Sometimes surprises come in small packages...
The Illinois prep running community may be unfamiliar with the name of Emma Watcke, a distance runner that attends Hinsdale Central High School. Watcke who? People will say, but not for long as Watcke is ready to set things on the track ablaze.
Watcke actually transferred to Hinsdale Central this past winter as her father got a job in Oak Brook during the fall. Not wanting to commute to Ohio and back every few weeks, he instead moved the family out to Hinsdale this past winter break. Many know the state of the Buckeyes for the "dual threat" Taylor Ewert of Beavercreek who has built a great resume which has actually allowed Watcke to slip under the radar as the state's second-best runner. Watcke has earned a total of five state titles and eight all-Ohioan honors. At the state meet, she normally has run the 4x800m and 1600m double and won both events at the as a freshman and sophomore. She ran for a powerhouse school in Mister High which has won a state record 13 state championships with six runner-up honors in cross country as well as 12 state titles and six runner-up honors in track. Watcke has been a part of four of those team titles and one of those runner-up honors, so she know what it takes to win. No matter what, at every state meet she has taken part of she has helped her team walk away with a team trophy.
Watcke now joins the defending 3A state champions in the 4x800m. Under the coaching of Coach Mark McCabe, the Red Devilettes have had some star runners over the years including the likes of Jordan Laney, McKenna Revord, Reilly Revord, Grace McCabe, and Anne Zaher just to name a few. She will most likely run the 4x800m and 1600m double when the state meet rolls around with the Red Devils having a very good shot at winning the 3a 4x800m state title. Kayla Byrne and Bella Pisani both return from last years state championship team and we may see McKenna Revord run as a part of the team this go around if she decides to run the relay instead of the 3200m. Revord was a part of the Red Devil's second-place team two years ago so she knows what it is like to run the 4x800m at state. According to Coach McCabe, Watcke has gelled tremendously with her new teammates, "she's connected immediately with all of her teammates... it's as if she's been on the team for years rather than months!". Watcke basically expressed the same feeling of her new coach, "I love my new team! They have been so welcoming to me and I feel like I have been at Hinsdale for years!"
Watcke has already started her junior track campaign off strong with a US#13 mark in the 3200m at Batavia Distance Madness beating a strong field including an all-American cross country runner, Alex Morris of Naperville North. As well as a 4th place finish in the 1600m at the NCC Cardinal Classic and a win at York Girls Invite #2 in the same event. So whatever you do, don't forget the name Emma Watcke.