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Girls track and field preview capsules

Published: Sunday, March 30, 2014 8:59 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014 1:43 p.m. CST

Fox Valley Conference

Cary-Grove

Coach: Mark Anderson (14th season)

Last year’s finish: FVC champion

Top returning athletes: Erika Sternard, sr. (jumps), Faith Furio, sr. (sprints, jumps), Natasha Geiger-Powell, sr. (distance), Lauren Schoepke, sr. (sprints), Sarah Kramer, sr. (PV), Eva Burk, jr. (sprints, hurdles), Morgan Schulz, jr. (sprints), Olivia Roehri, jr. (throws), Delaney Perrone, jr. (jumps, sprints), Talia Duzey, jr. (distance), Gretchen Price, jr. (distance), Bobbie Buerer, jr. (jumps), Jill Sikora, jr. (sprints), Magalie Baker, jr. (distance), Maggie Cherveny, so. (jumps), Nicole Robins, so. (sprints, jumps), Allie Renner, so. (sprints), Sabrina Mishall, so. (jumps, PV), Nikki Freeman, so. (throws), Sarah Riley, so. (distance).

Top new athletes: Lucy Bock, sr. (sprints), Bridget Lauritsen, jr. (sprints), Nichole Myerson, so. (sprints), Lauren Betz, so. (distance), Sarah Caesar, fr. (distance), Linnea Yokup, fr. (distance), Megan O’Malley, fr. (distance), Annie Psenka, fr. (sprints), Steph Pierson, fr. (sprints), Liz Rathje, fr. (jumps), Sheridan Taylor, fr. (sprints, jumps), Alyssa Abrams, fr. (sprints).

Worth noting: C-G has won five FVC championships in a row and likely has the depth and talent to add to that streak. Schulz is still learning the 300 hurdles, but should be the area’s top runner in that event. Roehri and Freeman make the Trojans strong in the throws. Furio (LJ) and Sternard (HJ) were state qualifiers.

Crystal Lake Central

Coach: Anthony DeStephano (second season)

Last year’s finish: Sixth in FVC

Top returning athletes: Celeste Madda, sr. (sprints), Claire Dalman, sr. (PV, sprints), Maddie Dagley, sr. (distance), Mary Fleming, jr. (distance), Sami Staples, jr. (distance), Carey Johnson, so. (sprints).

Top new athletes: MacKenzie Thompson, fr. (sprints), Jeanine Orvis, fr. (distance), Kelly Doerr, fr. (distance).

Worth noting: Madda should be one of the FVC’s top sprinters. Dalman finished fifth in the Class 3A state pole vault and has worked through the offseason on that event.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Matt Dunker (fifth season)

Last year’s finish: Seventh in FVC

Top returning athletes: Gaby DeJesus, jr. (sprints), Kianna Clark, jr. (sprints, SP), Kathleen Pencak, jr. (sprints), Leah Geallis, so. (TJ), Malgorzata Waz, sr. (distance), Andie Kobrick, so. (distance), Natalie Boorom, jr. (hurdles).

Top new athletes: Kiley Britten, jr. (distance), Taylor Schau, sr. (sprints, hurdles), Caitlin Bruzzini, fr. (distance).

Worth noting: The Gators are pretty young across their roster. Schau made key contributions in sprints and relays for Huntley and has transferred to South. Dunker thinks South can be competitive in most events.

Dundee-Crown

Coach: Christine Hopkins-Muehl (second season)

Last year’s finish: 12th in FVC

Top returning athletes: Kayla Lawrence, so. (hurdles, sprints, jumps), Emily Michalski, sr. (jumps, sprints), Kyra Flynn, sr. (sprints, jumps), Maggie Himmel, so. (distance), Anabel Aguirre-Michel, sr. (distance), Mandy Mosher, jr. (throws), Anette Woolf, jr. (throws).

Top new athletes: Olivia Scarpelli, fr. (hurdles, jumps, PV), Lily Brunner, fr. (hurdles, jumps, PV), Karly Livengood, fr. (jumps).

Worth noting: Hopkins-Muehl is excited about the numbers with 80 athletes out for the team. “We have the quantity, now we need to develop the quality of our program,” she said. “We are slowly rebuilding and are looking forward to achieving individual and team personal bests.”

Hampshire

Coach: Patti Nihells (18th season)

Last year’s finish: Third in FVC

Top returning athletes: Elizabeth Pagan, sr. (LJ, 400), Caitlyn Graff (hurdles, sprints), Trish Dumoulin, so. (sprints, TJ), Nikki Dumoulin, so. (sprints, TJ), Rebecca Freund, jr. (PV), Jessica Flatland, jr. (PV), Natalia Sztuk Vel Sztukowski, jr. (distance), Elizabeth Evans, so. (distance), Anne Baxter, sr. (throws).

Top new athletes: Morgan Richer, fr. (distance), Alexis Nguyen, fr. (sprints), Aimee Jarvis, fr. (sprints).

Worth noting: Sprinter Ashley Fouch and thrower-sprinter Jenny Dumoulin graduated and helped the Whips score big points, but they still should be good. Hampshire was third overall in the FVC Meet, but won the FVC Fox Division.

Huntley

Coach: Shawn Nordeen (17th season)

Last year’s finish: Second in FVC

Top returning athletes: Tina Driscoll, sr. (sprints), Macy Tramblay, jr. (hurdles, jumps), Alyssa Bushman, so. (sprints), Katie Mitchell, so. (distance), Delaney Lyman, so. (PV).

Top new athletes: Emily Schmidt, jr. (hurdles, sprints), Kelly Meehlieb, jr. (distance), Nicole Zilinski, so. (sprints), Tess Miller, jr. (sprint, jumps), Courtney Kampert, sr. (PV), Jerissa Chan, so. (distance), Morgan O’Connor, fr. (jumps).

Worth noting: Nordeen hopes the Red Raiders will be stronger in distance races than in recent years. Driscoll will run at NCAA Division I Tennessee Tech and be one of Huntley’s sprint leaders. Tramblay is one of the area’s top hurdlers and also should score some big points.

Jacobs

Coach: Ryan Lemanski (fourth season)

Last year’s finish: Eighth in FVC

Top returning athletes: Lauren Van Vlierbergen, jr. (distance), Molly Barnes, jr. (distance), Taylor Bradford, jr. (sprints), Kira Whittier, jr. (sprints, throws), Erin Jameson, sr. (jumps), Caliegh Walsh, so. (LJ, hurdles), Lindsey Farrissey, so. (throws),

Top new athletes: Rachel Holstein, fr. (HJ, hurdles), Kelly Grady, sr. (sprints), Megan Jameson, sr. (jumps), Julia Tokarz, fr. (TJ).

Worth noting: Van Vlierbergen is one of the state’s top 800 and 1,600 runners. Holstein has cleared 5-0 in the high jump several times indoors and Walsh had gone 16-0 in the long jump indoors.

Johnsburg

Coach: Tom Weaver (second season)

Last year’s finish: 13th in FVC

Top returning athletes: Abby Nimrick, jr. (PV), Kara Stahl, sr. (distance), Jamie Bauer, sr. (sprints, distance), Nikki Hennigan, jr. (discus).

Top new athletes: Brooke Blasinski, fr. (sprints).

Worth noting: The Skyhawks are looking forward to next year and a move to the Big Northern Conference, where they will be a better fit enrollment-wise. “This is a tough conference and we’re going to be challenged hard,” Weaver said. “We’ll try to do our best. We have a handful of returning girls who should perform well.”

McHenry

Coach: Kyle Owens (third season)

Last year’s finish: Fifth in FVC

Top returning athletes: Lauren Opatrny, jr. (distance), Macy Glosson, so. (sprints), Rachel Irwin, so. (HJ), Savanah Howie, so. (PV), Devon Marunde, so. (hurdles), Brianna Ferguson, sr. (distance).

Top new athletes: Amelia Murray, so. (throws), Hanna Zancho, so. (TJ), Shania Kranz, fr. (sprints), Katie Purich, so. (distance), Ellie Gioia, fr. (distance).

Worth noting: Opatrny was one of the area’s top runners in cross country, and Purich was not far behind. Owens thinks the Warriors will have good balance in most events and can be competitive again in the FVC.

Prairie Ridge

Coach: Dave Hartl (first season)

Last year’s finish: 10th in FVC

Top returning athletes: Erin Wagner, sr. (distance), Alexis Strom, sr. (PV), Anna Lockwood, jr. (hurdles, sprints, jumps).

Top new athletes: Too soon to tell.

Worth noting: Hartl likes the leadership from Wagner and Strom. The Wolves have some fast freshmen coming into the program who can help.

Woodstock

Coach: Steve Erwin (30th season)

Last year’s finish: 11th in FVC

Top returning athletes: Maura Beattie, sr. (distance), Grace Beattie, so. (800, 300LH), Megan Hansen, so. (sprints), Alli DeWane, sr. (discus, sprints), Cody Brand, s. (hurdles, sprints), Nora Brown, jr. (hurdles, LJ), Lacey Heaver, sr. (distance), Hope Brainard, jr. (PV).

Top new athletes: Kate Jacobs, fr. (distance), Cora Uidl, fr. (PV, sprints), Briana Verbeeck, fr. (sprints), Lena Vogel, fr. (sprints, LJ).

Worth noting: Maura Beattie is back to defend her Class 2A 3,200 state title. Grace Beattie took a liking to the 300 low hurdles last season as a freshman. Jacobs ran well in the cross country season and adds depth in distance races, so the Blue Streaks should be able to put together another good 4x800 relay team.

Woodstock North

Coach: Cas Creighton (second season)

Last year’s finish: 14th in FVC

Top returning athletes: Sam Abbate, sr. (jumps), Izzy Mazzanti, so. (distance), Martha Everly, so. (sprints).

Top new athletes: Samantha Mergl, fr. (HJ, sprints), Emily Haynes, fr. (LJ, sprints).

Worth noting: The fact that the Thunder’s roster size has doubled is a big plus. Creighton will be better able to cover all events. A large freshman group has shown some talent and should help for the future.

Big Northern Conference

Harvard

Coach: Casey Seyller (ninth season)

Last year’s finish: 10th in BNC

Top returning players: Sam Genz, sr. (sprints, distance), Nicole Melson, sr. (throws), Morgan Logan, sr. (distance), Daphne Austin, jr. (distance), Javauneeka Jacobs, jr. (distance), Sophie Stricker, so. (distance), Jordan Peterson, so. (distance), Riley Korczak, jr (distance, hurdles), Nicole Guitterez, so. (sprints), Gail Bough, sr. (PV).

Top new athletes: Cynthia Pelayo, fr. (sprints), Lisett Sanches, fr. (distance), Katerina Koskinoitis, sr. (PV), Cheyenne Slavin-Hall, fr. (throws).

Worth noting: Seyller likes the core coming back and the depth the Hornets have. Stricker, Peterson, Korczak and Jacobs qualified for the Class 2A state in the 4x800 relay and all return. The Hornets want to score more points in big meets and become more well-rounded.

Marengo

Coach: Brian Tveter (sixth season)

Last year’s finish: Fourth in BNC

Top returning athletes: Caitlyn Allen, jr. (distance), Taylor Conroy, so. (distance), Nikki Hammortree, sr. (sprints, HJ), Maya Heien, jr. (sprints), Allie Sprague, sr. (distance), Rachel Taugtes, jr. (sprints).

Top new athletes: Ashlynd Broling, fr. (distance), Madison Hale, fr. (sprints), Haley Schenk, so. (sprints).

Worth noting: Sprague was Class 2A state runner-up in the 1,600 and took fourth in the 800. Allen had an outstanding cross country season and can score in the longer races. Tveter likes having 35 athletes, his largest team in the six seasons he has been head coach. Those numbers should help build stronger relays.

Richmond-Burton

Coach: Keith Forth (25th season)

Last year’s finish: Sixth in BNC

Top returning athletes: Miranda Halverson, so. (sprints), Ally Zaobidny, jr. (sprints, TJ), Anna Salgado, sr. (sprints), Shannon Lytle, sr. (distance), Alexis Nelson, jr. (PV, sprints), Katelyn Coward, sr. (HJ), Emily Greibe, sr. (jumps), Courtney Cozzalo, so. (throws), Waverly Halverson, so. (sprints), Jillian Townsend, jr. (hurdles, HJ), Allison Brandal, jr. (sprints).

Top new athletes: Adelaide Halverson, fr. (sprints), K.C. Davids, fr. (jumps, sprints), Megan Curran, fr. (throws), Anna Vlasak, fr. (sprints, hurdles), Emma Langlois, fr. (distance).

Worth noting: Forth is retiring as a social studies teacher this year, but might would like to come back as coach for another year. The Rockets will be strong in sprint events, where Forth thinks they have more depth than they have had in a long time.

Suburban Christian Conference

Marian Central

Coach: Adam Zanck (first season)

Last year’s finish: Eighth in SCC

Top returning athletes: Brie Baumert, sr. (distance), Emma Baumert, jr. (distance), Marisa Monbrod, jr. (distance), Monica Juarez, so. (distance), Nora Cetera, so. (distance).

Top new athletes: Abigail Jones, fr. (distance), Alyssa Dowell, fr. (distance), Morgan Litterer, fr. (sprints), Madeline Baron, fr. (sprints), Brenna Koch, fr. (sprints).

Worth noting: The Baumert and Jones should get the Hurricanes some points in the distance races. A strong freshman group will help Marian cover other events.

Northeastern Athletic 

Conference

Alden-Hebron

Coach: Marnie Lalor (first season)

Last year’s finish: No girls track team last year

Top new athletes: Tally Lalor, fr. (LJ, sprints), Hannah Warren, so. (LJ, sprints, distance), Kayla Perez, so. (LJ, sprints), Courtney Henken, jr. (sprints).

Worth noting: The numbers are small, but A-H has a team again this year. The four girls all were coached by Marnie Lalor in middle school. She tried to get freshmen to come out, but most girls in a smaller freshman class opted for softball.

– Compiled by Joe Stevenson, the Northwest Herald

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