Class 2A Girls State Championship Preview: It Could Be Dunlap's Turn For Glory

Date: 11/4/2017

Location: Detweiller Park; Peoria, IL

Course: 3.0 miles

Race Time: 11am

Awards ceremony: 1pm

Weather forecast: 

Media coverage: Live updates all meet day long beginning at 8am via Follow us on twitter at Milesplit Illinois @milesplitil  #IHSAXC17

The qualifying teams: #1 Dunlap, #2 Belvidere North, #3 Vernon Hills, #4 Mahomet-Seymour, #6 Maple Park (Kaneland), #7 Dixon, #9 Washington, #11 Lake Villa (Lakes), #12 Chicago (Latin), #13 Waterloo, #14 Peoria (Notre Dame), #15 Troy (Triad), #16 Springfield, #17 Chatham-Glenwood, #18 Urbana, #22 River Forest (Trinity), #25 Mascoutah; Arlington Heights (St. Viator), Aurora (Rosary), Chicago Payton, Deerfield, Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South), Lemont, Riverside-Brookfield, West Chicago (Wheaton Academy)

Nick's perspective on the trophy teams chances:

We have finally arrived...the week of the state meet! A day that every coach and runner circles on their respective calendars.  A day that is referred to often during those 90 degree days of August (and in this year's case, October) when kids may question why they are working so hard.  The answer is be ready for state! Much like the 1A girls preseason rankings, things haven't changed much at the top.

Dunlap is still the odds on favorite to win the title, Belvidere North is the defending champion that is ready to pounce should Dunlap slip, and Vernon Hills is still a very solid number 3.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Eagles should take home their first state cross country title.  They are both talented up front and very deep.  The Eagles received a huge boost from freshman Campbell Petersen who has been their top runner in almost every meet this year and will be in the mix for the individual championship.  It doesn't hurt to have a 2-time all state cross-country runner as your number two in Franny Verville.  They don't drop off much as they have all staters Ayah Aldadah and Abby Johnson in the 3 and 4 slots.  This team is absolutely loaded.

Head Coach: Chris Friedman

2016 state meet finish: State Runner-Up
Pre-season rank: #1
Final regular season rank:  #1
Probable starting line up:
Campbell Petersen (Fr.)117:19
Franny Verville (Sr.)518:02
Ayah Aldadah (Sr.)818:09
Abby Johnson (Jr.)1318:23
Kate Piper (Sr.)1918:39
Macy Priess (Fr.)2118:40
Sierra Cenek (Jr.)3519:15

-Belvidere North is an extremely talented team in their own right. If you don't believe, take a look at what they did at the Kaneland Sectional. The Blue Thunder battled hard against a tough field including #3 Vernon Hills and others in tallying 62 points. They roll out all stater Madison Diercks who should also be in the battle for the individual title.  Gianna Sagona finished 11th as a freshman last year and has had a very good season.  The Blue Thunder have a very solid 3-4 in Sabrina Elder and Sydnie Elder.  Sabrina was all state as a sophomore and Sydnie is an up and coming freshman.  If Belvidere North wants to have a chance to defend their title, they must get more from their number 5 runner.

Head Coach: Ken Husser

2016 state meet finish: State Champion

Pre-season rank: #2

Final regular season rank: #2

Probable starting line up: 

Madison Diercks (So.)117:41
Gianna Sagona (So.)518:04
Sabrina Elder (Sr.)1018:35
Sydnie Elder (Fr.)1418:44
Mia Rodriguez (Sr.)3219:12
Kayla McGuire (So.)3619:26
Olivia Zaluckyj (So.)4519:32

Vernon Hills has been lurking in the number 3 spot in the rankings all year. All stater and U of Illinois bound Lauren Katz finished 5th at sectionals and is rounding into form. The Cougars have a very nice pack with only 21 seconds from their 2-5 runners.  They should be able to earn a trophy.  

Head Coach: Suzanne Curry

2016 state meet finish: Third Place

Pre-season rank: #3

Final regular season rank: #3

Probable starting line up

Lauren Katz (Sr.)417:53
Ryan Schofield (Jr.)1318:42
Carly Sear (So.)1618:45
Leah Wilkowski (Jr.)2018:49
Payton Makowskyj (Jr.)2519:03
Katie Wilkowski (Jr.)2719:05
Hannah Ray (Jr.)2919:16