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Boys cross country team capsules

Published: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 2:55 p.m. CDT
(Kyle Grillot)
Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com Jacobs senior Thomas Chirayil tries to catch his breath after the 3-mile race of the McHenry County Cross Country meet at the McHenry Township Park Saturday, August 31, 2013.

Fox Valley Conference


Coach: Layne Holter (15th season)

Conference finish last year: Eighth in FVC

Top returning runners: Griffin Dempsey (sr.), Michael Saxon (jr.), John Cody (jr.), Tyler Stordahl (jr.), Joe Veal (jr.), Sang Seo (so.), Cooper Langanis (so.), Dylan Richards (jr.)

Top new runners: Kyle Adams (fr.), Jack Adams (fr.), Tommy Williams (fr.), Alex Ratkovich (fr.)

Worth noting: Holter feels there is a solid core of junior runners to go along with senior leadership and help the Trojans move up in the FVC.

Crystal Lake Central

Coach: Bill Eschman (20th season)

Conference finish last year: FVC champion

Top returning runners: Ryan Pitner (sr.), Nick Amato (sr.), Zach Gemmel (sr.), P.J. McKay (sr.), Scott Levengood (sr.)

Top new runners: Michael Penza (jr.), Ryan Bush (jr.), Jake Cannizzo (jr.), Emilio Acevedo (jr.), Andrew Jackson (so.), and Cole Barkocy (fr.)

Worth noting: Central graduated three of its top runners – Alex and Adam Baker and Mark Talarico – so Eschman is looking for others to step in and take over as leaders. Pitner was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team pick and is one of the area’s top returning runners. Central won the FVC Meet and was fourth in the Class 2A State Meet.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Rich Eschman (21st season)

Conference finish last year: Fourth in FVC

Top returning runners: David Lenzini (sr.), Drew Kopfman (sr.), Kyle Radosevich (sr.), Ryan Mathews (sr.), Doug Cain (so.)

Top new runners: Jon Prus (fr.), Alex Foydl (fr.), Miles Foydl (fr.), Tats Daniel (so.), Tommy Melone (so.)

Worth noting: Lenzini and Kopfman are the two runners returning with varsity experience. Eschman thinks the strength of his team will be with several talented freshman and sophomore runners. 


Coach: Tyler Carlson (first season)

Conference finish last year: 12th in FVC

Top returning runners: Alex Clark (so.), Max Grzelak (so.), Samuel Parreno (so.), Joshua Wizgird (jr.), David Yonamine (jr.)

Top new runners: Andrew Cassiere (fr.), Colin Stiefer (fr.), Joseph Ayala (so.), Logan Hayes (jr.)

Worth noting: Carlson takes over for Tom Smith, the only cross country coach in D-C’s history (Dundee and Crown merged in 1983-84). Carlson feels he has a solid core of sophomores and juniors, runners who placed well in the FVC freshman-sophomore meet last year.


Coach: Matt Kaplan (sixth season)

Conference finish last year: Fifth in FVC

Top returning runners: Keagan Smith (so.), Seth Conroy (so.), Elijah Green (jr.), Kyler Callanan (sr.), Kyle Ward (sr.), Jimmy Jestus (sr.)

Top new runners: Matt Kapolnek (fr.), Brendan O’Donnell (so.)

Worth noting: Smith and Conroy were two of four freshmen to make the Northwest Herald All-Area team last season. They were big reasons the Red Raiders made a big jump in the conference last season and are back to lead a team that should continue to improve.


Coach: Kevin Christian (seventh season)

Conference finish last year: Second in FVC

Top returning runners: Matt Johnson (sr.), Matt Goldby (jr.), Sebastian Baran (jr.), Jon Godinez (sr.), Zach Johnson (sr.), Josh Yelton (sr.), Eric Pfeifer (sr.)

Top new runners: Corey Albrecht (sr.), Garrett Brenizer (fr.)

Worth noting: Johnson was eighth in the FVC Meet last year and the Golden Eagles have five runners who ran 4:35 or faster in the 1,600 meters in track. Christian feels his team’s depth is a strength as nine runners will compete for the seven varsity spots. Albrecht joins cross country after previously playing soccer and could make a big impact.


Coach: Chris Setzler (18th season)

Conference finish last year: 14th in FVC

Top returning runners: Matt Stelmasek (so.), Jake Grimes (jr.), Noah Miller (jr.), Scott Sompel ()sr.), Dominc Miraldi (so.), Jackson Pocklington (jr.), Ryan Pagett (jr.)

Top newcomers: Nash Miller (jr.), Myles Rosell (fr.), Ryan Muehlfelder (fr.)

Worth noting: Johnsburg was last in the FVC varsity race, but won the FVC freshman-sopohomore race. Setzler ran his runners down to boost their confidence because he had mostly freshmen and sophomores. Johnsburg qualified for the Class 1A State Meet, but will move up to Class 2A this year.


Coach: Beth Czubik (second season)

Conference finish last year: Third in FVC

Top returning runners: Jesse Reiser (jr.), Michael Hahndorf (so.), Tyler Lay (so.)

Top new runners: Jacob DeWitt (fr.)

Worth noting: Reiser became one of the area’s stars last season and finished seventh in the Class 3A State Meet, the highest finish ever for a Warriors’ boys runner. He also took seventh in the 3,200 meters at the Class 3A state meet. Hahndorf was one of the area’s top freshmen last year.

Prairie Ridge

Coach: Judd Shutt (ninth season)

Conference finish last year: Seventh in FVC

Top returning runners: Mitch Kazin (jr.), Scott Hearne (jr.)

Worth noting: Joe Cowlin took fourth in the Class 2A state meet and is now running at Illinois. The Wolves are a young team, but Shutt likes what he has seen with the summer training sessions.


Coach: Matt McCulley (second season)

Conference finish last year: Ninth in FVC

Top returning runners: Zach Bellavia (sr.), Liam DeWane (sr.), Luke Beattie (so.), Joey Primus (sr.)

Top new runners: Spencer Hanson (fr.)

Worth noting: Beattie comes from a great running family and placed 21st in the FVC as a freshman. DeWane was 24th in the FVC Meet last year.

Woodstock North

Coach: Dan Kremske (first season)

Top returning runners: Sergio Rodriguez (sr.), Jesse Long (so.)

Top new runners: Oliver Nielsen (sr.), Danny Blalock (fr.), Matthew Haynes (fr.), Derek Hartmann (fr.)

Worth noting: Kremske ran at Woodstock High School and at the University of Illinois. He likes the senior core of the team and the seven freshmen should be promising for the future.

Big Northern Conference


Coach: Brett Willhoit (fourth season)

Conference finish last year: Fifth in BNC

Top returning runners: Jorge Pichardo (sr.), Marcelino Perales (sr.), David Anaya (sr.), Zach Martin (sr.)

Top new runners: Jose Ortiz (so.), Gilberto Mercado (so.), Erick Herrera (so.), Jacob Cobb (fr.), Noah Keating (so.), Brandon Roberts (so.)

Worth noting: Pichardo finished 28th at last year’s Class 1A Cross Country State Meet and was 22nd in the 3,200 meters at the Class 2A Track and Field State Meet. He will go down as one of the Hornets’ best distance runners ever and has the goal set of a top-10 finish this season. The Hornets are motivated by coming up four points short of qualifying for state last year.


Coach: R.J. Meyer (fifth season)

Conference finish last year: Eighth in BNC

Top returning runners: Jonathan Mier (jr.), John Bowen (sr.), Victor Arevalo (so.).Top new runners: Brian Karlow (so.), Patrick Kralik (jr.)

Worth noting: Meyer thinks Arevalo might be ready to assume the top spot that graduated David Alvarez had last season. The Indians are a young team, but Mier and Bowen also should help at the top of the lineup.


Coach: Keith Forth (14th season)

Conference finish last year: BNC champion

Top returning runners: James Kaht (sr.), Ryan Garrett (sr.), Ben Gardner (sr.), Greg Arther (sr.)

Top new runners: Chris Williams (fr.)

Worth noting: Kaht was all-state in cross country and in track and field. R-B was fifth in the Class 1A state meet, 19 points from taking third. The Rockets are shooting for their third consecutive BNC title, their fourth in five years.

Suburban Christian Conference

Marian Central

Coach: Jon Lakemacher (third season)

Conference finish last year: Sixth in SCC

Top returning runners: Alex Cetera (sr.), Ryan Wray (sr.), Michael Lyons (jr.), Sam Gulbrandsen (jr.), Bryce Struttman (jr.), Justin Santopadre (so.)

Top new runners: Adam Konopka (fr.), Shige Hatanaka (fr.), Danny Baumert (fr.), Clay Gulbrandsen (fr.)

Worth noting: Lakemacher likes the core of Lyons, Cetera and Sam Gulbrandsen leading the team with the miles they put in over the summer. The Hurricanes plan on improving on their sixth-place finish at the SCC Meet.

– Joe Stevenson


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