Defending 3A Girls Champion Naperville North Is Pre-Season #1

9. Batavia 

Head Coach/coaches: Chad Hillman/Samantha Miller, Kelly Firnbach 

Last year's finish: 18th- State Championship
Key returners: Marygrace Golden (Sr), Audrey Pellico (So), Mia Gianfrancesco (So), Alexa Andrews (Jr), Daphne Kolody (Sr), Erika Mansfield (Sr)
Projected top 7: Marygrace Golden, Audrey Pellico, Mia Gianfrancesco, Alexa Andrews, Daphne Kolody, Erika Mansfield

Newcomers: Jenna Schifferer, Annie Sellenberg
Coach Hillman's thoughts on team: The girls have a great look to them right now and have had it all summer. They are eager to put their summer training to the test. We have a very strong senior class to lead us.

8. Lagrange (Lyons Township) 
Head Coach/coaches: Alex Lyons/Greg Frandsen Callie Pogge Joe Pontrelli Luke Taylor
Last year's finish: 5th- State Championship
Key returners: Sarah Barcelona (Jr), Emily Henkel (Jr), Cara Paliakas (Sr), Kirsten Meyer (Sr), Lily Kedzuch (Sr), Maddie Cranny (So), Marta Kogucki (So)
Projected top 7: We have no idea right now. It will be a combination of the returners and newcomers listed. Newcomers: Allison Fischer (Sr), Maeve Rice (So), Kate Dickman (Fr), Leah Paliakas (So), Maggie Vear (So), Ally Sarussi (So), Diane Makovic (So), Nora Whelton (Jr), Maggie Abbs (So), Amanda Kural (Jr), Claire Williams (Fr), Maddie Ohm (Fr), Kate Farrell (Fr), Tara Flaherty (Jr), Elena Stirn (Jr), Mary Grace Lansing (Fr), Olivia McLean (Fr), Colette Smith (Jr)
Coach Lyon's thoughts on team: "We've got a great group of kids that are committed to getting better and each other. Our goals are to prepare intelligently and try to run our best toward the end of the season."
Tonyprepster's thoughts: Lyons Township may have the second best 1-2 punch in the state behind Glenbard West with Barcelona and Henkel. Unfortunately, Barcelona is still out of commission after getting hurt at last spring's track sectional. "She's out for a while," said Lyons regarding Barcelona. "We don't know when she'll come back this season, if she races at all."7

7. Hinsdale Central
Head Coach: Mark McCabe
Last year's finish: 13th- State Championship
Key returners: Reilly Revord (Sr.), Grace McCabe (Sr.), Kayla Byrne (Jr.), McKenna Revord (So.), Bella Pisani (Jr.), Melanie Chafin (Jr.), Taylor Wagner (So.)
Newcomers: Lucy Fischer (So.)
Coach McCabe's thoughts: "We have high hopes for the upcoming 2017 season! We have several great senior leaders leading a strong group of juniors and sophomores. We are a program that emphasizes the middle distance races in track and field. But we are a strength based team which has led to our cross country success.

The state will be as strong or stronger than ever. I would list Naperville North as the prohibitive favorite, but Yorkville, Glenbard West, Downers Grove South, and Lyons Township will be very strong along with Minooka and others. We think we can be in that mix.

Reilly Revord and Grace McCabe will lead a hard working and talented group of underclassmen including McKenna Revord, Taylor Wagner, Kayla Bryrne, Melanie Chafin, and Bella Pisani. Our summer training went extremely well as did our team trip to Wisconsin. We pride ourselves on our body of work. Since 2000-16 we are the 3rd most successful team in the state behind Naperville North and Palatine. "

6. Lincolnshire (Stevenson) 

Head Coach/coaches:  Head Coach Maureen LeVanti/Christopher Arends
Last year's finish: 19th- State Championship

Key returners: Isabelle Sparreo (senior), Natalie Sparreo (senior), Natalie Sorenson (junior), Kendall Roberts (junior), Gabriela Jagielo (senior), Caimin Xi (sophomore), Michelle Yu (sophomore) others: Taylor Yen (junior), Shea Kirby (senior), Alyssa Collins (junior), Lauren Appell (senior) 

Newcomers: Taylor Yen, Alyssa Collins, Lauren Appell

Coach LaVanti's thoughts on team: "Everyone that was in our top 7 is returning and we have 11 of our top 12 returning.  We have some very competitive young ladies on our team and I know that they will work hard to push each other toward a top 12 finish in the state."

Isabelle's thoughts: "Made up largely of upperclassmen, our team has a strong sense of leadership and experience that sets us apart from past years. After coming off a successful and record breaking season, our team has hefty goals for this fall."

5. Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West) 

Head Coach/coach: Paul Hass /Dan Kim

Last year's finish: 9th- State Championship

Key returners: Katelynne Hart (So) (1st), senior Lindsey Payne (2nd), junior Katie Hohe, junior Chloe Connolly (75th), junior Abby Hoffman (157th), sophomore Emma Hall (186th), junior Grace Oh, junior Lauren Pappas, senior Claire Kenwood.

Projected top 7: Katelynne Hart, Lindsey Payne, Katie Hohe, Chloe Connolly, Abby Hoffman, Lauren Pappas, Grace Oh.

Newcomers: senior Sammy Harris, freshman Alena Tammaru

Coach Hass' outlook:

"Overall, the team has had another good summer and logged many miles; most notably, sophomore Katelynne Hart, senior Lindsey Payne and junior Katie Hohe who have each enjoyed tremendous summers of training and are in incredible shape. The team will look to these three to lead the team up front and we could not ask for a better top-three. 

However, the difference between our team making it to state and being competitive at the state meet will ultimately rest upon the shoulders of those who round out the top seven.  Fortunately for us we have some experienced runners ready to fulfill such key roles and, we hope, will close the split between them and our front-runners by the end of the season.  Junior Chloe Connolly came on strong at the end of track season and looks ready to continue her success after proving to be a very consistent performer in our top seven last Fall. Chloe may be joined in the top seven by fellow juniors Abby Hoffman, Grace Oh, and Lauren Pappas - who missed both the fall and spring competitive seasons last year due to injury; each girl has put in the work this summer to contribute to the team's success.  Additionally, senior Claire Kenwood, who was a member of our 2015 state team, and sophomores Emma Hall and Haley Yeager have each enjoyed solid  summers and have the potential to make a significant impact in the top seven before the conclusion of the season.

As always the goal over the summer - as well as the season - is to remain healthy and have each girl focused upon improving upon their past season's training and meet performances.  As a team last year, due in no small part to illness and injury, we did not end our season the way we would have liked, so the girls are even more committed to staying healthy and improving upon last season's team performances, particularly at the state meet. 

Needless to say, we are looking forward to the 2017 season which we believe holds enormous potential for the lady Hilltoppers."

4. Minooka 

Head Coach: Kevin Gummerson  
Last year's finish:  3rd- State Championship, 16th at NXN
Key returners: Emily Shelton (Sr), Vivian Van Eck (Jr) , Julia Dames (So), Kate Gall (Jr), Sarah Weed (Sr), Olivia Kics (So), Amanda Wilson (So), Katelyn Egetimeier (Jr), Nina Shanahan (So)
Projected top 7 & Newcomers:  Too early to tell
Coach Gummerson's thoughts on team: "The Minooka girls are extremely excited about this upcoming XC Season. They realize that this is a whole new team and everybody is going to have to adjust to new roles and find new ways to help this team be the best they can possibly be. As far as the summer goes, the effort from these girls has been there. These girls have done the things that they needed to do to prepare for this fall season. We also realize that we still have a ton of work to do in order to be ready to go in late October and November. I am really looking forward to seeing who is going to step in and have a huge impact on this team. I feel like we say this every year; however, it appears that the strength of the 3A Girls in Illinois is going to be absolutely incredible."

3. Yorkville 

Head Coach/coaches: Chris Muth/Brian Long, Ryan Chatman, Lauren Vriezen
Last year's finish: State Runner Up

Key returners: Nicole Greyer, Alyssa Edwards, Emily Eberhart, Olivia Borowiak, Sam Moreno, Victoria Crawford, Madison Klebenow, Maggie Klemm, Emily Berge

Projected top 7: Alyssa Edwards, Emily Eberhart, Nicole Greyer, Olivia Borowiak, Helena Kleronomos, Sam Moreno, Victoria Crawford, Madison Klebenow

Newcomers: Helena Kleronomos, Sara Klemm, Hailey Simmons, Nikki Vergara, Ana Penland

Coach's thoughts on team: "This is an exciting up and coming team that needs experience and health to be considered with the best in the state.  They have a nice mixture of experienced veterans with an infusion of an exciting freshman class.  We return four out of our top seven from last years state team and after a relatively quiet track season have responded with a very consistent, productive and hard working summer of running.  Our goal as always is to train hard and be considered a top 10 team in the state and from there continue to progress positively through to the end of the season."

2. Downers Grove South 
Head Coach/coaches: Doug Plunkett/Mike Farthing, Kathleen Meeks, Tess Johnson
Last year's finish: 4th- State
Key returners: Brenna Cohoon (So), Becky Versaskas (Jr), Melissa Weidner (Jr), Erin Reidy (So), Kennedy Warden (So), Olivia Duax (Jr), Gillian Thomas (Sr), Allison Calek (Jr), Riya Bhasin (Sr) Projected top 7: Brenna Cohoon (So), Becky Versaskas (Jr), Melissa Weidner (Jr), Erin Reidy (So), Kennedy Warden (So), Olivia Duax (Jr), Gillian Thomas (Sr).
Newcomers: Olivia Meyer (Fr), Rebecca Diddia (Fr), Madison Wies (Fr), Michelle Kurcina (Jr) Coach's Coach Plunkett's thoughts on team: "This group returns six runners from last year's state meet team and looks to improve on that finish. We just want to keep getting better each week. We will focus on individual improvement that will lead to team success in October and November. They're a motivated group that has the potential to be a very good team."