ICON STATUS: Katelynne Hart will go for her second Hornet-Devil title this weekend
Key teams: 3A: #4 Wheaton-Warrenville South, #14 Winnetka (New Trier), #17 Minooka, #19 Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West), #20 Hinsdale Central, #22 Oswego East, #23 Lockport, #25 Naperville Central, Palatine; 2A: #5 Chicago (Latin), #11 Oak Park (Fenwick)
Outlook: On the surface is there a team that has a chance to unseed Wheaton South? Of course, there is in a tough invite such as this one. But it's unlike that the Tigers will lose with the strong line up they have led by junior Sam Poglitsch. Behind her are some very capable and tight-knit allies such as Mia Rucoba (Sr), Erica Emmerick (Sr), Kaitlyn Nenninger (Sr), Kylie James (So), Annie Macabobby (So), and Kaitlyn Nenninger (Sr) to name a few. Poglitsch is the low stick runner and the rest will be in the front of the pack pushing the team to a hopeful victory.
Minooka coach Kevin Gummerson praised an upstart 2A Dunlap team that beat his team pretty soundly last weekend at Normal West. But that talk maybe a bit of smoke and mirrors when you consider he is the king of surprises. We have seen his team play possum before to only come and thrash their opponents the next time out. Senior Julia Dames will have to get the car in motion by scoring low. Now, the question is will coach Gumm load his squad with youngsters or go with the same lineup as last weekend? It will be interesting to see what happens.
There is a balance among the other teams fighting for 5-10 spots. New Trier will feature an experienced team led by senior Bridget Forbes. Forbes is poised to have an outstanding season. Look for her and her mates to be in the mix for a top-three spot. Glenbard West may not be as potent coming in as they have been in the past, but they are still a very dangerous team. Katelynne Hart is the main attraction as most of us know, but she does have some quality teammates. Sophomore Audrey Allman earned all-state honors in the 800m last spring. Now, she appears to be getting better in the longer spectrum of training that is cross country. The host Red Devilettes are good when you consider they have two runners capable of finishing behind KK Hart. Seniors Emma Watcke and McKenna Revord are those two girls.
We cannot say enough about KK, Katelynne, Ms. Hart, or the queen of Illinois distance running. She is already a living legend with little else to accomplish in the state. She has three state titles and tons of national awards that line her scrapbook. But it's hard to believe that she has only Hornet-Devil Invite title to her resume. Perhaps the only motivating factor other than busting some rust will be collecting title #2 on Saturday. Latin has two very fine runners on its roster. They are sophomore Ava Parekh and junior Marianne Mihas. Parekh is coming off of an outstanding track season in which she won many national freshmen of the year honors. As a "veteran" she is expected to be up among the giants. Look for Parekh to continue her successful reign. Mihas has been just as potent as her teammate but she will wait another weekend before debuting her 2019 campaign.