We begin Class 2A with some pretty stout teams who just missed the top 25 cut. There are some new teams that joined the classification from 3A and they will have a tremendous impact on how things will play out.
Head coach: Blair Jensen Coach: Armando Venegas
Last year's finish: 7th- Kaneland Sectional
Projected Top 7: Emma Fortman (Sr), Selena Axinte (Sr), Jacqueline DiMonte (Sr), Sam Perez (Jr), Molly Raymond (So), Bryce Pacourek, Mia Wagner
New Comers: Freshmen Bryce Pacourek, Mia Wagner, Sophia Guttierez, Jaoliz Rodriguez, Alexa Gonzales, Alina Hernandez
Coach Jensen's thoughts: We have a positive group of athletes that are showing they are motivated by being present over the summer and are willing to work hard, we are looking forward to having a successful season with many strong performances.
Head Coach: Jay Fuller/Bill Macaulay
Last year's finish: 9th- Woodstock North Sectional
Key returners: Shannon Koscinski (Sr), Theresa Presisto (Jr), Emily Albrecht (So), Cara Orndahl (Sr).
Newcomers: Amelia Ferrarini (SO), Sara Berkebile (SO), Ireland Dunnett (SO), Aby Smith (FR), Emma Meiners (FR), Kathleen Thomas (FR).
Coach Fuller's thoughts on the team: We have had good attendance with the girls all summer. The goal is to compete for and win the conference championship.
Head Coach: Johann Gonzalez
Last year's finish: 23rd Place- State Championship
Projected top 7: same as above, others
Newcomers: Ella Miller (Fr), Amanda McGreal (Fr), Delaney Burns (Fr)
Coach's thoughts on the team: We lost a couple of seniors to graduation and a junior (injury) from last November's state team yet our expectations have not changed. Depth is the word I would use to describe this team with junior Mary Jacobs and sophomore Angela Lopez back on the team this season. This summer has been our most aggressive with mileage and with three and possibly four freshmen making a push for the top seven spots. The next four months will be fun to watch.
Head Coach/coaches: Dan Gray/Jenny Every, Tyler Franciscovich, Michael Kouri, Geoff Girsch, Elyse Dell, Maria Wnowrowski
Last year's finish: 8th- E. Peoria Sectional
Projected top 7: Above plus Kate Schliepsiek (Sr), Anna Wolter (Sr), Maria Stedwell (Fr), Eileen Zopel Newcomers: Maria Stedwell, Eileen Zopel, Olivia Finch
Coach Gray's thoughts on the team: We look to have about 23 girls on the team this year, so a decent number to work with. If all of our top returnees stay healthy, which was a problem in 2018, we could really surprise some people. We have a good mix of classes represented in our top eight girls, so we should stay solid for three years minimum. We are likely to hold some of our top runners out of some early races so that we can be fresh and ready when it is go time late in the season. We need to coach up our second group 6-12 so that we can balance and gain race experience.
Head Coach/coaches: Keith West/Travis Shepherd, Dan Jazo
Last year's finish: 7th- Woodstock North Sectional
Key returners: Brooke Stromsland (Jr), Olivia Schmitt (Sr), Alex Bryant (Jr), Kayla Dieringer, Danika Dortch, Sarah Lucier, Gretchen Good.
Projected top 7: Stromsland, Schmitt, Bryant, Perez, Runyan, Dieringer, Good
Newcomers: Maddie Perez, Becca Runyan
Coach's thoughts on the team: This year will be very different than the last few years. We go from one of our deepest teams to a brand new team still seeking an identity. We lose a tremendous group of Seniors that have lead our program for the last four years. That group substantially raised the bar and led us to a top 10 finish in 2017. While we are disappointed to lose these awesome ladies, we are excited for this next team to take shape.
New leaders are developing and a new team personality is cultivating, which has been fun. Competitively we won't turn many heads early. Look for us to emerge late in the year. We will be at full strength and running our best when championship season rolls around. State Champ Brooke Stromsland will lead the way. She has had a quality Summer and is eager to race again. Olivia Schmitt had a breakthrough on the track this Spring and is motivated to contribute at a high level this Fall. Olivia and Brooke will give us a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup. Junior Alex Bryant has had a really nice Summer and has established herself as our #3 runner. After that, it's a bit of a toss-up.
Making our top 7 is more wide open than it has ever been. Becca Runyan and Maddie Perez had success at Millburn (MS) and we are expecting that they will be able to contribute. Dieringer, Good, Dortch, and Lucier will also vie for positions in the varsity group. Just missing State last year will motivate these girls to finish when it matters. Overall we are excited about the opportunities available for this group. We are focusing more than ever on our team connection and we are thrilled with our current development.