Class 3A Girls Preseason Preview: All Eyes On The Dukes

Last year turned out to be a very good overall campaign for the girls highlighted by the Dukes of York's dominance! 

2021 was the beginning of a normal style of return of traditional cross country in terms of a racing format. 2022 hopes to be another great year of long distance running if not among the best ever. #1 York is the team to beat because of the experience and numbers they have back in the fold. Prospect is keen on dethroning the Lady Dukes... 

There are teams like Minooka, Naperville Central, Hinsdale Central, and perennial power Naperville North lurking and ready to step up and be heard this season. 


Head Coach/coaches: Ashley Raymond/Laura Turk, Hannah Murphy, Julia Stenger
Last year's finish: 15th place- State Championship
Key returners: Katie Stabb (Jr), Natalie Quinn (Jr), Avery Minnis (Sr), Lenny Sterritt (Sr), Anne Stine (Sr), Anne Lynch (Jr), Rachel Prestes (Jr)
Outlook: The graduation loss of several runners and in particular Josephine Welin will be felt. Hopefully, the legacy that she built will inspire the returners to strive for continued success. One girl in particular that is slated to step up and lead is Katie Stabb. She ran under 11:00 in the 3200m and just missed all-state honors. However, the main focus for coach Raymond's team will be to tighten up the scoring pack split. 

Head Coach: Jeff Downing
Last year's finish: 16th place- State Championship
Key returners: Sofia Arcuri (So), Olivia Deluca (Jr), Maryclare Koch (Sr), Ryan Mullarkey (Jr), Luisa Arcuri (So), Caitlin Seurynck (Sr)
Outlook: 2021 was the re-emergence of the Hawks and they delivered with a trip to the state championship. Coach Jeff Downing returns a bulk of talent led by Sofia Arcuri who just missed all-state honors. Overall, this is a very good team with so much promise and maybe the team that is inside the top 10 at some point during the season.

Head Coach/coaches: Eric Simon/Greg Frandsen, Luke Taylor, Dina Castillo
Last year's finish: 10th place- Hinsdale Central Sectional
Outlook: "I thought we had a very good season last year even though we had a tough day at the Hinsdale Central Sectional, " said coach Eric Simon. "I give the team much credit for the success they had last year given we did not meet until the first day of practice in August."

The team will once again return a boatload of talent highlighted by Catherine Sommerfeld who is one of the top runners in the state. She along with her teammates rebounded nicely by the end of the academic calendar year. Simon adds: "The team did great adjusting to a new coach through the cross country and track seasons. They had a very good summer of training and we are looking forward to building upon our accomplishments from last year."

Head Coach: Chad Hillman
Last year's finish: 11th place- State Championship
Outlook: The great Katrina Schlenker era has concluded and there may never be another like it for the Lady Bulldogs. But there is a silver lining lurking with six state returners led by Liliana Bednarek. She placed 54th last year at state with a personal best 17:54. Look for the pack to stay within striking distance of a minute and if that happens, this is going to be a solid team capable of taking down some giants.

Head Coach/coaches: John Burnside/Lisa Loris, Kate Goodman
Last year's finish: 12th place- State Championship
Key returners: Beatrix Gilson (Sr), Clare Finnigan (Sr), Katherine Forbes (Sr), Josie Cahill (So)
Outlook: Expect the usual from the Trevians in terms of many runners getting an opportunity to compete in a high-level meet. From there the assessment will be to make the post-season roster. "Several of the top runners are returning to the top and last year's freshman class has shown tremendous growth through the track season and summer training," indicated coach John Burnside. "The team will (as usual) depend on strong pack running. We will likely see several new names in the top seven throughout the season." 

Head Coach/coaches: Tim McDonald/ Matt Maletich, Bob Calder
Last year's finish: 13th Place- State Championship
Key newcomers: Lily Eddington (Fr.), Kayla Solem (Fr.) 
Outlook: This is a deep team, the deepest team according to Coach Tim McDonald. "As long as we can stay relatively healthy and work our way through the season, this will be a strong team come October and November," he said. The key to success will be pack running and Claire Pyne leads a group that contains seven runners under 19:00 who are within a minute. This is especially dangerous when the post-season arrives.

Head Coach/coaches: Debbie Revolta
Last year's finish: 14th place- State Championship
Key returners: Scout Storms (So), Kari Drage (Jr), Claire Thome (So), Samantha Rowley (So), Allie Edwards (Jr), Sydney Sukel (Jr).
Newcomers: Abby Lewis, Dani Elizalde
Outlook: Coach Deb Revolta has always been a coach of few words on paper. Instead, it's about getting value out of action and this team will have some work to do before the crutch time of the season arrives. The Fillies will be without the services of ace Scout Storms. Storms is still mending from the mishap at the state meet. "It's going to take us a while to get into good form; we've had some health issues over the summer and did not get in the miles needed to be ready at the start of the season," added Revolta.

Head Coach/coaches: ChrisJon Simon /Katie Seeberg
Last year's finish: 10th place- State Championship
Key returners: Morgan Mackie, Jane Lynch (So), Maeve Norman (Sr), Ellie Grammas (Sr), Ana Kimball (So), Julia Drake (So), Elle Anderson (So)
Outlook: Staying healthy was a bit of an issue last year with key runners. Coach Simon predicts this: "If we are100% healthy we feel that we are a top 10 team with the goal of top five. Our summer training went well with a focus on late October and the state series. Morgan Mackie and Maeve Norman are keys to success as last season they took off boots to race at state after six weeks in the pool." This is good news considering they are tremendously talented and are prime candidates to drop low stick marks every time out.

Head Coach/coaches: Chris Muth/Lauren Vriezen, Tori Gatlin, Kerry Stillmunkes
Last year's finish: 5th place- State Championship 
Key returners: Ava Galloway (Jr), Makenna Edwards (Sr), Katie Melzer (Sr), Allegra Triner (Jr), Lucy Anderson (Sr), Emma Jasutis (Sr), Alex Stewart (Sr)
Newcomers: Ashley Schrader
Outlook: The potential for the Foxes to be great will depend on patience, consistent development, and athletes accepting new roles that they haven't had in the previous year according to coach Muth. "This group isn't the most naturally gifted distance group that I have worked with, but have continued to admire each day, the hard work and development I've seen over the summer."

The goal will be to trust the process and see the results when the time comes. "Ultimately to be at our best, we have to constantly get our [scoring] split under: 40 seconds and our top runners have to take that next step and compete consistently within the top of races," added Muth. "If we can do that we will be a tough competitive team, but we have a lot of work to complete before we reach that goal. I've really enjoyed coaching this group this summer and it's the first summer for most of this team to have gotten in a normal Yorkville summer training plan, so I'm excited to see how that translates."  

Head Coach/coaches: Dan Iverson/ Jen Weigand, Matt Sniadecki, Dan Billish, Kim Castner, Janeth Ohst
Last year's finish: 7th place- State Championship
Key returners: Julie Piot (Jr), Emma Berres (So), Logan Brennan (Sr), Anika Lovisa (So), Marissa Magana (Sr)
Newcomers: Shania Tandon (Fr), Rianna Tandon (Fr)
Outlook: The Huskies endured a tough year last season in which they came up empty in the state championship trophy sweepstakes. The 2022 version is an emerging group that may be a year away from its usual queens of the jungle status. But the great coach Dan Iverson is not going to allow his girls to sit still until 2023. " Between our returners, our newcomers, and those who took steps forward in track, we could be really good," he projects. "It will take some serious work on our part, but we have the possibility of taking a strong step forward over last year's results. I definitely have confidence in our willingness to do the necessary work, so I'm excited to see where that puts us!"

Head Coach: Kevin Gummerson
Last year's finish: 4th place- State Championship
Outlook: This may be an understatement in ranking the Indians outside of the top five during the early portion of the season. Why? This group could be knocking on the door of earning a trophy and making some noise from a regional perspective. "The girls are excited to compete this fall," says coach Gummerson." is  "McCollom and Kics have been key members of this team over the last three years, and they have put together a strong summer and are now ready to lead this team. In addition, Cassie Fuhrman, Maya Ledesma, and Taya Gummerson all were able to pick up valuable state series experiences last fall."

"The key is for them to use those opportunities to grow and develop. I also look at the athletes that were on our state series roster (Cassie Brushaber, Kylie Myers, Liana Blount, and Carolina Gallegos) that went through the postseason with the team, and it is clear to me that they are hungry to take their racing up another level."

Head Coach: Mark McCabe
Last year's finish: 3rd place- State Championship
Key returners: Catie McCabe (Sr), Sarah Fischer (Sr), Gabby Thanos (So), Sarah Skora (Sr), Camden Griffin (Jr), Camden Griffin (Jr), Kennedy Boyd (Jr), Pola Dygon (Jr), Mai-Jeanna Sakho (Sr)

Outlook by Coach McCabe: Coming into this season, I have many of the same feelings that I had last year. Most of the girls have another year of experience and we have a good mix of younger girls and veterans, which I think are good things. Even more so, we'll have a strong upfront presence, followed by many question marks with a great deal of potential. Last year, most of those question marks were resolved very positively, resulting in a sectional team championship and a third place state trophy.

Look for a three-pronged attack from perhaps the best trio in the state: McCabe, Fischer, and Thanos. McCabe has numerous all-state honors, Fischer has run under 18:00 and will fight for all-state status, and Thanos is also a sub 18:00 performer. The Red Devilettes still have some work to do on the back end of their pack which is significantly behind the top group in terms of splits. But again if you are a true cross country fan, you will enjoy the ride of Hinsdale Central.

Head Coach/coaches: Matt Blondell /Aislinn Hicks, Sarah Braun
Last year's finish: 6th place- State Championship
Key returners: Liv Phillips (Jr), Ava Hendren (Jr), Kate Tueting (Jr), Addison George (Sr), Lola Satre-Morales (So), Julia Laird (Sr), Abby Mogg (Jr)
Outlook: Cross Country has officially become a two-team town powerhouse in Naperville. The Redhawks are deep, returning all seven state championship staters and its top 11 girls! It's safe to say they have arrived and there is more to celebrate other than crosstown rival Naperville North. "I am very excited about the upcoming season," exclaims coach Blondell. "To return all seven runners from an incredible sixth place state finish last season helps build excitement and anticipation for the 2022 season. Not only are our returning top seven talented, but they have also developed into a great group of leaders for our program. I look forward to seeing how they help build momentum toward future accomplishments for our team."

Head Coach/coaches: Pete Wintermute/ Lisa Cottrell, Ken Johnson 
Last year's finish: State Runner-Up; 2nd place- NXN Midwest Regionals
Newcomers: Rachel Asper, Ella Benassi, Molly Benya, Ella Hennig, Sienna Murray, Brooke Neri, Meg Peterson, Anna Zajac Outlook: If there is a team that's capable of dethroning the Lady Dukes, it's this group right here. The Knights enjoyed one of the best years in program history last fall. With a huge amount of talent returning and the momentum gained from the track and field season, there is a tremendous amount of optimism in Mt. Prospect this fall. 

"We return a number of the pieces and bring in some new talent," said coach Pete Wintermute. "There are a number of girls that will contribute and our leaders will need to continue to share the team first mentality. We had a summer team trip and summer camp have netted positive results. There is work to be done and we will continue to focus on doing the lil' things and growing as a program every day. We will focus on the process knowing that these moments will make us stronger in the end."