Class 2A Girls Pre-Season Preview: Dunlap Commands The Top Spot

Look for another banner year between last year's state champion Belvidere North and the runner up Dunlap. Both teams went end to end in 2016 on the stretch of great front running and pack play. Let's hope the others in the mix are ready come November.

1. Dunlap

Last year's state finish: State Runner-Up

Coaches: Chris Friedman (Head Coach); Steve Carter and Amanda Young (Asst. Coaches)

Key returners: Franny Verville (Sr.), Abby Johnson (Jr.), Ayah Aldadah (Jr.), Kate Piper (Sr.), Andrea Copeland (Sr.), Abby Banister (So.), Miranda Kruiswyk (Sr.), Riley Baker (Sr.), Sophie Roberts (So.), Kenna Koehler (Jr.), Sierra Cenek (Jr.), Kylie Webb (Jr.)

Newcomers: Campbell Petersen, Macy Preiss, Delicia Chen, Natalie Morris (all freshmen)

Projected top 7: Franny Verville (Sr.), Abby Johnson (Jr.), Ayah Aldadah (Jr.), Campbell Petersen (Fr.), Kate Piper (So.), Andrea Copeland (Sr.), Abby Banister (So.)

Coach Friedman's outlook: "We return six of the seven who ran at state last year. Jena Brooks, our #5, graduated, but we have IESA class 2A individual runner-up Campbell Petersen who should fit into the top five nearly from the beginning of the season. Miranda Kruiswyk and Sierra Cenek were hurt part or all of the season and may push for spots in the top 7. Our top five will be a huge strength (all five could be all-state in November), but our other strength will be our depth. We will be 16-20 deep with strong, dedicated girls. After many of the girls were involved in the tremendous success of the track team, I can see the determination to continue that success this fall. They understand what the expectations are and have a great mix of youth and experience to bring another trophy home from Detweiller."