Boys cross country: Scouting DuPage County and Fox

Glenbard South is one boys cross country program that has caught a lot of people off guard over the years starting with the Raiders' run to the Class AA state title in 2001, a third in 2002, and a second in Class 2A in 2011 under former coach Andy Preuss.

After an 11-year hiatus, Glenbard South returned to the podium in impressive fashion last year as the Raiders brought home the third-place trophy, just getting edged out for second place by Belvidere North 155-157 under the guidance of coach Doug Gorski.

Glenbard South lost No. 1 runner Ryan Chung (23rd in Class 2A), Caleb Walter (58th), and Matthew King (90th) to graduation. But the three-time defending UEC champion Raiders do have senior all-stater Jaden Frederick (25th) ready to lead their pack along with senior teammates Tim Jochum (31st), Lucas Newman (76th), Ben Zima (165th) and Michael Bailey. Glenbard South (fourth at sectionals) expects to reach the state meet for the fifth straight year with support from juniors Luke Van Tholen, Logan Price, and freshman Tom Jochum.

Addison Trail

The Blazers did not advance out of regional competition last year as they lost seniors Mike Juarez, Peter Callas, and Carlos Argueta to graduation. Addison Trail will continue to see a ton of tough competition in the West Suburban Conference, including teams like Hinsdale Central (second in Class 3A), Downers Grove North (third in Class 3A), perennial power York, and Downers Grove South (16th in Class 3A). Daniel Lupa reached sectionals for the Blazers last fall.


The arrow is definitely pointing up for the Redwings this season as they return their top eight runners from last year, including junior Finn Richards (45th in Class 3A), and senior Charlie Phelan (77th). Benet is gunning for an astounding 25th straight ESCC title this fall. It should have a good shot at that milestone behind experienced runners Aiden Hulett, Danny Shannon, Jacob Molloy, Ryan Amidei, Jeff Lange, and Matt Spellman. After placing 10th at sectionals last year, the Red Wings should have an even better shot at earning a berth downstate this year as they are moving down from Class 3A to Class 2A for the IHSA state series.


The Bison finished eighth in the UEC, fifth at regionals, and 17th at sectionals last fall. Elite No. 1 runner Victor Vazquez (15th in Class 2A in 2021) will really be missed at the front of Fenton's pack as well as now graduated Gael Flores. The senior trio of David Severiano, David Aviles, and Eric Ziehm will be pack leaders. Coach Patrick Fritsch is projecting freshman Matt Andersen, and sophomore Jose Honorato as potential top-five scorers on the team. Juniors Alejandro Zavala and Omar Alkahla-Seoane are other key runners hoping to help the Bison improve on their showing at sectionals last year.

Glenbard East

The Rams are coming off a fifth-place finish in the UEC last year as senior Ryan Van Dam was Glenbard East's top runner in that 3-mile race with a seventh-place finish. Sophomore Mason Hephner placed 24th for the Rams in the UEC meet as coach Chris Pietsch is hoping his team can finish in the top half of the conference this fall.

Glenbard North

The Panthers placed ninth at regionals as key seniors Logan Alwan, Connor Sisco, Jack Martinez, and Robby Lubas all graduated. Glenbard North will have a pretty inexperienced squad returning as it tries to move up the rankings in the DuKane Conference in 2023.

Glenbard West

After reaching the sectional meet last year the Hilltoppers have a lot of senior experience back in Chuck Halden, Anthony Nitti, and Julian Hernandez. Juniors Graham Faris, Liam Grady, Ryan Fader, and Cayden Camp will provide a great nucleus of runners for coach Kyle Nugent's team. Glenbard West will be pushing to finish in the top half of the WSC this season before hoping to make a serious run for the state meet in Peoria on Nov. 4.

Lake Park

After qualifying for the sectional meet last year with a fifth-place finish at regionals, the Lancers have a very young squad returning led by junior James Jalowiec, sophomore Nick Sheklarevski, and sophomore Jamarious Bassette. The junior trio of Lucas Skupien, Holden Anderson, and Daniel Bernal should also bolster the scoring for coach Joey Pacione. Zach Torres is the lone senior contributor back in the fold. Junior Brendan Gaffey and sophomore Nick Zegger will use this season as a springboard to next year.


The Lions did not have any depth to fall back on last season as they only had four runners compete in their own Class 1A regional, including now graduated Max Foursayev and Zeke Gonzalez. Juniors Eli Carson and Belal Harb were Lisle's top two runners last year at regionals as Harvest Christian Academy won that 11-team meet with 33 points. The Lions will be hoping to improve their showing in the ICEC standings in 2023.

Metea Valley

The Mustangs head into the DVC competition without graduated No. 1 runner Sam Urbon (North Central College) or Connor Vine. But Metea Valley does have a strong senior back in Austin Brown, who was a state qualifier in the 1,600 and 800-meter runs last spring. Senior Rameez Abrar (state qualifier in 800) was Metea Valley's No. 2 runner at regionals last year. Coach Ruben Nino's team will be counting on a strong pack made up of Nathan Behr, Isaiah Rodriguez, Josh Murray, Ian French, Zach Johnson, and Dylan Bennett Garza. The Mustangs are looking to make history and become the first team in school history to qualify for the sectional meet.


The Broncos only lost one of their top seven runners to graduation last year in Michael Crowley, and they have state qualifiers Nolan Ferris (34th in Class 1A), and Hugh Flannery (110th) returning. Montini will turn to senior Gabriel Blanco for additional leadership along with junior teammates Conor Kaefer and Max Neal. The freshman trio of Nino Pesola, Gavin Conway, and Owen Ferris will gain valuable experience on varsity for coach Eric Brechtel during the 2023 campaign.

Naperville Central

After placing 20th in the state in Class 3A, the Redhawks were hit hard by graduation as Lucas De La Cruz, Luke Noren (Lewis University), Thomas Mask, and Sam Barnard (UNC-Greensboro) are all gone. The senior trio of Tyler Browning, Foster Shelbert, and Nick Kamp all return with state meet experience while seniors Max Henige and Julian Brozek were alternates for the state meet. Senior Brayden Groenenboom, and junior Patrick Clune should be key contributors. Coach Grant Baganz believes his squad is among the top five to 10 teams in the state with the potential for something special if they can stay healthy, hungry, humble, and motivated.

Naperville North

The Huskies took fifth place at regionals and eighth at sectionals as they waved goodbye to seniors Colin Corcoran, Addisu Wolski, Sean Chilcoat, and Gabe Russell following the 2022 season. Naperville North will have its work cut out rebuilding in the DuPage Valley Conference with many new runners stepping up into much larger roles.

Neuqua Valley

The Wildcats lost four seniors to graduation from their 12th-place state team, including Ryan Palmer (69th in Class 3A, EIU). But Neuqua Valley should be able to continue its very successful program behind juniors Zac Close (15th, sixth at 3,200 meters), Robert Glenn (57th), and Tony Hinderliter leading the way. Newcomers to the pack for coach James Janota's squad will be Tony Pastore, Josh Nauman, Aaron Hamilton, Jacob Lane, Ryan Adamski, Neel Chawla, and Liam Yack. The defending DVC champions have been a model of consistency with three state titles, a second-place finish, and four thirds since 2007. The Wildcats also have 17 top 10 finishes and three top 15 finishes in their 20 appearances downstate to go along with 11 regional and seven sectional titles.

St. Francis

The Spartans lost their top three runners in seniors Andrew Hernandez, Daniel O'Connell, and Sam Andrzejewski to graduation from their 11th-place sectional team. Coach Jason Accardi expects senior Charlie Coyle, and sophomore Michael Coco to be top runners along with seniors James Keegan and Brendan Spahn. Junior Gavin Grover is a top-five runner with newcomers Nolan Kiley and Alex Keough ready to make an impact for St. Francis which should have a strong pack according to Accardi.

Waubonsie Valley

The Warriors' young squad did not make it out of the regional last year as current seniors Zach Self (1,600-meter state qualifier), Austin McInturff (800-meter state qualifier), and Zack Hayden were their top three runners in that meet. With some solid experience now under their belts, those three runners along with teammates Tyler Heap and Kyler Beitler should make Waubonsie Valley a much stronger team this season under the guidance of coach Kevin Rafferty.

Wheaton Academy

Not only have the Warriors moved into the Chicagoland Christian Conference this season, but they have the daunting task of moving up from Class 1A to Class 2A when the IHSA state series rolls around in late October. Wheaton Academy is fortunate to have lost no seniors to graduation, and current seniors Joey Urban and Shaymis Powell are expected to be a couple of the front-runners this fall. Freshman Miguel Boney is going to jump right into the mix of the varsity team for coach Chris Felinski, who hopes to make a run for the conference championship, qualify for sectionals, and finish in the top 10 in that meet.

Wheaton North

The Falcons graduated three key seniors in Caleb Youngstedt (Hillsdale College), Ben Shebar, and Aidan Herbel from their 21st-place state meet team. Wheaton North finished second in both the DuKane Conference and regionals before placing fourth at sectionals. Junior Aidan Murphy (42nd in Class 3A) will be a strong No. 1 runner for the Falcons with great support from teammates Jude Hubbard, Luke Haworth, Isaac Schuda, Quinn Murphy, Jack Syme, Donovan Lake, Jack Sanders, and Daniel Xochitecatl. Coach Nate Roe hopes that his squad can compete for a DKC championship before finishing higher at the state meet. He said they will rely heavily on their top four runners since the team will probably not be as deep as they were last year.

Wheaton Warrenville South

The Tigers lost five of their top seven runners from last year's 13th-place state meet team, including Nathan Virginelli (32nd in Class 3A, Illinois State), Luke Yonker, Colin Nelson, Sam Cruz (EIU), and Caleb Hatzinger. WWS has juniors Josiah Narayanan and Aiden Noel back with state meet experience. Seniors Ben Adkins, Jayden Bauer, Angelo Ruggio, and Christopher Striedl will be good leaders. Juniors Jamie Childress, Atticus Cunningham, Sam Purdue, and Jack Ruswick give the Tigers a lot of depth for co-head coaches Craig Lawrence and Chris Kuntz. The Tigers are coming off conference, regional, and sectional crowns in 2022. WWS won the state title in 2018 before placing second in 2019.

West Chicago

The Wildcats placed eighth at regionals as they lost sectional qualifier Connor Zentner, Noah Herbst, and four of their other top seven runners to graduation. West Chicago did have an outstanding season from Judah McClean, who advanced to the sectional meet as a sophomore. With so many losses to graduation, the Wildcats will need to get some new runners to step into much bigger roles if they hope to be able to keep up with some of the top teams in the UEC.


The Warriors lost state qualifier Kevin Diederich (COD) to graduation. But they still have three seniors returning for coach T.J. Artman's squad in Declan Abercrombie, Evan Weder, and Alex Perry. Juniors Kasen Blain, Adriano Quintero, and Jake Skibbie give Willowbrook a solid nucleus to build around for the future. Sophomore Miteku Branch should be another key runner on varsity as the Warriors' team has set high goals to go as deep as they can in the state series.


It takes a long time to count the number of IHSA first-place trophies that the legendary Dukes' program has brought home, but that total would be 28 in a 50-year span from 1962 to 2012 under former coach Joe Newton. York did not reach the state meet last year after placing 11th at sectionals. But the Dukes do have juniors Max Zangan and Jack Sebastian returning with sectional experience. Coach Charlie Kern said that the team is in a two-year build and they are primarily focused on micro improvements and microloading new training stimuli. Senior Iain Davies will be joined by junior teammates Zack Saltiel, Evan Zapata, Emmett Bradford, and Sam Kehoe, who expect to return to the state meet in November.



The Hawks placed fifth in the UEC last year, and they have senior Luke Regalado returning as well as senior teammate Arturo Martinez back after he did not compete as a junior. Junior Whalan Eid and senior Noah Moose Lopez will be key runners at the front of Bartlett's pack. Sophomores Aimad Ourahou and Joseph Bagnuolo will be running at the varsity level. Coach Alex Serluco is hoping the Hawks can qualify for the sectional meet if all goes well in late October.


The Bulldogs lost a great leader in all-stater Quintin Lowe (20th in Class 3A, Purdue) to graduation as they placed fourth in the DuKane Conference and eighth at regionals. Senior Colin Knowles is expected to be a front-runner along with all-conference junior Francesco Benelli. Juniors David Bednarek, Ethan Storie, and senior Felipe Wickler will probably round out the top five. Coach Bronco Meeks said that the team is larger than other post-pandemic squads with sophomore Gavin Warpinski and freshman Eddie Polaski ready to help focus on pack running since they no longer have a clear-cut No. 1 runner anymore.

Burlington Central

With returning senior state qualifier Ryan Kries (94th in Class 2A) leading the way, the Rockets are looking to have a stronger finish than last year (eighth in FVC, eighth at regionals). Seniors Logan Karottu, Adam Hinkelman, and Kries should give Burlington Central a strong top trio with excellent support from teammates Jayden Beecroft, Alan Perez, and Robert Anderson. Freshmen Danny Burke and Brandon Pflug will have major impacts on the team scoring according to coach Vince Neil, who mentioned that Beecroft is coming off a great track season.


The Trojans lost Anthony Zamudio (Cornell College) to graduation after they placed fifth in the FVC, fifth at regionals, and 12th at sectionals last season. Sophomore Jameson Tenopir is a proven runner after placing 37th in Class 2A as a freshman while junior Ethan Waddell, senior Alex Demas, and junior Aiden Kyle should give Cary-Grove a solid front pack to rely on. Senior Luke Boldwyn brings a lot of experience to the pack while freshmen teammates Lucas Kephart and Nate Kephart will be thrust into some pretty key roles as the Trojans hope to make large strides of improvement compared to last year.

Crystal Lake South

The Gators did not lose any seniors to graduation after finishing ninth in the FVC and 10th in regionals last year. Junior Adam Strombom and sophomore Joey Gonzalez should be solid leaders for CLS along with senior teammate Lucian Tyndall. Sophomore Chad Wehby is another runner to watch for coach Nick Willhoit's team while Sebastian Castillo brings a lot of senior leadership to the table for the Gators, who are looking to earn a berth to the sectional meet for the first time since 2018.


The Chargers bring back an experienced young trio in senior Tim Navarro, junior Joe Hillyer, and junior Eddie Leon, who were the top three runners on the team at the powerful Palatine regional last year. Dundee-Crown coach Matt Michalski did lose three of his top seven runners to graduation. But the addition of junior Zach Michalski along with freshman teammates Josh Michalski and Frank Moskalik should help the young squad continue to build for the future.


The Maroons are hoping to finish in the top three in the UEC, qualify for the sectional meet, and advance to the state meet despite losing Jack Allen (UW-Parkside), and Diego Valdivia (Dominican University) to graduation. Elgin was the runner-up in the UEC last year, and it has juniors Cole Tupper and Richie Loeza returning to help lead their pack. Senior Ricky Ripka is another key runner returning along with sophomore David Dorantes, junior Ian Godinez, sophomore Daniel Valdivia, and senior Ben Hall-Skank. Coach Christopher Vargas wants his young team to continue to build on last season's success, exceed expectations, break school records, and show that they have no limits.


The Vikings lost four seniors to graduation, including Anthony Ross from a team that placed fourth at regionals and 13th at sectionals. The junior pack of Julian Hipp, Dominic Ross, Luke Gaston, and Noah Martin will be keys along with seniors Cam Lotspeich, Jackson Avery, and Jack Riviere. Coach Peter Raak will see how juniors Aidan Cook, Drew Hosman, Dominic Savarese, and Ernie Bebe fit into the mix. Geneva is aiming to move up in the DuKane Conference standings while making a potential run for the state meet after putting together a strong summer of training.


Untimely illness and injuries really hurt the Whip-Purs down the stretch last season so staying healthy is going to be a major factor if they hope to improve their standings in the FVC (seventh), regional (fifth), and sectional (15th) according to coach Ryan Hollister. Juniors Jack Sheets and Nolan Sheets turned in the best times on the team last year and sophomore Marcus Davis provides Hampshire with a strong top trio to build around. Juniors Cody Dobush and Sam Beamon are other key runners as is sophomore Marshall Waldau. Hollister said the competition for the top seven varsity spots should help the team improve.


The Red Raiders lost state qualifier Ty Rasmussen and Hudson Fisher (Grace College) to graduation from a team that placed second in the FVC, first at regionals, and eighth at sectionals. Huntley has two state qualifiers back in junior Tommy Nitz (55th) and senior Zach Zuzzio. They will be supported by teammates Luke Grubbs, Andrew Raistrick, Zach Donlea, and Logan Barreto. Coach Matt Kaplan said newcomers Nathan Sauber and Brandon Thompson could be top-seven runners by the postseason. The Red Raiders are hoping to reach state after just missing qualifying with eighth-place sectional finishes the last two years.


The Golden Eagles won the FVC meet, but they lost Alec Melendez (72nd in Class 3A, Rose-Hulman Institute), Aidan DeMuth (state qualifier at 3,200 meters), Julian Van Antwerp (UW-Stout), and Adam Lakeman to graduation. Jacobs just missed state with an eighth-place finish at sectionals, but senior Andrew Beyer (150th) reached state as an individual. Senior Matt Andreano should be the No. 2 runner behind Beyer with strong support from junior teammates Max Sudrzynski and Isaac Pepin. Senior Jake Fetting is another runner to watch along with teammates Michael Moore and Ethan Aichholz. Coach Kevin Christian is expecting this squad to be even better than last year as Beyer and Andreano are ahead of where they were last year. Sudrzynski is the biggest surprise in the area after being a state qualifier in the 4x800 relay as a sophomore.


The Knights are coming off a strong campaign as they won the Interstate 8 Conference, placed second at the Sterling regional, and eighth at their own powerful sectional which produced the top three teams at state. Kaneland has a great front-runner in junior Evan Nosek, who placed seventh in Class 2A and sixth in the 3,200-meter run. Senior David Valkanov placed fifth in the state at 3,200 meters while sophomore Evan Whildin and junior Zachary Murdock had solid track and cross country campaigns. Senior Collin Reutimann and Liam Lentz should be key pieces to the puzzle for coach Chad Clarey, who said his team is hungry for a chance to get back to the state meet.


The Royals still have a pretty young team returning, but they are hoping to move up the ladder in both the UEC and regionals after placing ninth and 10th respectively in those meets. Coach Nathan Williams has the junior trio of Cruz Bravo, Alex Lopez, and Rafael Valdes to help lead his troops along with great support from senior teammate Mark Lawson. Sophomore Michael Hammond is hoping to make a big impact for Larkin along with junior teammates David Lawson and Xavier Deleon as the Royals hope to finish in the top six at regionals.


The Cadets have two really strong runners returning in all-state senior Connor Carlson (15th in Class 2A) and junior John Daffenberg (36th) after placing fourth in the Chicago Catholic League, third at regionals, and ninth at sectionals. Marmion hopes to return to the state meet behind sophomore Michael Whitacre, senior Robert Gramley, junior Matthew Sullivan, senior Nathan Brandon, and sophomore Joseph Dorando coming of age for coach Andrew Lifka this season.

South Elgin

The Storm finished third in the UEC before finishing in a fifth-place tie with Lake Park at regionals to advance to sectionals. South Elgin's top seven runners are not set yet, but senior Ricky Ardisana is one returning athlete who should be counted on this fall. Juniors Noah Callahan, Logan Lott, and Brody Mills should be other keys for coach Kari Turcan while sophomores Aldrin Boongaling and Josiah Lindsey should pick up some great experience on varsity. The Storm has been rebuilding since seeing a decline in participation after the pandemic. But they are always aiming for a conference championship and a berth to the sectional meet.

St. Charles East

The Saints lost senior Mitch Garcia (state qualifier in 3,200, UW-LaCrosse), and Lexton Rockwell to graduation from a team that took third in the DKC, fifth at sectionals, and 24th downstate. Seniors Jed Wilson and Oscar Frontjes (114th in Class 3A) should be good leaders for St. Charles East. Junior Greyson Ellensohn, sophomore Mikey Wilson, senior Adrian Ahuatl, junior Ryan Tobin, and senior Connor Reed will be key performers. Coach Chris Bosworth's team is striving to reach the state meet for the 10th straight year while hoping to improve in all of the final four Saturday meets of the season.

St. Charles North

The North Stars were in a rebuilding mode last year as they placed eighth in the DKC before not making it out of regionals. But St. Charles North did not graduate any of its top five runners from last year. Behind seniors Will Stone, Will Lackner, and Owen Santos coach Kevin Harrington expects the team to be much improved. Junior Noel Sookswat, sophomore Lucas Reed, and sophomore Matthew Russell should help the North Stars look like a different squad this year as they are focused on rebuilding the SCN running culture.

St. Edward

The Green Wave lost their top three runners to graduation in Jorge Reich, Thomas Walla, and Maxwell Holland after competing in the Class 1A Lisle regional last season. Junior Evan Wagh was St. Edward's fourth runner in that 11-team meet as the team will be pushing to move up the ladder in Chicagoland Christian Conference competition this season.


The Sabres fielded a young and inexperienced squad last season as only four runners competed in the Class 3A St. Charles East regional. Streamwood did get some strong performances from Alex Harrison last year as he placed 33rd at the Lake Park sectional before he advanced to the state meet as only a sophomore. The Sabres should be battle-tested after competing in the UEC leading up to the IHSA state series.

West Aurora

The Blackhawks placed seventh at regionals without any seniors among their top seven runners competing in the 11-team meet. The youthful West Aurora squad was led by two state qualifiers in 2022 as Sean Heetland placed 106th in Class 3A as a junior while freshman teammate Nathan Gehrmann placed 187th in the big meet at Detweiller Park. West Aurora will hope to keep building on its momentum this fall in the Southwest Prairie Conference which includes defending state champion Plainfield South.

  Aiden Hulett and Charlie Phelan return for Benet hoping to help the Redwings extend their ESCC championship streak to 25 years. Joe Lewnard/
  Wheaton North's Jude Hubbard competes at last year's Lake Park Harvey Braus Invitational. Brian Hill/
  Josiah Narayanan has state experience for a Wheaton Warrenville South team that took 13th at the 2022 Class 3A state meet. Brian Hill/
  Senior Ryan Kries is a returning state qualifier for an experienced Burlington Central squad. Brian Hill/
Tommy Nitz helped Huntley take second to Jacobs at the FVC meet last year. Paul J. McKenna/for Shaw Local News Network
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