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updated: 3/29/2012 9:03 PM

Girls track: Scouting Northwest

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Mid-Suburban East

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Buffalo Grove

Coach: Steve Gibble (32nd year)

Last year: Tied for 11th in MSL

Key losses: Katie Donnewald, Katya Urbanovich.

Top returnees: Seniors Maria Krutikova (jumps, hurdles), Ashley Eischen (jumps); juniors Calla Ziemba (throws), Niki Salzman (sprints, hurdles); sophomores Katie Geraghty (distance), Justyna Chmura (sprints).

Promising newcomers: Junior Hannah Baldwin (sprints); sophomore Brittany Recht (distance); freshman Mia Inman (sprints).

Outlook: Gibble begins his 32nd and final year as head coach for the Bison. Salzman is team captain and will lead BG's attack. Geraghty will give a lift to the distance group.

Elk Grove

Coach: Dave Johnson (fifth year)

Last year: Tied for 11th in MSL

Key losses: Amanda Clapp, Rachel McInerney, Megan Walitschek.

Top returnees: Seniors Kalene Pfister (sprints, jumps, throws), Rachel Scianna (distance), Olivia Bartodziej (sprints, throws), Kathleen O'Brien (hurdles); juniors Amy Walitschek (sprints, jumps); sophomores Vanessa Gomez (sprints), Megan Frintner (sprints).

Promising newcomers: Senior Melani Jarosz (sprints, hurdles); freshmen Stephanie Calmeyn (distance), Olivia Zajac (distance).

Outlook: Johnson is optimistic about the Grenadiers' 1,600 relay. Walitschek is key member of the relay and will set the pace. Pfister is looking solid in the throws and will contribute in the sprints and Bartodziej is also a dual threat, in the throws and sprints. Zajac, Calmeyn, and Scianna will set the tone for the distance crew.

Hersey

Coach: Jim Miks (ninth year)

Last year: 6th in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Micheala Dwyer (long jump), Dana Markech (100 high hurdles), Danielle Perkins (100 dash), Haley Scott (high jump), 400 relay.

Key losses: Danielle Perkins (St. Joseph, Ind.), Laura Kempf, Micheala Dwyer (Northern Illinois), Haley Scott (Missouri State), Salena Clohisy (Dayton), Dana Markech.

Top returnees: Seniors Nora Gawlik (distance), Jamie Timm (hurdles), Hannah Helminiak (throws), Cevie Dahnwein (jumps), Michelle Webb (jumps), Leya Alind (distance), Anna Mijal (sprints); juniors Erica Hill (jumps, sprints), Clarissa Cruz (distance), Carolyn Crost (throws); sophomores Lena Fotos (sprints), Lizzie Wett (throws).

Promising newcomers: Juniors Michelle Brown (hurdles), Kristin Markech (sprints); freshmen Rachel Fredrick (sprints), Laura Bjankini (sprints), Kelly Hill (sprints, pole vault).

Outlook: Hersey took a big hit in graduation, with the core of its state-qualifying 400 relay gone, but the Huskies are reloading. Hill finished second in the long jump and third in the triple jump at the MSL indoor conference meet. Gawlik was a state qualifier in cross country and will pace the distance crew. Miks will have his sprint relays ready and the Huskies will continue to grow this season.

Prospect

Coach: Dave Wurster (28th year)

Last year: 5th in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Laura Maibuecher (1,600), Samantha Sturm (7th in shot put, 5th in discus), Kiley Shelley (300 low hurdles), Lauren Yearian (high jump), 1,600 relay, 3,200 relay (5th place).

Key losses: Kiley Shelley (Butler), Samantha Sturm (Iowa), Grace Gruendel, Savannah Snead, Katie Bialas, Kate Welch.

Top returnees: Seniors Christine Grossman (sprints), Laura Maibuecher (mid-distance, distance), Melissa Jones (hurdles, sprints), Abby Banna (pole vault, sprints), Kathleen Kennedy (sprints); juniors Brooke Wolfe (mid-distance, distance), Lauren Poplawski (mid-distance), Carissa Weis (jumps), Lauren Yearian (high jump), Maggie Devereux (hurdles, pole vault); sophomores Christina Santiago (mid-distance), Erin Reese (throws), Alicia Nicolau (throws), Rachel Scott (sprints), Rachel Henk (distance), Heidi Eurich (jumps), Maddie Kiepura (pole vault, hurdles), Katrina Leeney (mid-distance), Tara Stokes (mid-distance).

Promising newcomers:Senior Tracy Flahaven (hurdles, mid-distance); freshmen Catherine Sherwood (jumps, hurdles, sprints), Hannah Getschman (mid-distance, high jump), Taylor Will (jumps, hurdles), Ellen Siefke (mid-distance, distance).

Outlook: Prospect will be a team to watch this season with plenty of talent and depth. It starts with the distance crew that took fifth place in Class 3A for cross country. Wolfe missed all of last season, but the junior is back this season and looking to make an impact. Wolfe took second in the 1,600 at the MSL meet and came back to take fifth in the 1,600 at the Illinois Prep Top Times Meet. Maibuecher joined Wolfe as an all-state runner in cross country. Maibuecher combined with Poplawski and Santiago in helping the Knights take fifth place in the 3,200 relay last season, and this year's relay looks to be just as strong, if not stronger. Grossman spurs the Knights distance crew, while Wies and Yearian will add points in the jumps. Getschman adds to the Knights' wealth in the distance. Reese has shown potential in the throws and took fourth at the IPTT meet. Prospect finished second at the MSL indoor conference meet and should press Palatine for the MSL outdoor title.

Rolling Meadows

Coach: Mike Naymola (fifth year)

Last year: 7th in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Bridget Collins (long jump), Christina Gastfield (3rd place medal in 3,200, 1,600), Morgan Keller (3rd place medal in shot put, 6th place medal in discus), Vicky Pavlou (triple jump), Rebecca Zych (800).

Key losses: Vicky Pavlou (Illinois), Bridget Collins (Columbia University), Christina Gastfield (New Mexico), Rebecca Zych (Wisconsin-LaCrosse).

Top returnees: Seniors Amanda Sanchez (distance), Ashley Miller (mid-distance); juniors Morgan Keller (throws), Olivia Maciejewski (pole vault), Melissa Whowell (distance), Bailey Banger (sprints); sophomore Mia Harper (sprints, jumps).

Promising newcomers: Sophomores Katie Shewmon (throws), Zoe Framton (distance).

Outlook: Rolling Meadows made quite an impression at the state meet last season, securing 3 medals, and will look to continue that momentum which starts with Keller. The junior is coming back from an injury but is one of the top throwers in state and will be looking to add to her medal count this season. Harper has exploded onto the scene this season and is one of the top sprinters in the MSL. The sophomore took second in the 55 meter dash at the MSL indoor meet. Sanchez also made an impression by taking second in the 3,200 at the MSL indoor meet. Naymola has done a good job in solidifying Meadows program, so look for the Mustangs to continue to climb this season.

Wheeling

Coach: Mike Theodosakis (seventh year)

Last year: 10th in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Sydney Keith (200 dash), Jessi Zuba (discus)

Key losses: Kaitie Crouch, Shivani Patel

Top returnees: Seniors Mayra Ocampo (sprints), Colleen Creech-Woolcott (hurdles, sprints, pole vault), Dee Hanna (hurdles, sprints), Kim Voltaire (sprints); juniors Sydney Keith (sprints), Eva Poznanski (jumps), Jessi Zuba (throws), Angela Reinhart (sprints), Rocio Gutierrez (sprints, jumps), Brie Majkowski (throws); sophomores Elizabeth Smith (sprints, hurdles), Marta Dzundza (mid-distance), Ashley Sicard (throws), Lori Delfin (mid-distance), Maria Tinajero (mid-distance), Samantha Sungvoom (jumps).

Promising newcomers: Freshmen Hailey Dammeier (jumps, mid-distance), Alanah Greenberg (throws), Jessie Sanford (sprints), Ashley Talken (pole vault), Haide Torres (sprints), Maria Bedoya (sprints), Nicole Zlotnikova (throws), Aurora Mala (sprints), Ally Chambers (sprints), Karli Falkiner (sprints), Imani Evans (throws), Hannah Dobrowski (throws).

Outlook: Wheeling offers a nice blend of veterans and promising newcomers. Keith has made impact in the sprints and the junior is looking to continue her surge this season and will aid solid sprint relays. Voltaire, Hanna, Creech-Woolcott and Ocampo add depth to the sprint relays. Zuba made a late surge in the discus last season by qualifying for the state meet. Poznanski took first in the MSL in the high jump last season and will combine with Dammeier to solidify that event this season.

Mid-Suburban West

Barrington

Coach: Jody Gitelis (26th year)

Last year: 8th in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Melissa Madden (300 low hurdles), Rachel Simon (3,200)

Key losses: Briana Greer (Central Methodist University), Sarah Miller (Judson College)

Top returnees: Seniors Caroline Carley (mid-distance), Francesca Krohn (jumps, sprints), Melissa Madden (hurdles, sprints), Alexis Smith (jumps, sprints), Ella Tracy (distance); juniors Samanth Babiuk (pole vault, sprints), Becca Batliner (distance), Ashleigh Kleinjan (distance), Melina Milone (sprints, jumps, pole vault); sophomores McCall Braun (hurdles, jumps, sprints), Kristen Patino (distance).

Promising newcomers: Sophomore Kristen Clarke (jumps, sprints); freshmen Stephanie Bergren (mid-distance), Lauren Cropsey (jumps, sprints), Joelle Gross (sprints), Theresa Nepomuceno (jumps, sprints), Liz Nykaza (sprints), Joyce Taylor (hurdles, sprints, jumps).

Outlook: Barrington will look to rebound in the rugged MSL after finishing in the lower half last season. Madden is a key part to the Fillies' attack. The senior will be a force in both hurdle events and anchors a dangerous 1,600 relay. Krohn, Carley, and Bergren will also add to the relay. Batliner and Tracy helped Barrington to a seventh-place finish at state in cross country, and both will help power the Fillies distance squad. Babiuk looks promising in the the sprints and Milone will aid the jumps.

Conant

Coach: Bob Borczak (11th year)

Last year: Tied for 11th in Class 3A, 3rd in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Sarah Gorden (state champion 100 high hurdles, 2nd place medal 300 low hurdles), Jennifer Donnell (shot put), Allison Gallo (800), Tara Goehrke (300 low hurdles), Angela Herrmann (100 dash, 200 dash), Jessica Pryzby (shot put, discus), 400 relay (6th place medal), 800 relay. Key losses: Sarah Gorden (DePaul), Jessica Pryzby (Western Illinois), Taylor Graham, Tina Tortorici (Eastern Illinois), Allison Gallo (Southern Illinois), Tara Goehrke.

Top returnees: Seniors Angela Herrmann (sprints), Maya Lane (sprints, jumps); juniors Ade Droessler (jumps), Allie Wright (jumps), Molly Dalton (mid-distance); sophomore Jennifer Donnell (throws).

Promising newcomers: Sophomore Tracy Iroegbulem (high jumps)

Outlook: After losing a solid core, Borczak and the Cougars are looking to rebuild. It starts with sprint star Angela Herrmann, who won the 55 dash and 200 dash at the MSL indoor meet. Herrmann also took 3rd in the 100 and 4th in the 200 at the MSL meet last spring. Lane will add to the Conant sprint squad, as the Cougars look to find the right combination in the 400 relay and 800 relay. Donnell is a rising star in the throws as she hit a school record (41-4) in taking second place at the IPTT meet. Dalton has potential in the distance and is healthy this season. The Cougars will miss Gorden, who won the state title in the 100 high hurdles, but don't count them out.

Fremd

Coach: Hali Yoshimura (fifth year).

Last year: 9th in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Stephanie Uhrich (9th place medal high jump), Kelly Breen (3,200)

Key losses: Emi Sudo, Stephanie Resis, Emily Fujii, Nickolette McKenzie

Top returnees: Seniors Stephanie Uhrich (jumps, pole vault), Kathryn Kendzior (hurdles), Laura Plager (mid-distance), Jennifer Fokas, Stephanie Hurwitz, Taryn Lempa; juniors Kelly Breen (distance), Katie Filosa (distance), Leah Ferguson (sprints, jumps).

Promising newcomer: Ayako Higuchi (mid-distance, distance).

Outlook: Fremd finished third at the MSL indoor meet and is hoping to ride that momentum into outdoor season. Uhrich took 9th at state in the high jump, and finished 4th at the IPTT meet. The senior can also add points in the pole vault and will be in the state mix this year. Breen has made all-state in cross country for two consecutive years. The junior is looking for a break through on the track. Filosa and Higuchi add depth to the distance crew. Plager (400) and Kendzior (55 hurdles) opened a few eyes at the MSL indoor meet, and Ferguson will pace the sprint squad. Fremd covers a bit more events than previous years and could move up to the upper half of the MSL this season.

Hoffman Estates

Coach: Dan Andersen (seventh year)

Last year: 3rd in Class 3A, Hoffman Estates sectional champion, 2nd in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Emily D'Amico (3rd place medal 100 dash, 5th place medal 200 dash), Haley Goers (5th place medal 1,600, 4th place medal 3,200), Precious Ogunleye (4th place medal shot put, 3rd place medal discus), Brittany Love (100 high hurdles), Banke Oginni (shot put), Haley Worman (1,600).

Key losses: Precious Ogunleye (Central Florida)

Top returnees: Seniors Emily D'Amico (sprints), Haley Goers (distance), Haley Worman (distance), Takashaka Patel (distance), Brittany Love (hurdles), Ali Engelhardt (jumps); sophomores Banke Oginni (throws), Andrea Miller-Bay (sprints).

Promising newcomers: Sophomore Shayan Dussard (sprints); freshmen Alondra Aguirre (distance), Edyat Krawiec (sprints).

Outlook: It's safe to say that the Hoffman Estates program has arrived. The Hawks took second in the MSL, won their third consecutive sectional, and capped the year by securing their first state trophy, with a third-place finish in Class 3A. Hoffman and Andersen are looking to continue their success this year. Hoffman loses Ogunleye, who secured four state medals, but returns D'Amico and Goers, two of the top stars in the MSL. D'Amico has four state medals and is top-five material in both the 100 and 200 this season, while Goers has three state track medals and three all-state medals in cross country. Goers will be a threat in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Oginni is looking to pick up where Ogunleye left off. The sophomore thrower made Class 3A finals in the shot put last season before finishing 12th. Oginni took third at the IPTT meet and first at the MSL indoor meet. Worman adds depth to the distance crew, and Miller-Bay is an explosive runner in the sprints.

Palatine

Coach: Joe Parks (second year)

Last year: 9th in Class 3A, Buffalo Grove sectional champions, MSL champions.

2011 state qualifiers: Sarah McIntosh (state champion, 1,600), Laura Schweikert (6th place medal 400), Meg Jump (long jump, triple jump), Morgan Quinnett (300 low hurdles), Jessica Del Re (shot put), Courtney Brown (3,200), Becca Sund (1,600), Tess Wasowicz (800), 3,200 relay (3rd place medal), 1,600 relay (8th place medal).

Key losses: Courtney Brown (Missouri), Sarah McIntosh (Southern Illinois), Becca Sund (Augustana), Valerie Guertin (UIC), Meghan Flanagan (Clemson), Morgan Quinnett, Step Burbidge (Augustana), Jessica Del Re (Judson).

Top returnees: Seniors Laura Schweikert (sprints), Ellen Smith (distance); juniors Tess Wasowicz (distance), Meg Jump (sprints, jumps), Taylor Tenca (sprints, mid-distance), Megan O'Brien (throws); sophomores Cassidy McPherson (distance), Liz Cox (distance).

Promising newcomers: Senior Ashley Harris (sprints); sophomores Kim Butler (jumps), Krista Chamberlain (mid-distance); freshmen Caitlin Reidy (sprints), Kara Burton (distance), Claudia Pryzstal (sprints, pole vault, jumps).

Outlook: The defending MSL champion Pirates took a big hit with graduation, including 1,600 state champion McIntosh. But the Pirates seem to have plenty left. It starts with Schweikert, who has won back-to-back state medals in the 400. The senior is one of top sprinters in the MSL and can handle multiple events. Schweikert took first in the 400 at the MSL indoor. Wasowicz has one of the top indoor times in the 800 (2:15.46) and is also a threat in the 1,600. Jump covers the field events for the Pirates, having taken first in the long jump and triple jump at the MSL indoor. All three help power Palatine relays. Wasowicz combined with McPherson in helping secure a state medal in the 3,200 relay and Schweikert and Jump combined with Tenca in leading the Pirates to a medal in the 1,600 relay. An infusion of young talent will fill in the holes. Palatine is primed to make another run at the MSL title and will definitely make a mark at the state meet.

Schaumburg

Coach: Courtney Smith (first year)

Last year: 4th in MSL

2011 state qualifiers: Britten Petrey (800, 300 low hurdles), Jen Pomagier (200), 800 relay, 1,600 relay (6th place medal), 3,200 relay

Key losses: Karen Lesiewicz (Notre Dame), Britten Petrey (Illinois), Colette Falsey (Illinois), Emily Langlotz (Illinois State University), Jordan Wagner (North Central), Jen Pomagier

Top returnees: Seniors Whitney Grossman (jumps), Lauren Lindgren (sprints), Grace Haerr (distance); juniors Jasmine Bethea (sprints), Hannah Coombs (distance), Maika Kumamoto (sprints), Sam Nordli (distance), Tori Cappozziello (sprints, hurdles); sophomores Darneisha Spann (hurdles, sprints), Krista Legan (throws).

Promising newcomers: Freshmen Kelsey Hill (sprints), Vivianne Leonard (sprints), Brianna Penton (throws), Caroline Kurdej (distance), Ali Gutt (distance), Erin Falsey (distance).

Outlook: Former Schaumburg coaches Mike Rebeck and Jon Macnider definitely left their mark on the program; now Smith is looking to pick up where they left off. Schaumburg lost a lot of star power, including Lesiewicz, Petrey, and Falsey, but Smith guided the Saxons to an impressive fourth-place finish at the MSL indoor meet. Spann looks to be a star in the making. The sophomore took first in the 55 hurdles at the MSL indoor meet and also had impressive finishes in the 55 dash (3rd place) and 200 (3rd place). Bethea, Lindgren, Leonard combined with Spann to lead the Saxons to a first-place finish in the 800 relay and add plenty of depth to the sprints. Coombs and Kurdej give Schaumburg some power in the distance events, Kurdej took first at the MSL indoor in the 3,200. Lindgren and Kumamoto were members of the 1,600 relay that took sixth in Class 3A last season. Schaumburg is looking to transfer its momentum from inside to outside.

Central Suburban North

Maine West

Coach: Joe LeCastro (31st year)

Key losses: Taylor Stephenson (Illinois State)

Top returnees: Julia Huinker (jumps), Rebecca Perez (jumps), Abbey Riportella (hurdles), Madi Plantz (hurdles), Alexandra Salaiza (sprints), Nicole Trytko (sprints), Gloria Rojas (distance), Roxanne Rubey (distance), Alisha Barnaby (throws), Kalia Coffey (throws), Kinga Purta (pole vault).

Outlook: LeCastro begins his 31st and final year guiding the Warrior attack; he will be retiring at the end of the school year.

East Suburban Catholic Conference

St. Viator

Coach: Jim Milner (third year)

Last year: 7th in ESCC

Key losses: Kelly Wosick (Valparaiso), Nicole LoVerde (Western Michigan)

Top returnees: Juniors Hanna Winter (mid-distance), Jiana Toben (sprints, jumps, hurdles), Meghan Saulka (sprints, hurdles, jumps), Shannon Cooney (mid-distance); sophomore Katie Malek (mid-distance).

Promising newcomers: Sophomore Meghan Carroll (distance); freshmen Kelly Kompanowski (throws), Bianca DeVincinso (throws), Maria Dugo (sprints).

Outlook: St. Viator returns to 2A this season and is hoping to advance a few athletes to the state meet. Winter is coming off a solid cross country season where she secured all-state honors with a 19th-place finish in 3A. Winter ran with a sense of urgency in the fall and is hoping to carry that over to the track season. Last year Winter broke the school record in the 800 (2:20.17). Malek and Carroll will also add to the distance attack and Saulka and Toben, both veterans, will contribute. The Lions are also hoping a few of the young athletes to step up in the tough ESCC.

West Suburban Gold

Leyden

Coach: Brett Dempsey (third year)

Last year: fifth in WSC Gold

Top returnees: Seniors Christa Pitts (distance), Angela Pacyznski (jumps); junior Danlye Segura (distance); sophomore Alek Kijowkska (sprints).

Promising newcomers: Junior Kaitlyn Marquette (throws); sophomore Taylor Calderon (sprints).

Outlook: Pitts and Pacyznski are looking to lead the Eagles this season. Dempsey is looking for the team to grow and mature as the season progress and will lean on its veteran leaders to pace the Eagles.

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