Girls track and field: Scouting DuPage County and Fox teams

After losing a superstar in Alexandria Johnson to graduation, defending state champion Huntley still has a strong nucleus of returning athletes hoping to make a run for another top-three IHSA trophy.

The Red Raiders rolled to a fairly easy and somewhat surprising 62.5 to 52 victory over powerful runner-up Prospect as no team could match the elite athletes that Huntley possessed, including Johnson who was first in long jump, second in triple jump and now at Arizona State.

Coach Jason Monson will turn to junior Dominique Johnson and senior Vicky Evtimov for leadership. Johnson won the state triple jump crown to edge her sister Alex by .08 meters. Johnson also placed sixth at state in the long jump while the Red Raiders took second in the 4x100 with senior K'Leigh Saenz joining Evtimov and the Johnson duo on that team. That same foursome also took third in the 4x200 relay.

Junior Sienna Robertson was 11th in the state in discus while senior teammate Sophie Amin is back in hurdles, sprints, and relay. Other key competitors for Huntley will be Emmy Byers (sprints/relays), Addi Busam (sprints/relays), Abbie Williams (sprints/relays), Aspen Maldonado (distance), Cori Kilvinger (distance), Haley Rahman (distance), and Morgan Sauber (distance).

"We have many returning athletes from last year's state championship, and we have many new athletes who will look to contribute to the success of the team," said Monson, whose team also won FVC and sectional titles. "The goal is to qualify as many athletes for the state meet with opportunities to podium."


Aurora Central Catholic: The Chargers will aim to finish in the upper half of the GCAC and reach the Class 2A state meet for the 26th time in the last 28 years. Sophomore Ceci Hilby took sixth in the state in the 800 last year before taking third in the 800 at the recent Illinois Top Times indoor state championships. Freshman Annalyse McCarty has star potential in the sprints, relays, and jumps. Olivia Koral (sprints/relays) is the Chargers' only senior . Key juniors are Mayte Acosta (sprints/relays), Carolina Dervis (long sprints/relays), Nicole Smith (distance), Cayla Oldenburger (pole vault), Sofia Corral (long sprints/relays), Cece Vasquez (throws), and Addison Sajdak (hurdles/jumps).

Bartlett: The Hawks have returning UEC champion senior Kim Olwoch (discus) as well senior Kristin Farabaugh (second in 800) back. Junior Elsie Nwabuego (discus) took third in conference while sophomore Alyssa Gregory took third in the 800. Bartlett will get great leadership from seniors Amadea Montijo in the 400, and Aashna Patel in the long jump. Junior Esther Sangobowale (shot put) took fifth at sectionals while sophomore Wynnie Piskule has already made the state qualifying height in the high jump.

Batavia: The Bulldogs won the DuKane Conference championship before taking fourth place at sectionals. Senior Izzy Taylor (3-time all-state in 4x100/4x200/4x400 in 2022, state qualifier in 4x100/4x400 in 2023) will be a huge factor. Taylor's returning 4x100/4x400 downstate teammates are Mariah Wilson, Madison Wilson, and Elizabeth Wende. Seniors Sarah Hecht (throws), and Alli Olson (distance) should be major contributors.

Burlington Central: The Rockets won a sectional title before tying for 11th place in Class 2A. Their returning state qualifiers are Abby Burke (3,200 and XC), Maddie Mucci (triple jump/4x200), Kenzie Andersen (4x200/4x400), Danica Wiegel (4x200), Keira Heindl (4x200), Corryn Kester (4x400), and Sia Patel (4x200). "We graduated some huge point scorers last year, but I think we are going to be deeper in our overall team depth," said coach Vince Neil. "Look for this team to continue to build week after week, and we can put all the pieces together by the championship phase of our season."

Cary-Grove: The Trojans will be without the services of two graduated state qualifiers in Lindsey Kownick (100 hurdles) and Annika Nordin (shot put). Cary-Grove (fifth in FVC) has 300 hurdles state qualifier Kate Aniolkowski (sprints/hurdles) back to help lead the troops. The Trojans also have sophomores Olivia Parker, Kennedy Manning (jumps), and Caelie Mendro (pole vault) doing sprints and hurdles at the varsity level. Coach Mark Anderson said that the indoor season has gone well, there are a lot of talented/hard-working kids on the team, and they should be able to finish in the top half of the FVC.

Crystal Lake South: The Gators have senior Abby Machesky (400/800/1,600) back from injury last year after she qualifyied for the state meet in the 800 as a sophomore. Senior Ava Freund was all-conference in the shot put last year while junior teammate Emily Kupiec (triple jump) is another key in the field events. Liv and Tori Pinta will be middle distance runners along with Brie James, Colette Bacidore, Lily Brooks, Sedona Semradek, and CeCe Piemontese. The addition of freshman Gracey LePage should help improve the Gators' sprint group.

Dundee-Crown: The Chargers return a pretty inexperienced squad from a team that placed eighth in the FVC. Senior leaders will be Sarah Bernstein (hurdles/jumps), Grace Bourbon (hurdles/jumps), Val Ortega (sprints), Ashley Arista (sprints), and Yvonne Castro (distance). Key juniors will be Marisa Klaas (jumps/hurdles), Oliwia Drozdz (sprints/long jump), and Gisel Castaneda (distance). Sophomores D’Angel Slater (sprints) and Alexandra Burczynski (distance) will be joined by freshmen Delilah Kissane (sprints), Penny Murray (hurdles/jumps), and Ashley Leon (distance).

Elgin: The young Maroons squad is still going to be facing an uphill struggle in the UEC this spring as they placed 10th in the indoor conference meet two weeks ago at Glenbard East. Sophomore Emma Valdivia will be a runner to watch in the 800 along with freshman teammate Teagan Culver in the 1,600 and 3,200.

Geneva: The Vikings bring back a lot more depth from a team that placed sixth in the DuKane Conference. Seniors Reilly Day (sprints/jumps), Sarah Hahn (middle distance), Vicki Karalis (throws), Kendall Young (pole vault/high jump), Brooke Lussnig (sprints/long jump), and Avery Whitehead (sprints) are back. Junior Bridget Hecker (sprints) and sophomore Sofia Borter (distance) give Geneva even more depth.

Hampshire: The Whip-Purs placed sixth in the FVC and ninth at sectionals. The 4x800 state qualifying team of Alyssa Garcia, Hannah Jones, Hudson Szymonik, and Ella Perrone are all back as is senior Hailey Caraway, who placed ninth in the Class 3A state high jump competition. Perron also qualified for state in the 800 while Szymonik qualified in the 1,600. Senior Claudia Kuk (long jump/triple jump) is an athlete to watch while Kassidy Papa (sprints/pole vault), and Hailey Homola (shot put/discus) are key newcomers.

Jacobs: The Golden Eagles placed eighth at sectionals as senior Sohini Lawrence (pole vault) qualified for state. Senior Camryn Cook placed third at sectionals in shot put. Junior Bailey Schwartz was the 3,200-meter champion at the recent FVC indoor meet while teammates Jackie Then (relays), Kathleen Kania (1,600), and Carly Uehlein (discus) will be competing in sprints and relays. "This year we are looking to continue to send more of our girls to the state meet," said coach Jason Wright.

Kaneland: The Knights are moving up to Class 3A this year after placing second at sectionals in Class 2A. Augustana University-bound senior Cora Heller will be counted on heavily in sprints, long jump, discus, and her best event pole vault (state qualifier). Olivia Pastovich (state qualifier in 300 hurdles) is stong in hurdles, sprints, and relays while Danielle Bower is the teams' top distance runner. Other distance runners are Graycen Cole, Abby Fitts, and Abbie Mederich. Payton Burnett, Linda Ray, Amani Meeks, and Pastovich will come together for some really strong relays. Lilia Fleshman (mid-distance), Olivia D'Escoto (shot put), and Charlotte Krageare (shot put) are other keys.

Larkin: The Royals will try to improve on their seventh-place finish in the UEC behind Theresa Davis (sixth in UEC in 100 hurdles), and Maya Nail (long jump/triple jump). " We have several new runners who show lots of promise," said coach Heather Carey. "Our main focus is on developing that talent as well as helping our seniors reach their full potential this season."

Rosary: The Royals placed fourth at the Ridgewood Class 2A sectional with 55 points. Rosary junior Chiara Surtz qualified for state in the 3,200, but state qualifiers Libby Saloga (4x400/pole vault) and Grace Loy (high jump) graduated. The Royals' pack of Olivia Kunio, Peyton Saltijeral, and Lily Caruso also ran on that 4x400 state team with Saloga in 2023.

South Elgin: The Storm tied for third place with West Chicago at the 10-team UEC indoor meet two weeks ago. Senior Amaya Teague took second in the 55 and 200-meter dashes at the indoor meet while freshman Karla Diaz placed fourth in the 400. Teague, Kaylin Olson (second in triple jump), Ceilidh Bicocchi, and Alexandra Stephen placed second in the 4x200 while senior Ariann Gutierrez took second in the shot put.

St. Charles East: The Saints have senior Marley Andelman (800/1,600) back from their all-state, sixth-place 4x800 relay team. St. Charles East will be relying on a lot of key sophomores, including Addie Schilb (triple jump/sprints), Maddie Piekarz (sprints), Naomi Moody (sprints), and Addison Wagner (pole vault/high jump). "We're a very young team with the majority of our varsity being sophomores," said coach Brad Kaplan. "We're looking to compete at our best when it matters come conference and sectional time."

St. Charles North: The North Stars placed seventh in the DuKane Conference and seventh at sectionals. Junior Tosin Oshin is off to a great start to the new campaign as she won the indoor conference shot put crown. The young squad's 4x800 relay team will be led by freshmen Gwen Hobson and Julia Rodney. Alanna Gupta (300 hurdles), Reese Thomas (800/300 hurdles), Ava Miedema (400), Zoe Ulaszek (400), and Aliya Clayton (pole vault/long jump) will be major factors.

Streamwood: The Sabres placed eighth in the 10-team UEC indoor championships in mid-May, and junior Sophia Baumert was impressive in winning both the 800 and 1,600-meter runs. Streamwood's junior duo of Elissa Callender and Areona Murry placed 4-5 in the shot put competition while Callender also placed seventh in the high jump.

West Aurora: The Blackhawks had a state qualifier in junior Avery Littlejohn as she placed fifth in a fast 400 field at the Class 3A Metea Valley sectional. West Aurora's returning 4x400 team of Isabella Ovalle, Delilah Lott, Ella Maxwell and Littlejohn also earned a trip to the state meet. Junior Kaitlyn Kraiss also reached state in the pole vault.


Addison Trail: The Blazers have two-time state qualifying senior Brooke Greaves back after Greaves made her second straight appearance at the state meet in the 100-meter hurdles last year. Besides Greaves also competing in most relays, Addison Trail also has Natalie Lupa competing in the 300-meter hurdles. Senior Jackie Techuanhuehue will compete in the sprint events and most of the sprint relays. "We want to continue building on what we started last year, changing the culture and being unable to compete when we think we are done and given it our all," said Addison Trail coach Anthony Beltrano.

Benet: The Redwings cruised to the Class 2A Ridgewood sectional crown with 127 points as three state qualifiers graduated. Sophomore Keira Jenke reached state in the 800 as did sophomore Gabrielle Brown in the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. Benet's entire 4x100 state relay team graduated. Junior Grace Ronek is the only runner back from the 4x200 state team while seniors Nida Polikaitis (shot put), and Valerie Sarros (high jump) competed downstate.

Downers Grove North: The Trojans were WSC Silver champions, and their deep roster includes returning state qualifiers Ava Gilley, (800 qualifier, third in 4x800m at state), Lily Eddington (4x800), and Alayna Todnem, (4x800). Senior Dakota Washington (fifth in 4x100/ninth in 4x200/state qualifier in 200) was joined on the 4x100 and 4x200 teams by Allie Leach, Emily Wittmer, and Aniya Hubbard. Other keys will be Sarah Paul (1,600), Hannah Renner (mid-distance), Sydney Hnatiuk (distance), Audrey Casten (3,200), McKenzie Willard (3,200), Kathleen Crilly (300), Allie Steiner (300), Amelia Hansen (triple jump), Helen Justice (400/800), Jilly Peters (400), and Pallavi Fisher (1,600), Maya Nicholson (HJ/TJ), and McKenzie Maci (high jump).

Fenton: The Bison took seventh place at the recent 10-team UEC indoor meet. Senior Cayden Lewis will go into the outdoor season strong after winning the high jump with a jump of 1.57 meters. Junior Samantha Martens took third in the 400 for Fenton while Lewis took fifth in the 200.

Glenbard East: The Lady Rams won the indoor and outdoor UEC championships last season. Glenbard East (10th at sectionals) had two sprint relay teams that just missed qualifying for state which included junior Emily Fisher. Junior Emma Carneiro is a sprinter to watch while junior Mackenzie Fodrey is slated to compete in the triple jump. Seniors Sammy Kelly (400/800) and Catey Carney (throws) will be counted on as will juniors Isabella Zucchero (hurdles), Andie Novak (400/800), and Elena Kosorog (distance). Sophomore Ali Van Dam (400) is a key newcomer.

Glenbard North: The Panthers will really miss three-time state champion Grace Schager (two in 3,200, one in XC, Notre Dame). Glenbard North placed third in the DuKane Conference, third at sectionals, and 15th in Class 3A. Senior Skyler Libel placed ninth in the state in the long jump, and she also qualified for state in the triple jump and 100 hurdles. Mia Voulamandis (100/200) and Bella Valentin (100 hurdles) bring a lot of speed to the table. "It’s hard to fill the shoes of Grace Schager, she rewrote our record book and established herself as one of the greatest distance runners of all time from Illinois," said coach Eric Day.

Glenbard South: The Red Raiders placed sixth in the UEC, and the senior trio of Ella Zeman (long jump), Lorenza Foster Simbulan (triple jump), and Danielle Bulthuis (pole vault) have a lot of experience. Juniors Diana Kalvelage (3,200), Taylor Koenig (1,600), and Simone Witort (800) are key distance runners. Sophomores Nel Adamczyk (high jump), Georgia Bryan (29.61 in 200), Anna Nesson (triple jump), Vanessa Whittaker (29.67 in 200), and Kate Zima (2.44 meters in pole vault) are ready to compete.

Glenbard West: The Hilltoppers have sophomore Mackenzie Gilbert back after she placed eighth in the 800 at state. Gilbert competed on the 4x800 team that went to state with Moira Ahern, and Maia Kaslewicz. Senior Carina Cudzilo was all-state as a freshman (4x400), and on the 4x400 qualifying team last year with Bea Atkinson and Madeline Murin (high jump). Senior Elayna Boeh (mid-distance) returns from injury while Kendal Cullen is a top-12 ranking pole vaulter in the state. Ally Stortz (LJ/TJ/sprints) is a key performer along with Caroline Challgren (100-400). Alexa Novak played soccer this year and is now one of the top 800/1,600 runners on the team.

Hinsdale Central: The Red Devils took ninth place in Class 3A after placing second to Neuqua Valley at sectionals. Sophomore Lily Hodneland was on the 4x400 team that took second at state with three graduates. The 4x100 team (seventh in state) of Zari Dorris, Christina Tresslar, Ana Hodneland, and Maya Reed (15h in long jump) are all back. The Red Devils also reached state in the 4x200 as did the 4x800 team of seniors Kennedy Boyd, Pola Dygon, Katie Gilmartin, and Moira Hughes.

Lake Park: The Lancers placed second in the DuKane Conference and at sectionals. Juniors Eva Bach (pole vault), and Julia Kelly (long jump) both qualified for the state meet last year. Coach Jay Ivory said the young team has talent, but they will have to see how the squad progresses throughout the season after three state qualifiers graduated.

Lisle: The Lions lost a key competitor to graduation in Cassi Rosenberg, who placed fifth in discus last year at sectionals. Lisle was runner-up in the Illinois Central Eight Conference, and it hopes to win the team title this year at conference. Senior Crystal Mchugh (sprints/jumps) won conference in the triple jump while she placed fourth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump at sectionals.

Metea Valley: The Mustangs placed fourth in the DVC and third at sectionals as state qualifiers Maya Hall (4x800), Kyla Harris (4x100/100/200/400), Anna Murphy (high jump), Arainna Hammons (4x100), Sydni-Ellison Muse (shot put), and Julia Hannon (4x800) have all returned. Despite many key losses to graduation, the Mustangs are aiming to finish in the top three in the DVC and qualify 10 or more athletes to the state meet according to coach Alyssa Schneider McAsey.

Montini: The Broncos placed third in the GCAC indoor meet and third at sectionals as sophomore Sydney Gertsen was all-state in the 3,200. Seniors Keisha Berry and Sofia Fisher were both state qualifiers in the 4x100 and 4x200 while Berry also made state in the 200. Junior Camryn Amouzou reached state in the 4x100 and 4x200 while sophomore Ashlynn Lindt went to state in cross country.

Naperville Central: The Redhawks won back-to-back DVC titles and a sectional crown before placing 10th in Class 3A. Returning seniors are Liv Phillips (sixth in 3,200/state qualifier in 1,600), Brooke Sawatzky (eighth in triple jump/state qualifier in 100 hurdles/300 hurdles/4x200), Ava Hendren (distance, fifth in 4x800), Allison Roozeboom (state discus qualifier), Abby Mogg (fifth in 4x800) and Paige Owens (4x200 state qualifier). Key juniors are Lola Satre-Morales (fifth in 4x800/state qualifier in 800), Adeline O’Neill (4x200 state qualifier), Bella Brozek (4x200 state qualifier), and Carlee Adelman (4x200 state qualifier.

  Liv Phillips has helped Naperville Central win two straight DVC titles. John Starks/

Naperville North: The Huskies placed third in the DVC as seniors Julie Piot (1,600), Kayla Marx (4x800), and junior Emma Berres (4x800) were state qualifiers. The sophomore trio of Shania Tandon (3,200), Rianna Tandon (4x800 state qualifier/3,200), and Leah Davis (200) should make a big impact this season. "We hope to finish as high in the DVC and sectionals as possible," said coach Dan Iverson.

Neuqua Valley: The Wildcats won the Lockport sectional before tying for fourth place in Class 3A . Neuqua Valley placed second at the DVC indoor meet as senior standout Zawadi Brown (defending state champ in 200) won both the 55 and 200-meter dashes. Other returning state qualifiers are sophomore Olivia Dalson (fourth in 4x100), senior Lianna Payton (high jump), junior Kamila Szczepanik (fifth in pole vault), and junior Gabi Karvelis (10th in long jump/triple jump prelims).

Neuqua Valley’s Zawadi Brown is the defending state champion in the 200.

St. Francis: The Spartans placed eighth at the Class 2A Ridgewood sectional. Sophomore Laila Donoto reached the state meet in the 100-meter dash as a freshman. Sophomore Cate Earl and Margaret Andrzejewski were part of the sectional-winning 4x800 team that went to state. Senior Abigael also reached state in the discus.

Waubonsie Valley: The Warriors have all-conference performer Taylor Ahmadian (sprints/jumps) returning to help lead the team. Distance runners Lily Baibak and Catherine Heap will be other key individuals while Daniello Russo will be competing in the pole vault. The Warriors also have a strong group of sprinters, including Tamia Davidson (jumps), Olivia Rowan, and Neveah Woods.

West Chicago: The Wildcats had a strong performance last year as they placed second in the UEC. West Chicago senior Kali Waller was the sectional champion in the 100-meter dash and the long jump, and she qualified for state in the 100, 200, long jump, and 4x100. Senior Adeline Draper was the sectional champion in the 100 hurdles, and she also advanced to the state meet in the 300 hurdles and 4x100. Senior Maggie White (pole vault) is another key returning competitor.

Wheaton Academy: The Warriors finished seventh in the Class 2A Ridgewood sectional as junior Madi Jenkins earned a berth to state in both the 100 and 200. Wheaton Academy definitely has a tough outdoor schedule going forward this spring in the powerful Chicagoland Christian Conference.

Wheaton North: The Falcons placed sixth at the Class 3A Rolling Meadows sectional and fourth at the recent DuKane Conference indoor championships. Freshman standout Sophia Dalrymple took first in the 55 hurdles, second in the 400, and second in the long jump in that indoor meet. Junior Emme Smith was second in the pole vault, junior Maddie Romaine was fourth in the 800, and sophomore Ema Eissler was fourth in the 1,600.

Wheaton Warrenville South: The Tigers watched senior Haylie Hinckley win the high jump competition at the Metea Valley sectional before she tied for sixth place in Class 3A. WWS took third at the DuKane Conference indoor meet. The Tigers' 4x400 team of Jenna Bachara, Natalie Larson, Frida Martinez, and Nicole Poglitsch (second in the 1,600) took first place in 4:11.80. Poglitsch, Martinez, Mackenzie Armstrong, and Savannah Bastiaans easily won the 4x800 in 10:09.44 while sophomore Keelin Fogarty was the triple jump champion.

Willowbrook: The Warriors tied for 10th at the Class 3A Rolling Meadows sectional before Amelia Barrington took 11th in state in the high jump. Willowbrook took second at the WSC Gold indoor conference meet. Freshman McKenzie Edison took first in the 400 and second in the 300 at the indoor meet. Junior Amedie Ojeda won the 800 and the 1,600 while senior Mia McBride won the high jump. Juniors Emily Hogan and Iryae' Watts went 2-3 in the shot put while junior Camryn Dooley was second in the long jump.

York: The Dukes won a sectional title before placing 14th in Class 3A last year. York just broke eight indoor school records, including Lainey Paul in the 55-dash and pole vault, Lela Arzon (55 hurdles), and Morgan Navarre (300 hurdles and 400). The 4x800 team of Gigi Hill, Katheryn Tanny, Lila Stanley, and Scarlett Moriarty won conference. Seniors Katherine Klimek (distance) Maggie Owens (distance), and Anna McGrail (distance) will be leaders. Seniors Maggie Maston (sprints) and Chloe Peot (jumps) are back with juniors Norah Peiffle (sprints), Mia Hanger (sprints/ jumps), Libby Donaldson (sprints), Elise Donaldson (sprints), Adell Weseloh (distance), and Mia Carone (pole vault). Sophia Galiano-Sanchez (32nd in XC) is ready to run with freshmen Jillian Booth (sprints), and Myelle Marshall (hurdles/ jumps). "Our outstanding team captains (Arzon, Ellen Cockman, Kate Krupa, Emma Owens, & Maddie Tresnak) work tirelessly to not only better themselves as athletes but also to build a positive team culture," coach Amy Lichon said.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.