3A Defending Girls Naperville North Is Ready For All-Comers

The 2018 3A state highlight reel was surreal last season. Katelynne Hart and Naperville North got the job done once again!

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Head Coach/coaches: Pete Wintermute, Lisa Cottrell 
Last year's finish: 11th- State Championship
Projected top 7:  I never like to project the Top 7 as every year is a new year and every runner has an equal shot at the Top 7. This is a position that is earned by each athlete and this year we have a lot of girls that have been working hard this summer to pursue the opportunity to make their mark in the Varsity lineup. The Top 7 will compete for by the girls listed above and there are incoming freshmen that will look to challenge for our Top 7. As I remind the girls there is a process and we need to focus on a day to day training. While there will be competition for the Top 7 the process and consistency in training will help provide the depth of our team and I am excited to see how the season unfolds as a number of girls will get their opportunity.

Newcomers: Hailey Erickson (fr), Shannon Walsh (fr), Cameron Kalaway (fr), Rebecca Pentikainen (fr), Sophia Anast (fr)
Coach Wintermute thoughts on the team: The Knights return a solid core of athletes from the 2018 season and there are many other athletes that are much improved from 2018 and are ready to build upon last year's experiences. This summer the team leaders are developing the team dynamics and culture and preparing for XC 2019. Though the Knights graduated 3 athletes that will be continuing their running career in college (Valentini -- Marquette, Baltes -- Pittsburgh, O'Grady -- St. Mary's), the Knights have ambitious athletes that are ready to step. up and will rise to the challenge. The secret to success remains in the tightness of our pack and the growth the team makes over the next 12+ weeks. I am excited for the Knights of 2019 as this group has the potential to be great! GO KNIGHTS!!

Head Coach/coaches: Ashley Raymond, Megumi Hoshi, Laura Turk
Last year's finish: 10th- State Championship 
Key returners: Nora Wollen (Jr), Josephine Welin (So), Samantha Duwe (So), Parker Hulen (Jr), Maggie Baron (Jr), Audrey Lewis (Sr), Janine Casey (Sr), Grace Anzaldi (Jr)
Projected top 7: Wollen, Welin, Duwe, Hulen, Baron, Lewis, Casey
Newcomers: Leora Kurtz, Natalie Quinn, Lottie Anderson
Coach Raymond's thoughts on the team: We have 5 of our top 7 from the state team returning this year. Wollen, Welin, and Duwe should be a solid pack of three at the front. Hulen, Baron, Lewis, Casey, and Anzaldi will be looking to round out the rest of our top 7. Last year was every athlete's first time running at state. This year we are more experienced and hungry for more dividends.

8. Oswego
Head Coach/coaches: Eric Simon/Colleen Predl, Alicia Rafferty, Craig Weyrich
Last year's finish: 8th- State Championship
Key returners: Rebecca Corbett (So), Ella Hale (Jr), Peyton Brueck (Jr), Paige Bohnert (So)
Projected top 7: The above four plus any of the following could make a run at top seven includes: sr- Madi Etheridge, Jazmin Russell, Molly Krall so- Kaylee Szymborski, Nicole Harrison
Newcomers: fr- Audra Soderlind, Sophia Marasco
Coach Simon's thoughts on the team: Last year the team goal was a top 10 finish at state. The team has set the bar higher this year and has done the summer work necessary to try and accomplish that goal. We have a very nice mix of veteran leadership and newcomers that will help our team

Head Coach: Debbie Revolta
Last years finish: 14th- State Championship
Key Returners: Molly FitzPatrick (Jr), Alyssa Norris (Sr), Anne Berquist (Jr), Gaby Andrews (So), Morgan Magro (Jr)
Projected Top 7: Same as above and add Allison Drage (Sr) and Julia Renetzky (Jr).
Newcomers: Allison Drage. Hard to tell at this point if any of the freshmen will make an impact.
Coach Revolta's comments: Would like this team to come together so they can perform at their best come late October and early November.
Tonyprepster's thoughts: Not so fast coach! We have seen this before to only watch the Fillies reload or add a key part here and there. We know that having Fitzpatrick and Norris as a duo is very potent. Their lowstick racing will overcome many shortcomings that other top teams don't have the luxury of having.

Head Coach: Kevin Gummerson
Last year's finish: 5th- State Championship 
Projected top 7: Too soon to tell, it is going to be competitive to make that top 7.
Newcomers: I have been awfully impressed with this group of freshmen that we have had training with us over the summer. The Junior High programs experienced a great deal of success, and some of those freshmen will have an impact on this team.
Coach Gummerson's thoughts on the team: I am excited to see how this girls team is going to grow and develop. We have a strong returning group that I am confident is ready to take it up another level. Julia Dames has worked extremely hard and is now taking on the role of leading this team. She has had some great examples over the last three years, and it is now her turn. I was very pleased with the summer that this group of girls puts together, and I am looking forward to watching them race this fall. 

Head Coach/coaches: Chad Hillman, Samantha Miller
Last year's finish: 9th- State Championship.
Projected top 7: TBD
Newcomers: Liliana Bednarek, Ava Thomas, Brooke Silbernagel
Coach Hillman's thoughts on the team: We have a nice combination of experienced returners with some newcomers that could impact the top seven. The girls want to improve on the 9th place finish the last two seasons and compete for the conference championship. We have a great group of seniors who have been a big part of our varsity team for the past three years and they are excited to make their final push in their last high school CC season.

Head Coach/coaches: Rob Harvey, Sarah Bikulcius, Brian English, Todd Laveen
Last year's finish: 6th- State Championship
Projected top 7: We don't anticipate our top 7
Newcomers: No new impact newcomers
Coach Harvey's thoughts on the team: We have tried very hard over the past five or so years to not have expectations. Each season is a clean slate...no two seasons are alike. We will need every day to improve. Each and every practice and meet will be needed to reach our full potential.

Head Coach/coaches: Chris Muth/Lauren Vriezen, Tori Gatlin, Kerry Stillmunkes
Last year's finish: State Runner-Up; NXN- 13th
Key returners: Kailey Fox (Sr), Helena Kleronomos (Jr), Hailey Simmons (Jr), Anna Hunter (So), Sara Klemm (Jr)
Projected top 7: Fox, Kleronomos, Simmons, Hunter, Klemm, Mady Klebonow (Sr), Samantha Moreno (Sr)
Newcomers: Alex Stewart, Makenna Edwards, Lucy Anderson, Emma Jasutis, Katie Mezler (all freshman) Coach Muth's thoughts on the team:
We will have a strong top two all year long with Kailey and Helena, who have both put in great summers. They will set the tone for this team on the course each week. After that, we will have a great group of girls working together in Anna Hunter, Sara Klemm, Alex Stewart, Makenna Edwards, Mady Klebonow, and Lucy Anderson. Three of those girls are incoming freshmen and have worked hard this summer to acclimate to the high school program, but will take some patience and time to develop. All three have the talent to impact the top seven and even top five by the end of this season.

Hailey Simmons, our returning number three from last year, has, unfortunately, had to deal with some tough adversity this summer, but is on the comeback trail and will be ready to resume her place in the top five once we start the racing season. We are very fortunate to be deeper than past years, with another very quality group of girls pushing for varsity time including Emma Jasutis, Nikki Vergara, Maggie Hunter, Laura Taylor, Renee Niles, and Sam Moreno.

My current evaluation of the team is that with good leadership, patience, consistency, and trust, we can develop into a top-five team in the state, which is what our goal is every year. We will be a team that as we gain experience and momentum, should become stronger and tougher to beat each week. We lost some quality teammates to graduation that brought not just low times, but great leadership and experience. Returning Kailey, Helena, Hailey, Anna, and Sara, from last year's state team, are great building blocks for a successful season, but if the incoming freshman class can put its imprint on the season like I believe they can and will, this team will look much different come November.
Tonyprepster's thoughts: At the moment, Fox is currently on the shelf with an injury. The time table of her return has not been set per Coach Muth. Check back during the season's weekly updates.

Head Coach/coaches:​ Doug Plunkett/Mike Farthing, Tess Johnson, Meagan DeSalvo
Last year's finish:​ 3rd- State Championship
Key returners: ​Brenna Cohoon (Sr), Erin Reidy (Sr), Kennedy Warden (Sr), Rebecca Diddia (Jr), Alex Spang (So)
Projected top 7:​ ​Cohoon, Reidy, Warden, Diddia, Spang, Sophia McNerney (So), Kelsey Casella (So)
Newcomers:​ Renee Kowalski (So), Sara Homberg (So), Ria Patel (Jr), Elizabeth Culcasi (Fr)
Coach Plunkett's thoughts on the team: ​We are returning an experienced senior-led team and I expect them to challenge for a top-three spot at State. All-State senior, Brenna Cohoon, along with seniors Erin Reidy and Kennedy Warden will likely lead the charge.

These three have been part of our top-five finishes at state each of the past three seasons and certainly are motivated to continue that success. Sophomore, Sophia McNerney has had a great summer and has shown that she will be an important piece to the puzzle. Rebecca Diddia and Alex Spang also return with valuable state meet experience and I expect them to contribute to our success. Sophomores Kelsey Casella and Renee Kowalski will also play important roles within our top varsity group. We also have a talented group of freshmen that may eventually contribute to the varsity team before the season ends. With 5 of our top 7 returning, I am very optimistic about what we are capable of, but filling the shoes of two graduated 4-yr state meet athletes Melissa Weidner (29th at State) and Becky Versaskas (60th at State), will be tough. We are excited to see what we can do this season.
Tony's thoughts: Expect the Mustangs to be on a rampage this season. Moving past not getting a bid to NXN is old news but fuel for the future. This could be the last run to the top of the food chain for awhile, so expect greatness this season.