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updated: 9/1/2011 11:52 PM

Girls cross country / Scouting Lake County

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  • Marisa Perreault returns from a sixth-place North Suburban Conference finish to lead Mundelein this fall. Here, she runs downhill during the Wauconda Invitational at Lakewood Forest Preserve last season.

      Marisa Perreault returns from a sixth-place North Suburban Conference finish to lead Mundelein this fall. Here, she runs downhill during the Wauconda Invitational at Lakewood Forest Preserve last season.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

By John Bumbales
Daily Herald report

North Suburban Lake

Lake Zurich

Coach: Ian Silverman (13th season)

Last year's record: third in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Amy Polhemus, Audrey Smith, Linnea Christ

Top returning competitors: seniors Andrea Adams, Elizabeth Berton, Cassie Houghton; juniors Maddie Gelinas, Meagan Hughes, Angela Ufheil

Key newcomers: sophomore Meaghan Gelinas; freshman Katie Fabrini

Outlook: With a strong nucleus of runners returning, the Bears hope to close the gap on defending champion Lake Forest and runner-up Libertyville in the NSC. Lake Zurich's lineup looks very impressive with three of the top 26 runners in the NSC back.


Coach: Joe Roth (third season)

Last year's record: second in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Erika Danckers, Erin Jaffke, Megan Ryan

Top returning competitors: seniors Lexie Zafiratos, Stephanie Hanagan, Meagan Polk; juniors Nicole Jaffke (ninth in NSC), Maggie Fiorito (12th in NSC), Abigail Toohey, Natalie Danckers; sophomore Emily Moroz

Key newcomers: junior Carly Stewart; freshman Kristi Del Prato

Outlook: The Wildcats will have some big shoes to fill with the loss of two four-year varsity runners and team captains from last year. But there is a silver lining with four key runners coming back along with track standout Stewart and newcomer Del Prato joining the already successful group.


Coach: John Osmanski (eighth season)

Last year's record: eighth in NSC

Top graduated seniors: none

Top returning competitors: seniors Lisa Nootbaar, Katie Schlebecker; juniors Marisa Perreault (sixth in NSC), Ellie Palacios, Claire Naughton, Lauren Anderson, Steph Johnson, Morgan Lohr; sophomore Emily Schlebecker

Key newcomers: junior Hannah Smith; freshmen Sophia Presutti, Kelsey Loar, Natalie Lawrence

Outlook: After battling through the 2010 campaign with very little experience at the varsity level, the Mustangs return with an abundance of depth and talent to fall back on. Perreault should continue to shine as Mundelein's No.-1 runner with great support from her much-improved teammates.


Coach: Don Proft (13th season)

Last year's record: fourth in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Anna Franke, Tessa Lancaster

Top returning competitors: seniors Kara Ballard, Emily Cunningham; juniors Mackenzie Levy (10th in 2009), Melissa Engel, Sarina Jain, Emily Top, Lily Walker; sophomore Becky Callen

Key newcomers: sophomore Jenna Kindwald; freshmen Kya Suzuki, Jessica Goldberg

Outlook: The Patriots will have some new faces in their top seven this season as they try to integrate the younger runners with the returning varsity squad. Levy should be a great front-runner for the Pats after placing 10th in the state as a freshman and she could really benefit from the presence of newcomer Suzuki.


Coach: Brett Heimstead (1st season)

Last year's record: fifth in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Gabby Nystrom (Judson College), Victoria Knauf, Julie Wienerslage

Top returning competitors: seniors Andrea Saigh, Jolyn Achs, Dana Eness, Jessie Buhmann; junior Meg Tully (second in NSC), Molly Casey, Amanda Harper; sophomore Christine Storli

Key newcomers: junior Rachel Shoemaker; freshman Becky Haight

Outlook: New head coach Heimstead was left with a pretty good returning squad from former coach Cheryl Anderson, as Tully is an elite runner with the potential to reach the state meet. The Blue Devils hope to at least hold onto fifth place in the NSC if not do even better this season.

North Suburban Prairie


Coach: Chris Bailey (third season)

Last year's record: 12th in NSC

Top graduated seniors: none

Top returning competitors: senior Haedyn Smith; sophomore Ashley LaPointe

Key newcomers: seniors Gwen Moser, Hannah Jennrich, Tonya Sippy; juniors Lisa Godee, Sara Kitterman, Laura Riordan; sophomore Sara Young

Outlook: The majority of the Sequoits' varsity squad will consist of inexperienced sophomores and juniors. But Antioch will have the luxury of a good senior leader in Smith to set the tone for its young pack.


Coach: Jeff Durlak (fifth season)

Last year's record: ninth in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Trisha Palmieri

Top returning competitors: seniors Kacie Wodek, Tara Cwiak, Jill Sales, Kassie Stimpson; junior Kyra Schmidt; sophomore Lindsey Lewis (fourth in NSC)

Key newcomers: sophomore Laura Meija; freshman Jenna Pecorini

Outlook: The Bulldogs have a lot of experienced runners returning led by Lewis, who turned in a great freshman season in 2010. Lewis should be even more effective in the big meets this year with great support from four senior teammates.


Coach: Keith West (eighth season)

Last year's record: sixth in NSC

Top graduated seniors: none

Top returning competitors: seniors Hannah Wittman (10th in NSC), Kathryn Dean (15th in NSC); junior Amanda Timmerman; sophomore Marisa Franson

Key newcomers: freshmen Danielle Griesbaum, Brittani Griesbaum, Fiona Floden

Outlook: With the senior duo of Wittman and Dean leading their pack, the Eagles are striving to capture their fourth straight Prairie Division crown. The remainder of Lakes' team is pretty young, but West hopes the Eagles can make a push for top three in the NSC.

Round Lake

Coach: Kevin Brady (seventh season)

Last year's record: 13th in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Elena Briones, Kasandra Campa, April Barroso, Vanessa Garcia, Maria Acosta

Top returning competitors: seniors Celeste Acosta, Sidney Rose; juniors Rachel White, Allison Werth, Stephanie Perez

Key newcomers: junior Selena Alvarez, Stephanie Arroyo

Outlook: The Panthers lost a large core of their varsity team to graduation and replacing them will be difficult. But they do have sectional-qualifier Acosta back to lead their inexperienced squad into action.

Vernon Hills

Coach: Suzanne Richert (seventh season)

Last year's record: seventh in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Kelley Gallagher (SIU)

Top returning competitors: seniors Danielle Fiarito, Abbie Letts;junior Ali Marks

Key newcomers: juniors Kristen Whitney, Tara Rooney; freshmen Samantha Hershman, Melanie Rogers

Outlook: The Cougars will need to find some new leadership after losing Gallagher (27th in Class 2A) to graduation. But with a solid pack of five returning and running together, Vernon Hills hopes to push three-time defending champ Lakes for the Prairie Division title.


Coach: Al Willhoit (33rd season)

Last year's record: 11th in NSC

Top graduated seniors: Liz Michelau

Top returning competitors: seniors Megan Mikenas, Lexi Brunn, Alex Schorr, Emily Dorolek; juniors Tara Mraz, Becca Michelau

Key newcomers: freshman Maren DeWyze

Outlook: With six of their top seven runners returning to the 3-mile grind, this is shaping up to be a promising campaign for the Bulldogs. DeWyze should be a good addition for a squad hoping to make a return trip to sectionals.

East Suburban Catholic Conference


Coach: Jim Halford (25th season)

Last year's record: sixth at sectionals

Top graduated seniors: none

Top returning competitors: seniors Sarah Myss, Kelley Dodge; junior Caitlin Murphy; sophomore Nicole Bitter

Key newcomers: senior Clarine Stevens; juniors Kasey Duffy, Erika Schoenfeld, Crystal Knauf; freshmen Riley Felicicchia, Mary Beth Murphy

Outlook: The Corsairs have a great 1-2 punch in Murphy and Myss ready to lead their pack again as they will be aiming for a top-three finish in the ESCC. Now competing in Class 2A this season, Murphy and Myss will have an even better shot at qualifying for the state meet in early November.

Fox Valley Conference

Grayslake Central

Coach: Jim Centella (third season)

Last year's record: 9th in FVC

Top graduated seniors: Erika Garcia

Top returning competitors: seniors Becky May, Stefani Canadzic; juniors Elsie Rehberg, Miranda Gomez; sophomores Korina Gomez, Maggie Wehde

Key newcomers: junior Jordan Larson; sophomore Callie Calamia

Outlook: With state meet contender Korina Gomez as one of their leaders, the Rams have the potential to finish in the top third of the rugged FVC. Central hopes to challenge for the 2A regional crown as well as a top-five finish at sectionals.

Grayslake North

Coach: Brandon Boyd (seventh season)

Last year's record: 12th in FVC

Top graduated seniors: Kimmy Denikas, Jill Petracek

Top returning competitors: senior Kiera Kram; juniors Sabrina Karas, Daniela Padilla, Erin Llanes-Smith

Key newcomers: senior Maggie Stojak

Outlook: The Knights are looking forward to another building year after showing steady improvement over the past two seasons. Stojak should provide a boost to the lineup after moving from soccer to cross country this fall.