, DeAndrea Stewart (sprints); Jr. – Anita Saffa (sprints), Monique Dunum (sprints/relays), Chloeressa Coleman (HJ), Ariel Smith (throws), Tykia Neal (sprints/relays), Rachel Cavender, Nicole Bartell; Soph. – Maya Marion (throws), Kyla Walton (jumps), Emma Spagnola (hurdles/jumps/relays).
Outlook: Blackhawks continue to be a strong sprint/jump program with improving distance and throwing events and should again contend for a league championship. Spagnola had great success at the recent “indoor state” meet in Bloomington and Saffa, Smith, Picket, Dunum and Marion all have state experience.
Coach: Ben Draper.
Last year: Seventh in Northern Illinois Big 12 East.
Key returnees: Sr. – Ali Hester (distance/mid-dist.), Esther Bell (distance/mid-dist.), Melissa Ybarra (throws), Ashley Leonetti (distance); Jr. – Casey Kramer (distance), Bri Stuepfert (distance/mid-dist.), Lindsay Foster (distance); Soph. – Kelsey Leedy (relays/mid-dist.), Vicki Granat (mid-dist.), Hunter Rennels (mid-dist.).
Top newcomers: Fresh. – Jessica Hetzel (sprints), Rachel Augius (HJ/hurdles), Brook Stuepfert (hurdles), Wynd Ridenour (sprints), Olivia Reese (distance), Megan Brineman (throws/sprints), Mackie Lee (throws).
Outlook: Led by all-state performers Hester, Bell and Kramer from the school’s state 2A champion cross country team, distance events and relays will again be the Foxes’ strong suit. “We are starting to add young, very talented sprinters to the fold, too,” said Draper.
“Our distance girls can compete with any team in the state. I’d like to see more balance in our scoring at the weekend invites, meaining our field events and sprints, though, young, will have to step up. … I think we can challenge for a top three position (in conference).” Program has also moved up to 3A in postseason competition.
— Compiled by Rick Armstrong