2020 Class A Girls XC Pre-Season Preview: #20 to #16

The next group of pre-season ranked teams will have ample opportunities to move up throughout the season. It will be interesting to see if anyone here can make the move to jump inside the top 15 and shoot for the top 10 status as the season moves along.

20. Williamsville

Head Coach: Tyler Casson
Last year's finish: State Championship- 16th
Key returners: Katherine Walker (Jr.),  Allie Henrikson (So.),  Marrisa Jeffers (So.),  Katie Kennedy (Sr.),  Jenna Rademacher (Sr.)
Quick thoughts: 

19. Rockford (Christian)

Head Coach: Christine Regan
Key Returners: Kelly Giardina (Jr.), Kenzie Park (Sr.), Emma Joiner (So.), Brodie Scrogin (Sr.)
Projected Top 7: Giardina, Park, Joiner, Scrogin, Marin Carlini (Fr;), Mandy Nelson, Avery Demo
New Additions: Marin Carlini -- She is a rising freshman and has led the team in summer mileage. She finished as the #5 girl at the end-of-summer time trial.
Coach Regan's thoughts: I am grateful for the summer conditioning and contact that we were allowed to have as a team. Obviously, this is going to be a very different fall, and most of these girls have already dealt with losing the past spring track season. We're training for a full season but enjoying each day that we have, knowing how quickly things could change. I am very pleased with the growth the girls have shown over the summer and hope that they will have the opportunity to see the fruits of their labors and get to race in the fall.

18. Aurora (Central Catholic)

Head Coach: Troy Kerber
Last year's finish: Oregon Sectional- 6th
Key returners: Isabella Orosco (So.), Maggie Dervis (Sr.), Anna Ponce (Jr.), Kaitlin Dineen (Jr.)
Key newcomers: Grace Watson (Sr.), Amber Lopez (Sr.), Natalie Garcia (Sr.), Isabella Mendieta (So.), Mayuga Rodriguez (Fr.)
Coach Kerber's thoughts: The Lady Chargers return a strong front runner in Orosco, and also look to develop a nice chase pack with Dervis, Watson, and Dineen leading the way! The last two seasons ACC placed 6th at sectionals and missed going to state by a combined 6 points! If all goes well, the team looks To tale the next step, which is state qualifying as a team! Especially, since they have been so close, and this season the IHSA expanded to 6 team qualifiers in each 1A Sectional. ACC also hopes to place top 3 in their conference, which has other strong teams state caliber teams like IC and Rosary. 

17. Benton

Head Coach: Brent McLain
Last year's finish: State Championship- 12th
Key returners: Mia Wills (So.), Addisyn Miller (Sr.), Hailey Wallace (Jr.), Braelyn Miller (So.), Peyton Tieffel (Jr.)
Coach McLain's thoughts: We have a very solid team despite losing our top runner Mia McLain to graduation. We also add a good freshman in Blakely Johnson.

16. Champaign (St. Thomas More)

Head Coach: Andrew Wszalek
Last year's finish: State Championship- 11th
Key returners: Kennedy Ramshaw (So.), Reese Hogan (Sr.), Claire Monahan (So.)
-Gianna Kreps (So) former volleyballer, has the form and talent to push up to the front pack, quickly becoming a leader by example
-Emma Devocelle (So) typically a basketballer so still finding her rhythm, deep well of talent to draw from, needs to believe in herself
-Emily Herges (Fr), strong middle school career, could shift middle of the team closer to the front, solid role player
Skyler Anderson (Fr) tiny but mighty, she'll have to work extra to keep up with the bigger girls but she is well up to it.
Coach Wszalek's Outlook On The Team: Tough to have to replace your number one and two from a season ago (Hendrickson and Ramshaw) but the girls seem up to the challenge. Summer work has really bonded them as quickly as I've seen a team come together, especially considering all the new faces. We would love to send senior Reese Hogan out on a high note and really establish a strong core to make a sustained State push for the next few years.

Quick thoughts: A rebuilding of the program that took several seasons culminated with a refreshing 11th place at state and just seven points away from a top 10 finish. The Sabres are a light bunch in terms of numbers but are still talented enough to make a run to the state meet. All things will depend on the 5th scorer and how she will close the gap in key meets.