So we begin with team subjective rankings. These are teams that are on the bottom spectrum of the ranking system, but in no way are we saying these squads are bad. In fact, don't be surprised if several of these squads step up and surprise some of the so-called elite programs by season's end.
Head Coach/coaches: Bill Rhodes/Wes Haas
Last year's finish: 10th- Elmwood Sectional
Projected top 7: Eckhoff, Anna, Dappen, Evans, Brady, Weiss, and Restivo
Newcomers: Nora Brady, Ellen Brouillette, Kolby Weiss, Camryn Restivo
Coach Rhodes thoughts on the team: We will be trying to get 5 girls under 20 minutes and another 5 under 21. The girls know this will not be easy but they are excited about the challenge. We have had great consistency during the summer training which should be dividends when it matters in November.
Head Coach: Mike Lynn
Last year's finish: 7th- Elmwood Sectional
Key returners: Lizzy Freidinger (Sr.), Sara Scheuermann (So.), Tressa Scheuermann (Sr.), Stephanie Buck (Jr.), Sarah Leitner (Sr.), Sarah Finnegan (Sr.)
Comments: It's now or never for the Turks who as a now veteran squad has never qualified for the state meet. Despite being ranked several times over the years, this has not been to the state meet as a team since 2011. Top runner Lizzy Freidinger will look to get back to her 2017 all-state status. If so, look for her teammates to step up and accompany her on the big journey.
Head Coach/Coaches: Kyle Anderson/Lance Zaerr
Last Year's Finish: 8th- Elmwood Sectional
Key Returners: Julie Dunkel (Sr), Sydney Hartwig (Sr), Greta Inskeep (Sr), Kate Meyers (Sr), Christine Karn (Jr), Sophie Bedell (So), Catherine Karn (So)
Projected Top 7: The group listed above plus six incoming freshmen will compete for our top seven.
Newcomers: Chloe Kelly, Ashley Wolcott, Melody Glenn, Bre Turner, Caroline Gallagher, Allie Crisco
Coach Anderson's outlook on the team: We lose one runner from last year's top five and add a group of freshmen that had some success in 8th grade. From what I have seen, our seniors have been fantastic in bringing along our younger runners. We are looking forward to the season.
Head Coach: Kim Foster
Last year's finish: 20th- State Championship
Key returners: Audrey Jenkins (So.), Amber Vroman (Jr.), Delaney Welsh (Jr.), Marie Cheshareck (Jr.), Savanah Bland (Sr), Lauren Silvola (Sr.)
Projected top 7: same as above and One of the newcomers
Newcomers: we have a lot of new faces this fall. There may be more, but these are the ones that have shown up to summer conditioning... three incoming freshmen: Ashley Alsvig and Riley Sanburg (both on the Seneca Grade School cross country team) and Jaelyn Coop. New sophomores: Summer Rangel, Paige Baker, Jessica Daggett, Helen Jenkins, Jenna Goslin. New juniors: Alainna Coop and Ava Terry. New seniors: Hannah Daggett
Coach Foster's thoughts on the team: we should have a solid team again this year. We only lost one of our top 7 to graduation, so I'm looking for one of the newcomers to fill in for that spot. The girls have been spending all summer training and getting stronger. Since most of the experienced runners had a strong foundation coming off of track season, we changed a few things during the summer. Hopefully, these changes pay off!
Head Coach: Tom Hillier
Last year's finish: 6th- Elmwood Sectional
Key returners: Breena Shreeves (Sr.), Bailey Harris (So.), Mackenzie Rader (So.), Kynlee Sterns (So.), Ainsley Buster (Jr.)
Comments: After just missing out on a bid to the state meet by several points, look for the Blue Bullets to get back to Peoria in November. Two members who tasted success last year was all-stater Bailey Harris and track standout Breena Shreeves. Both ladies should be able to create a culture with their front running style. If so, the rest of the team will follow along and be successful.