Girls cross country team capsules

Fox Valley Conference


Coach: Mark Anderson (13th season)

Conference finish last year: Third in FVC

Top returning runners: Talia Duzey (jr.), Gretchen Price (jr.), Molly MacDuff (so.), Sarah Riley (so.)

Top new runners: Emma Kreutzmann (so.), Sarah Caesar (fr.), Morgan Schulz (jr.), Sofie Immens (fr.)

Worth noting: The Trojans won the FVC Valley Division from dual meets and have their biggest team Anderson can remember with 50 girls. It’s safe to believe C-G will be a factor again in the division race and at the FVC Meet. Duzey’s 25th-place finish in the Class 3A state meet was the best in school history.

Crystal Lake Central

Coach: Anthony DiStephano (second season)

Conference finish last year: Second in FVC

Top returning runners: Maddie Dagley (sr.), Sami Staples (jr.), Mary Fleming (jr.), Avery Robertson (sr.), Rachel Kautz (jr.)

Top new runners: Brooke Larsen (jr.), Janine Orvis (fr.), Allie Slyder (jr.)

Worth noting: Central returns its top five runners from a team that was FVC runner-up and placed fourth in the Class 2A state meet. Dagley and Fleming should be among the area’s top runners, while Staples, the Class 2A state champion in 2011, battled a stress fracture for the second summer.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Ken Greenfield (third season)

Conference finish last year: Fifth in FVC

Top returning runners: Malgorzata Waz (sr.), Kiley Britten (jr.), Bianca Jimenez (jr.), Andie Kobrick (so.)

Top new runners: Morgan Szmutko (sr.), Caitlin Bruzzini (fr.), Ann Lewandowski (fr.), Debra Tomlinson (fr.).

Worth noting: Waz, Kobrick and Jimenez were among the top 27 finishes at the FVC Meet. Greenfield likes the way his runners like to compete.


Coach: Tyler Carlson (first season)

Conference finish last year: 11th in FVC

Top returning runners: Margaret Himmel (jr.), Anabel Aguirre (so.), Lena Hemmer (so.), Arina Hurgoi (jr.), Marian Rodriguez (so.)

Top new runners: Veronica Acosta (fr.), Jenna Berlet (sr.), Michaela Barrera (jr.)

Worth noting: D-C lost three of its top four runners, but Carlson likes what he saw in summer training.


Coach: Brad Gallaugher (fourth season)

Conference finish last year: Ninth in FVC

Top returning runners: Kate Mitchell (so.), Jerissa Chan (so.)

Worth noting: The Red Raiders return everyone from last year’s team, and Gallaugher feels they had a great summer of training. “They will be improved,” Gallaugher said. “How much so is yet to be seen and something we’re excited to see.” Mitchell finished 16th in the FVC Meet.


Coach: Kevin Christian (seventh season

Conference finish last year: FVC champion

Top returning runners: Lauren Van Vlierbergen (jr.), Alex Lorenz (so.), Kayla Giuliano (sr.), Courtney Eubanks (jr.), Molly Barnes (jr.), Taylor Bona (jr.)

Top new runners: Kathryn Van Vlierbergen (fr.), Bailey Zinger (fr.), Nikki Dobson (fr.)

Worth noting: Van Vlierbergen, who finished seventh in the Class 3A state meet, leads a Golden Eagles team that is well-stocked for another strong season. Van Vlierbergen, Lorenz and Giuliano were in the top 11 at the FVC Meet.


Coach: Chris Setzler (18th season)

Conference finish last year: 10th in FVC

Top returning runners: Delaney Pruitt (jr.), Carly Wilson (jr.), Anna Fox (jr.)

Top new runners: Tess Grimes (fr.), Kara Stahl (sr.) and Jamie Baue (sr.)

Worth noting: Johnsburg made its first trip to state as a team, finishing 14th in Class 1A, but lost its Nos. 2 and 3 runners to graduation. Pruitt should be able to compete with many top runners and Setzler thinks with some of the young talent the Skyhawks have they can improve their standing in the FVC.


Coach: Beth Czubik (second season)

Conference finish last year: Eighth in FVC

Top returning runners: Lauren Opatrny (jr.), Katy Purich (so.), Brianna Ferguson (sr.)

Top new runners: Ellie Gioia (fr.), Kylee Schweder (fr.)

Worth noting: Opatrny converted from volleyball and had a breakout season, finishing second in the FVC Meet and 29th in Class 3A state. Purich was ninth in the FVC Meet, so those two are back to lead the Warriors again.

Prairie Ridge

Coach: Kelly MacDonald (17th season)

Conference finish last year: Fourth in FVC

Top returning runners: Erin Wagner (sr.), Andie Shine (sr.), Ashley Duda (sr.), Abby Mann (sr.), Rachel Pollastini (sr.)

Worth noting: Shine was 14th and Wagner was 17th in the FVC Meet and are back to lead the Wolves again. MacDonald did not feel like her core group was able to work together because of vacations, camps and work obligations, but thinks Prairie Ridge still can be a strong team.


Coach: Matt McCulley (second season)

Conference finish last year: Seventh in FVC

Top returning runners: Maura Beattie (sr.), Grace Beattie (so.), Amy Zhang (so.), Lacey Heaver (sr.), Sarah Semmen (jr.)

Top new runners: Kate Jacobs (fr.)

Worth noting: Maura Beattie was 17th in the Class 2A state meet last season and went on to win the Class 2A 3,200 meters in track and field. The Streaks could be tough with five of their top seven runners returning.

Woodstock North

Coach: Dan Kremske (first season)

Top returning runners: Isabella Mazzanti (so.), Briana Baltes (jr.)

Top new runners: Peyton Wood (fr.), Landis Delgado (fr.)

Worth noting: Sophomore Izzy Mazzanti returns after a strong freshman season last fall. Kremske takes over for former coach Bruce Farris, who retired.

Big Northern Conference


Coach: Brett Willhoit (fourth season)

Conference finish last year: 10th in BNC

Top returning runners: Daphne Austin (jr.), Morgan Logan sr., Taylor Binz (jr.), Katie Wright (so.)

Top new runners: Jordan Peterson (so.), Jazmin Anaya (jr.)  

Worth noting: Willhoit says his numbers are low, but feels like the Hornets have some talent.


Coach: R.J. Meyer (fifth season)

Conference finish last year: BNC champion

Top returning runners: Allie Sprague (sr.), Kitty Allen (so.), Katie St. Clair (sr.), Kaylin Punotai (jr.), Claire Cowan (jr.)

Top new runners: Ashlynd Broling (fr.), Taylor Conroy (so.), Stephanie Voller (jr.).

Worth noting: Northwest Herald Runner of the Year Katie Adams graduated and is running at Iowa, but the Indians still have a lot coming back. Allen was 16th, earning all-state honors and Sprague was Class 2A state runner-up to Adams in the 1,600 meters in track. Marengo was fifth in Class 2A state and Meyer thinks the Indians, with boosts from Broling and Conroy, can do that again, if not better.


Coach: Keith Forth (14th season)

Conference finish last year: Eighth in BNC

Top returning runners: Meagan Spohr, Brittany Tower, Eden Manuel, Shannon Lytle

Top new runners: Breanne Retherford, Emma Langlois

Worth noting: Forth hopes that larger numbers on the team will help the Rockets with better depth this season.

Suburban Christian Conference

Marian Central

Coach: Jon Lakemacher (third season)

Conference finish last year: FIfth in SCC

Top returning runners: Jessica Biggins (sr.), Brie Baumert (sr.), Olivia Dineen (jr.), Emma Baumert (jr.), Marisa Monbrod (jr.)

Top new runners: Abigail Jones (fr.), Kennedy Giles (fr.)

Worth noting: The Hurricanes return six of their top seven runners, which could bode well as they will be in Class 1A. The group has big expectations after a couple of years running together.

– Joe Stevenson


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