Class A Girls Pre-Season Preview: #15 to #11

It will be interesting to see how things play out in this group of teams this fall. Whether there is a state meet or not, squads like Rock Falls and St. Joe-Ogden who were top five finishers in 2019, they will fight tooth and nail to regain this elite status.

Roxana is the only team with all seven state finishers back so watch out for this team down the stretch

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15. Rock Falls

Head Coach: Mark Truesdell
Last year's finish: State Championship- 5th
Key returners: Gracie Rippy (So.), Tayli Hultin (So.), Bryahna Ganther (Sr.), Calin Gaulrapp (Jr.)
Quick thoughts: The Rocks were picked to be a state championship favor but took fifth which in retrospect is still a great thing. But things will be a bit more difficult after losing some top-notch personnel. Coach Truesdell will at least have something great to work with.

14. Roxana

Head Coach/Assistant Coaches: Scott Edwards/Juli Akal
Last year's finish: State Championship- 18th
Key returners: Janelynn Wirth (Sr.), Riley Doyle (So.), Jennifer Palen (Sr.), Zoey Losch (So.), Gabrielle Woodruff (So.), Mariah Carlisle (So.), Kendall Kamp (So.), Madison Herrin (Jr.)
Projected Top 7: See above plus Macey Lucas and maybe Olivia Mouser
New additions: Macey Lucas and Olivia Mouser (both picked up due to no volleyball) Lucas was a state qualifier her 8th-grade year in xc but took the volleyball route in HS. Both girls have not run all summer so we will see…
Coach Edward's thought on the team: Very excited about my top 5 girls! They have had a great summer! Time will tell…

13. Elgin (Harvest Christian Academy)

Head Coach/coaches: HC-Steven Bland, AC-Valerie Richter

Last year's finish: State Championship- 15th

Key returners: Annika Learned (So.), Eva Camp (So.), Faith Winkelman (Sr.), Eva Serrato (Sr.), Ella Richter (Jr.), Jessica Fuja (Sr.)

Projected top 7: Learned, Camp, Winkelman, Serrato, Richter, Fuja, Gloria Gonzales (Fr.)
Newcomers: Gloria Gonzales

Coach Bland's thoughts on the team: Collectively this could be the fastest group of girls we have ever had. Though our team is going to be small, our girls have been working through the summer. Our issue has always been 3-4 girls working through the summer, this year we have had 6-7 working hard. I expect a tight pack with a solid 3-6 and a great 1-2 punch with Learned and Camp upfront.Their goal, to be the best finishing team at the state meet in our program's history.

12. St. Joseph-Ogden

Head Coach/coaches: Jason Retz/Terri Rein/Jim Acklin
Last year's finish: State Championship- 8th
Key returners: Ashlyn Lannert (Jr.), Ava Knap (Jr.), Malorie Sarnecki (Jr.), Addie Allen (Jr.)
Projected top 7 according to Coach Retz: As of this moment, we have 12-15 gals that will be looking to crack that top 7. There have been a couple of gals that have put in a ton of work and shown great improvement over the last 5 months.
Newcomers: We have a strong group of freshmen that are looking to get their feet wet and may step right in and have an immediate impact on the team.
Coach Retz's thoughts on the team: This team is getting back to working together, the strength of our program. If they continue to battle and fight for the next position they will show a lot of improvement over the next several weeks. Each week we may look like a new team.

11. Duquoin

Head Coach/coaches: Head Coach-Eric Kirkpatrick, Assistant Coach-John Alongi
Last year's finish: State Championship- 14th
Key returners: Olivia Phillips (Jr.), Lauren Heape (Jr.), Jacqueline Crain (Sr.), Alexis George (Jr.), Grace Alongi (Jr.)
Projected top 7: The key returners listed above will have an inside track to our top spots according to Coach Kirkpatrick. He indicated that competitive practices day in and day out will keep the team sharp and ready.
Coach Kirkpatrick's thoughts on the team: We have put in a good summer of workouts and are ready to compete at something. We have plenty of experience coming back and several girls that have competed at the state meet for multiple years. Jacqueline Crain has come back for her senior year with a purpose and we are hoping to send her off with a solid year.