3A Girls Kick Off Preseason Previews: #25 to #16

The competition among the state's best teams is going to be exhausting to say the least

25. Palatine

Head Coach/coaches: Joe Parks/Ruth Allen

Last year's finish: 12th- State Championship

Key returners: Lauryn Simons (Sr), Liz Lechowicz (Jr), Kate Lechowicz (Jr), Jaclyn Frank (Sr), Daniela Casillas (So)

Projected top 7: Simons, Lechowicz, Lechowicz, Casillas, Frank, Jordan

Newcomers: Anne Marie Jordan, Ellie Roy, Jennifer Lopez, Kelsey Fletcher, Angela Staples, Mia Solano. These are all freshmen

Coach Park's thoughts on team: We are returning some key pieces that will give us some leadership right away.  Lauryn Simons had her best summer of training in high school and the Lechowicz twins have both gained a ton of strength and are becoming great leaders.  Senior Jaclyn Frank is coming offer her first track season, after previously playing soccer in the spring and participating in musical much of the winter.  This winter and spring she was with us full-time.  We have some very good sophomores in Daniela Casillas, Nicole Sobkowiak, Holly Van De Cotte, and Fiona Metzo, each have had variables keeping them from training full-time, but could add a lot by the end.  Daniella was MSL frosh-soph champ last fall and ran 11:40's in her first and only 3200m last spring.

We have likely on our best incoming freshmen classes (on paper) entering since my tenure at PHS. We are typically happy getting a sub-6:00 miler, which we may get 1 each year.  Our top freshman is Anne Marie Jordan, who was IESA state XC champ (lower class). Her mom ran at PHS 20 plus years ago and was an all-stater (Kristen Abrahamsen). Anne Marie ran sub 2:30/5:30 on the track. We have two other freshmen that I think have the ability to be very good in Ellie Roy and Jennifer Lopez. Both come from MS programs that do hardly any training, so it will take them some time to be impact varsity level girls.

Otherwise we have a few others that I really like that bring a ton of energy and enthusiasm to the group. I think this class could be very special in a year or two.  As far as the team outlook I don't see us running with the very best teams from day one. We don't have the fire power or experience to do that just yet, but I think like last year when came on late winning regional and sectional, we can be very good by the end. We are likely going to need to rely on at least one freshman before it's all said and done and I don't envision that happening until the end.


24. Hoffman Estates

Head Coach/coaches: Kirk Macnider/Matt Ihms

Last year's finish: 10th- Waukegan Sectional

Key returners: Allison Schrader (Sr), Megha Ramanathan (Sr), Vanessa Peinado (Sr), Anna Miller (Jr), Bella Alansari, Michelle Diaz (Jr), Mikkaela Palmer (Sr), Nikki Rong (Sr), Jenna Cochran (So), Vanessa Bonilla (Sr)

Projected top 7:  TBD
Newcomers: Allison Cyr

Coach Macnider's thoughts on team: "This is a focused and hungry group. They are energized not only by missing the State meet last fall, but by our success with two All-State relays in Track and Field. The potential is here: we have five girls with PR's under 5:30 in the 1600. We are an experienced group now with runners like Bella Alansari, Allison Schrader, Anna Miller, Megha Ramanathan, Mikkaela Palmer and Vanessa Peinado that have careers full of big race performances. We have talented up-and-coming athletes like Michelle Diaz, Nikki Rong, and Jenna Cochran. Our goal is to run our best in October and November."


23. Winnetka (New Trier)

Head Coach: John Burnside
Last year's finish: 15th- State Championship

Key returners: Ellie Finnigan (Jr.), Savannah Neothlich (Sr.), Caroline Trukenbrod (Jr.), Rachel Weix (Sr.)

Projected top 7: Finnigan, Bridget Forbes, Neothlich, Tangney. Trukenbrod, Ulrich, Weix

Newcomers: Marne Sullivan, Emma Braband, Olivia Bhote

Coach Burns thoughts on team: "The team has one of the strongest crew of rising talent we have had in years.  The rising sophomore class is proving to be stronger than we could have anticipated and several juniors, including Page Tangney and Leah Ulrich, saw dramatic improvements this past spring.  The attitude of the team right now is light, fun and determined."

22. Arlington Heights (Hersey)

Head Coach/coaches: Danielle Freeman/Annette White 

Last year's finish: 10th- State Championship

Key returners: Teagan Beckley (Jr.), Katie Fredian (So.), Erin Barton (So.), Aubrey Hasley (So.)

Projected top 7:  Teagan Beckley, Katie Fredian, Erin Barton, Aubrey Hasley, Jane Stefaniak,

then who knows!

Newcomers: Freshmen Jane Stefaniak and Katie O'Brien

Coach Freeman's thoughts on team: "While we have some returning talent from a successful 2016 team, we are young. We will be competitive and hopefully a state qualifying team but definitely have our eye on a bright future!"


21. Aurora (Metea Valley)

Head Coach: Eric Anerino

Last year's finish: 8th- State Championship

Key returners: Terri Scarlett (Jr.), Keely Weber (Sr.), Carly Cast (Jr.), Megan Fichte (So.)

Coach Anerino's thoughts on team: This team has the potential to be equally or more successful than any team in our program's history, but it's a young team, so it'll be fun to see how they compete this year... lots to be determined - Many new, talented runners as well as a large pack of returners