Madeline Perez is going to be mad serious about leading a super class of girls who are destined to be even faster than last year’s record breaking year in which 87 runners broke 18:00 in the state championship! In addition to the deep field returning is the prospect of team aspirations for some of the top returning girls. Still, talent breeds fast times and that undoubtedly is going to be what’s on the menu.
1. Madeline Perez (Sr.) Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West)- Defending State Champion; 10:21/4:52- Just in case you haven’t heard Madeline before… 1) Don’t call her ‘Maddie’; 2) She holds the all-time three-mile record on grass (16:02); 3) Top returning Midwest Nike Cross National runner; 4) encompasses an amazing ability to not lose a close race… Madeline is the can’t miss choice as all of the aforementioned points suggest. Can she get under 16:00 on Detweiller this season? That will be the talk of the sport once the post-season begins. Also, the intense college recruiting battle over her will be of substance as well. Where is she going? “Well, there is the ACC, Big-10, SEC, Pac-12… I guess we’ll find out soon,” she said. It will be interesting to see how Perez will respond after the state championship. Last year, she competed well advancing to the NXN championship and placing 18th. Whether she goes for the Footlocker/NXN double, Perez will be a dual threat to the national competition.
2. Carly Krull (Sr.) Orland Park (Sandburg)- 15th; 10:41/5:08- Carly’s tough running tactics this past spring has put her in the spotlight. Krull seemed to understand how good she was when she placed second to Emma Fisher (York) in the 3200m at the Sue Pariseau Invitational. In that race, she battled in the pack with Elly DeTurris of Naperville North before exploding away in the second half. It will be that kind of effort in cross country races that is going to make Krull dangerous.
3. Lauren VanVlierbergen (Jr.) Algonquin Jacobs-7th; 10:54/4:55/2:13- The sky is the limit for the state’s most well rounded runner. VanVlierbergen has tremendous leg speed in she can a solid leg on good 4x400m relay unit. At the same time she can keep pace with the state’s top harriers.
4. Lindsay Graham (So.) Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West)- 20th; 10:41/5:10/2:22- One of the most improved runners from the start of the school year to the end of the school year is destined to be even better than before now that she has moved across town to become a Hilltopper.
5. Meredith Mimi Smith (Jr.) Winnetka New Trier- 12th; 11:00/4:59/2:21- The Mimi Smith era began as soon as the wonder twins Jessica and Courtney Ackerman walked across the graduation stage in June. Smith is a two-time all-state runner after two seasons.
6. Elly DeTurris (Jr.) Naperville North- 14th; 10:44/5:09- The ace of the Huskies staff will be legitimate front runner for one of the nation’s elite teams. In essence DeTurris is forced to be that type of harrier because the threat of Glenbard West and their dominant trio. She will undoubtedly be one of the very best runners this fall. Check out this pre-season interview with her.
7. Lisa Luczak (Jr.) Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West)- 6th; 10:37i/5:03- The third best runner (potentially) on a strong Hilltoppers team would virtually be the top runner for any other team in the state.
8. Grace Foley (So.) Orland Park (Sandburg)- 17th; 11:10/5:17/2:22- look for Foley to move up the chain under the tutelage of her super teammate Carly Krull.
9. Kaitlyn Ko (So.) Buffalo Grove- 22nd; 10:55/5:09- Ko burst on the scene like a thief in the night when she placed in the top 10 in her first high school invitational. Her proceeding efforts were not a fluke as she placed third in the talent rich MSL Championship and eventually earned all-state honors. After a strong track season, the fans and competition will be watching with a keen eye this fall.
10. Becca Marcotte (Sr.) Hinsdale Central- 83rd; 11:21/5:11- The Devilettes always seem to have a runner among the top of the fray. Marcotte may just be the next standout distance runner.
11. Olivia Ryan (Jr.) Oak Park (Fenwick)- 5th; 5:12/2:22- Ryan had a rough track season despite placing sixth in the 1600m. Her time of 5:12 was average considering she was one of the best distance runners in all of IHSA last fall. In retrospect, the illness that she suffered during the spring played a bigger part than most knew. However, Ryan was able to rebound and enjoyed a solid summer track season in which she ran 4:50 for 1500m. This may be a sign that she may be back to attack this fall.
12. Emily Leonard (Sr.) Park Ridge Maine South- 9th; 11:18- Leonard did not have the great spring like some many other girls in pool because she suffered from injuries. The summer hasn’t been as kind either but she is on the mend. Although she may start out a little slow in the beginning, look for Leonard to be in the mix for top honors in November.
13. Haley Albers (Sr.) Downers Grove South- 65th; 10:54/5:22- Albers took over as the team’s top runner at the beginning of the ’12 season, now she is one of the top runners in the state.
14. Meagan Biddle (So.) Hoffman Estates- 11:15/5:02- Biddle perhaps got lost in the melee of talented freshman from her league (MSL) despite putting up some awesome track numbers that any upperclassmen would love. Coach Kirk Macnider fully expects Biddle to be one of the emerging stars moving into the elite pack.
15. Caroline Reynolds (Sr.) Barrington- 30th, 11:39/5:07- part of the good duo with teammate Lauren Conroy. Look for the speedy Reynolds to really improve this fall.
The best of the rest in no particular order:
Kendall Cast (Sr.) Aurora (Metea Valley)- 11:06; Ashley England (Sr., St. Charles North)- 40th, 11:11.99; Sydney Neal (Sr., O’Fallon)- 4x8 all-state, 17:20; Sabina Yosif (So., Palatine)- 11:09; Liz Cox (Sr., Palatine); Abby Kargol (Jr., Downers Grove South)- 11:03; Meagan Biddle (So., Hoffman Estates)- 5:02; Liz Cox (Sr., Palatine)- 5:06; Anne Zahar (So., Hinsdale Central)- 5:07; Lauren Opatrny (Jr., McHenry)- 17:12/5:12/2:22; Maria McDonald (Sr.) Naperville North; Lauren Conroy (So.) Barrington; Joanna Podosek (Sr.) Chicago Lane Tech- 18:28/2:22; Torree Scull (Jr.) St. Charles East- 5:11; Alexis Jakubowski (Jr.) Chicago (St. Ignatius)- 5:14; Rachel Lau (So.) Plainfield North- 11:14; Jessica Lincoln (Sr.) Palatine- 11:16; Caroline Kurdej (Jr.)- Schaumburg- 11:16; Talia Duzey (Jr.) Cary-Grove- 25th; 17:10; McKenzie Altmayer (So.) Geneva; Judy Pendergast (Jr.) Naperville North.