2018 Class A Girls Pre-Season Relays Preview: St. Joe-Ogden Could Run The Table

2017 State Champion: Makinaw (Deer Creek) 9:40.25
Season outlook analysis: The top 6 and 13 of the top 14 times were produced at the conclusion of the school season as they should. DeeMack won the title with a don't quick presence of mind, but it was St. Joe-Ogden that was the team that everyone was watching. The Spartans had nicely set themselves up for the win until about 350m to go. It was there that anchor Faith Houston was zapped by the rail and the baton fell inside the track. Instead of picking up the stick and running the same direction that she entered, Houston zipped forward as her continued progress. The result was a disasterous DQ instead of 4th place. Three of the four members return including Houston who had a monster cross country season. If she stays on the relay along with the team's strong depth, the Spartans will be deemed the best team on paper once again... indoor champ St. Thomas More could factor into place as a threat because they have Marguerite Hendrickson back.
Top performing marks: 

It was nail-biting affair last year as you can see (Angela Kerndl photo)

2017 State Champion: Chicago Luther North 49.41
Season outlook analysis: Unfortunately Luther North will not be around to defend their title. The school closed its doors after the state championship. St. Joe-Ogden has to be the team to watch this season with all four legs returning. Warrensburg-Latham won the 4x2 and they have three legs coming back on paper. 7 other teams clocked sub 51 seconds in the state championship. Can it happen again? 
Top returning marks:

This relay should be extremely deep and fast when May arrives (Angela Kerndl photo)

2017 State Champion: Warrensburg-Latham 1:44.15
Season outlook analysis: The defending champs bring back three legs but lose speedy anchor Taylor George to graduation. It will be interesting to see how they retool without tremendous depth. St. Joe-Ogden on the other hand return a ton of talent and should move up to the perch. Overall, this may be the classification's strongest relay as 7 of 9 state final teams returning at least 3 legs. Third place finisher Milledgeville ran three freshman and sophomore in the championship.
Top performing marks: 
Warrensburg-Latham High School
St. Joseph-Ogden High School
Milledgeville High School
Henry-Senachwine High School

The state champs from St. Joe Ogden look formable in 2018 (Angela Kerndl photo)

2017 State Champion: St. Joseph-Ogden 4:03.26
Season outlook analysis: St. Joe-Ogden was just warming up at the end of last year's indoor season when they finished second at the Illinois Top Times. All four legs return: Zea Maroon, Maclayne Taylor, Rylee Sjuts, Abbey Mizer. We could be looking at a group ready to crack sub 4:00 especially with the addition of super talented freshman Atleigh Hamilton. This new phenom dominated the IESA ranks in the long jump (17-10.5), 400 (sub 1:00) and whatever else she wanted. Some veteran could end up losing their position if the coaching staff is looking to make a serious statement. It appears that Pana and Stark County are equipped to have solid seasons without retooling completely.
Top performing marks
St. Joseph-Ogden High School
Seneca High School
Amboy High School
Pana High School