We've cracked the top ten. Did your team make the list?
10. Downers Grove South-
Head Coach: Doug Plunkett
Last year’s final season finish: state- 15th (326pts.)
Key returners: Haley Albers (Sr.)- 65th, Abby Kargol (Jr.)- 70th, Meaghan Bosman (Sr.)-147th, Amanda Thate (Jr.)- 165th, Jill Boyle (So.)- 207th.
Projected top 7: Albers, Kargol, Thate, Bosman, Hackbarth, Meredith Robinson (Sr.), Boyle.
Newcomers: Michaela Hackbarth (So.), Robinson.
Season outlook: The team had a good summer despite some key girls getting nicked up at various points. The Mustangs will not be very deep, but they have some good returning/developing talent, so getting and staying healthy will be extremely important. Both Haley Albers and Abby Kargol are coming off great track seasons and look to challenge for top 25 spots. If Amanda Thate can bounce back from an injury plagued sophomore season, the three of them will make a solid top three. The team’s goals are to win a 15th straight WSC Gold Conference title, return to State and improve upon last year’s disappointing 15th place finish.
Coach Plunkett's Outlook:
9. Hinsdale Central-
Head Coach: Mark McCabe
Last year’s final season finish: state- 11th (304pts.).
Key returners: Becca Marcotte (Sr.)-83rd, Sophie May (Jr.), 98th, Emma Sullivan (So.)- 101st, Sarah Brennan (Jr.)- 122nd, Anne Zaher (So.).
Season outlook: Last year’s season was a surprise to many pundits who didn’t pencil in the Red Devils as one of the top teams in the state. Not only was the team unranked during the pre-season, they had some health issues in key roles. They were able to overcome those hardships and finish well. Now, how will this team do in the post Jill Hardies era? Becca Marcotte is slated to be team’s top runner after producing solid 11:21/5:11 marks during the track season. However, another teammate emerged out of nowhere in Anne Zaher. Zaher shocked many outsiders when she ran 5:07 for 1600m in the state prelims. She could end up as the team’s top runner sometime during the season. Depth is also an ally for Coach Mark McCabe. He had five girls that run under 12:15 on the track. He is one of the best coaches in the state and will undoubtedly get the best out of the girls this season.
Head Coach: Deb Revolta
Key returners: Lauren Conroy (So.)- 19th, Caroline Reynolds (Sr.)- 30th, Ingrid Peterson (Jr.), Arushi Agarwal (So.), Lauren Cropsey (So.).
Newcomers: Addison Coy (Fr.), Rianna DeLaurentis (Fr.), Mackenzie Cline (Fr.).
Season outlook: Coach Deb Revolta is a woman with substance and conviction when dealing directly with her team. The runners can hear her loud and clear when she is shouting instructions to get it moving late in the race. At the same time, she will offer few words for the media in regards to her team using terms in a poignant manner: “The girls have put in a lot of work and should be ready for the start of the season,” the coach asserts. “Our goals for the season are pretty simple. We would like to do better at state than we did a year ago.” Palatine is the best team in the MSL but the Fillies will not be terribly far behind. Lauren Conroy emerged as the team’s ace midway through last season enroute to all-state honors. She will have a steady mate in Caroline Reynolds (5:07 for 1600m) to push her up top. The remaining faces will have to continue to emerge as the season moves along if Barrington indeed wants to improve on last year’s season stats.
Head Coach: Aislinn Hicks
Last year’s final season finish: state- 16th (369pts.)
Key returners: Katie Hoffman (Jr.)- 37th, Ruta Raulickis (Sr.)- 92nd, Rachel Hoffman (Jr.)- 97th, Ellie Marcet (So.)- 125th, Isabel Lopez (Jr.)- 142nd, Emily White (Sr.)- 145th, Allie Ciha (Sr.)- 164th, Stephanie Schafer (So.).
Season outlook: Many coaching brethren have touted the Redhawks as a very dangerous team and one to watch this season. Coach Aislinn Hicks’ crew appears to have moved from the emerging stage to a serious contender for a top 5-10 slot at the end of the season. Central is the only team to return all seven state starters and that fact can’t be emphasized enough. Katie Hoffman was the top runner and should be once again; she was able to produce some solid track marks (11:22/5:23) that will carry back over to cross country. This team has tremendous depth that goes 10 girls deep. The key to big success will be pack scoring up top in big meets. If the Hawks can average 35-40 seconds in big meets they will be a team to fear.
Head Coach: Jennifer Genslinger
Last year’s final season finish: state- 13th (313pts)
Key returners: Carly Krull (Sr.)-15th, Grace Foley (So.)- 17th, Jacquelyn Schirmacher (Sr.)- 118th, Renee Letz (Jr.)- 133rd, Annie Lebert (Jr.)- 184th, Victoria Hatch (Sr.)- 190th, Meghan Mokate (Jr.), Amber Boyce (Sr.).
Projected top 7: Krull, Foley, Mokate, Lebert, Letz, Hatch, Boyce.
Newcomers: Casey Jensen (Fr.).
Season outlook: This season looks very promising for a team that return two front runners in Carly Krull and Grace Foley. Krull is one of the very best runners in the entire state and she proved that last spring running 10:41 and 5:08. So it will not be a surprise to find her in the win column in many contests this fall. Foley sharpened her middle-distance skills 5:17 and 2:22 respectively. The Eagles have depth too as they usher in a boatload freshman eager to run and get started. But it will be the seniors who will lead the team back to the promise land known as Detweiller Park in November. According to first year coach Jennifer Glensinger, she eloquently details her team: “our top runners were active and pumped in summer camp about running strong tighter as a team.” That message says it all for the Eagles prospects this season.