Last year's finish: 7th at Belvidere Sectional
Coaches: Jay Fuller (Head Coach), Bill Macaulay (Asst. Coach) Key Returners: Kylie Hagmann (Jr.), Shannon Koscinski (So.), Lauren Wietermann (Jr.), Mads Scolio (Jr.), Sydnie Heidtke (Jr.), Julia Walsdorf (Jr.), Abby Primus (Sr.)
Newcomers: Cara Orndahl (So.), Megan Weber (So.), Theresa Presisto (Fr.)
Projected top 7: Will come from the girls mentioned above.
Coach Fuller's Outlook: "The girls have had a good summer of running and are working well together. Looking forward to competing for the conference championship and seeing where that takes us this season."
24. Chicago Payton College Prep
Last year's state finish: 17th
Coaches: Chris Lassaline (Head Coach), Brandon Zimny-Schmitt (Asst. Coach)
Key returners: Alana Chandler (Sr.), Ella Marden (Jr.), Catalina McLaughlin (Sr.)
Newcomers: Carolina Mohr (Fr.), Olivia Sotos (Fr.), Stella Dziedzic (Fr.), Iman El-Bawab (Jr.)
Projected top 7: Alana Chandler (Sr.), Ella Marden (Jr.), Catalina McLaughlin (Jr.), Samantha Helffrich (Sr.), Dharma Seda Gonzalez (Sr.), Lucia Roth (So.), Lauren Bartels (Jr.)
Coach Lasaline's outlook: "This will be an interesting and exciting year for the Payton women. Increased efforts in exposure and summer training have led to an influx in new runners (both freshman and upperclassmen alike) and a strong returning varsity squad. Having graduated two of our 2016 varsity 7, we'll be looking forward to seeing who steps up into a point-scoring position. This is likely to be a senior heavy varsity lineup, so the stage is set for some late drops this fall, while new members add welcomed depth to the roster."
Last year's state finish: 25th
Coach: Dan Devlin
Key Returners: Shay Doty (So.), Varsha Iyer (So.), Ella Kurmann (So.), Ruth Edwards (Jr.), Madison Ridley (So.), Abigail Norris (So.)
Projected top 7: The girls listed above should be in the running for a top 7 spot. Too soon to tell who will round out the top 7.
Nick's thoughts on the season: The Senators finished a very solid third in the Decatur MacArthur sectional led by an impressive trio of freshman (Doty, Iyer, and Kurmann). While they struggled to a 25th place finish at state, the team gained valuable experience. This team looks like it has the potential to make another return to Detweiller this fall with a much better result.
22. River Forest (Trinity)
Last year's state finish: 23rd
Coaches: Johann Gonzalez (Head Coach), Missy Bacik and Erica Boyles (Assistant Coaches)
Key returners: Emma Creviston (Sr.), Bridget O'Bryan (Jr.), Hailey Hansen (Sr.)
Newcomers: Jessica Hoffman (Fr.)
Projected top 7: Emma Creviston (Sr.), Bridget O'Bryan (Jr.), Hailey Hansen (Sr.), Alyssa Jimenez (Sr.), Hannah Roberts (Jr.), Grace Brown (Sr.), Alexa Mendoza (Sr.)
Coach Gonzalez's outlook: "It's exciting to have all the girls back this season that qualified for state in 2016. They got a little taste of success last fall and are now focused on building on those experiences for this upcoming season."
21. Aurora (Rosary)
Last year's state finish: 20th
Coaches: Vic Mead (Head Coach), Kevin Steder (Asst. Coach)
Key returners: Claire Hengesbaugh (Sr.), Megan Ronzone (Jr.), Allison Tippett (Jr.), Hannah Regan (Jr.), Brooke Delahanty (Jr.), and Bridgette Buckley (Jr.)
Newcomers: There may be a freshman or two that have an impact on the top seven. At this time, it's too soon to tell.
Projected top 7: The six above plus one of the three: Melanie Meyer (Jr.), Lillian Stich (Sr.), or Emma Schwartz (So.) should complete for the 7th position.
Coach Steder's outlook: "All but one of the top seven return with Claire Hengesbaugh leading the way. Claire placed 2nd at Regionals and 3rd at Sectionals."