Boys track and field: Scouting DuPage County and Fox area

After taking second place in the state in Class 3A to powerhouse Homewood-Flossmoor last year, the Neuqua Valley boys track and field team is poised to put together another great season in 2024.

The Wildcats' program has been a model of consistency over the past 15 years with six top-three trophies under coach Mike Kennedy, including two firsts, three seconds, and a third since 2009.

Seven key seniors graduated, and Neuqua Valley already placed second to archrival Naperville Central by a half a point at the DVC indoor meet.

But the Wildcats still have great depth back, including Rajan Anthony (all-state 4x200), Jack Cole (distance), Zac Close (sixth in 3,200), James Croucher (throws), Robert Glenn (1,600 state qualifier), Clark Hastings (jumps), Alex Knight (sprints), Luca Kraai (pole vault), Joe Labib (sprints), Madhan Manikandaswamy (4 x200 alternate), Daniel "DJ" Mason (4x100 alternate), Edward Mason (all-state 4x200), Cooper McGinnis (hurdles), Miles Miskel (sprints), Anthony Pastore (distance), Nick Pennington (second in pole vault in 2022, sprints), Daniel Robinson (all-state 4x200/4x100 alternate/LJ), Averi Smith (sprints), Olukolajo "KJ" Sodipe (jumps), Anthony Spiezio (throws), and Eric Wu (4x200 alternate/sprints).


Addison Trail The Blazers took fifth place in the WSC Gold Division indoor meet at Proviso West as senior Daniel Lupa won the 55-meter hurdles and took second in the 60-yard hurdles. Senior Jed Almendralejo placed second in the long jump while Lupa also posted a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter run. Senior Marlon Lozano-Pina tied for sixth in the shot put.

Benet Academy The Redwings finished second in the ESCC and second at sectionals, and they have seniors Nick Galgano (sprints), and Jacob Molloy (distance) back from their state qualifying 4x400 relay team. Seniors Ryan Amedei (distance), Tim Diamond (throws), and Danny Keating (sprints) are back along with junior Griffin Schneid, who placed eighth in the state in the 800 and was a part of the 4x400 team at state. Juniors Finn Richards (1,600/3,200) and Aiden Hulett (3,200) also qualified for state. Juniors Jeffrey Lange (distance) and Will Yacullo (sprints/hurdles) are back with sophomore D eclan Diamond (state qualifier in pole vault). Sophomore Conor Evers (sprints) is ready to move up to the next level.

Downers Grove North The Mustangs finished 2023 by taking sixth place in the state in Class 3A before starting 2024 by placing third in the WSC Silver Division indoor meet. Junior Emmanuel Murphy took first in the 400 for DGN as did sophomore Philip Cupial in the 1,600, junior Brady Travers in the 3,200, and senior Vince Davero in both the long jump and the triple jump.

Fenton The Bison competed at the tough WWS Class 3A sectional before starting the new campaign by placing eighth in the UEC indoor meet. Fenton's Jordan Wilson placed second in the shot put at the indoor meet while the 4x800 team of Eric Ziehm, Matt Andersen, David Aviles, and David Severiano placed fifth.

Glenbard East The Rams took first place in the UEC and seventh at the WWS Class 3A sectional. Senior Eric McClain (4x100) was a state qualifier in the long jump while senior Joey Rosenthal (sprinter) reached state in the 100. Seniors Ryan Van Dam (4x800/1,600), David Hernandez (400/4x400), Danny Zlatanov (throws/high jump), and Ryan Stringer (400/4x400) will be keys. Juniors Amonte Cook and Josh Roimicher are sprinters while sophomore Mason Hephner is a distance runner.

Glenbard North The Panthers tied for 13th at the rugged Class 3A Batavia sectional to close out the 2023 campaign. Glenbard North senior Damarion Elliston came very close to earning a berth to the state meet with a 22.89 clocking in the 200-meter run. Senior Daniel Prochaska will be aiming for a trip downstate in the 800 after just missing the cutoff time last year.

Glenbard South The Raiders placed second in Class 2A cross country, and second in the UEC before winning its own sectional meet. Glenbard South should be strong in the 4x800 again as Lucas Newman and Elmhurst University-bound Michael Bailey will join Tim Jochum (ninth in 800) on that squad. DePaul-bound Harper Bryan went to state in the 110 and 300 hurdles while senior Jaden Frederick placed 10th downstate in the 3.200. Freshman Tom Jochum could qualify for the state meet in the 4x800, 3,200, 1,600, or 800 according to coach Doug Gorski. Sophomore Kyle Quaid-Bowman has already pole vaulted a foot over the 2A qualifying standard so he should reach state in that event.

Glenbard West The Hilltoppers took sixth place at the Class 3A WW South sectional before opening the new campaign by tying for fourth place in the WSC Silver Division indoor meet. Junior Mason Ellens took second in the 55 hurdles and third in the 200. The team got third-place finishes from Keaton Peter (800), Luke Benson (high jump and triple jump), and Ollie Wintermute (pole vault).

Hinsdale Central The Red Devils tied for fourth place in Class 3A. Hinsdale Central placed third in the WSC and second at sectionals as senior Michael Prieto qualified for the state meet in the high jump. Elite senior Aden Bandukwala was the state champ in the 1,600 and he placed third in the 3,200 after winning back-to-back state cross country titles. Evan Bots was a part of the Red Devils' 4x200 state qualifying team while Mark Ortiz (shot put) is a key contributor.

Lake Park The Lancers lost state shot put champion Tyler Michelini (University of Arizona) to graduation. Lake Park (third in DuPage County and sectionals) has a lot of senior experience back in Stephen O'Connor (state qualifier in pole vault), Adrian Przestrelski (DuKane Conference triple jump champ), Armand Voloder (shot put), and Kris Szkaradek (hurdles).

Lisle The Lions took fourth place at the Class 1A Seneca sectional last spring in the 16-team field. Lisle's 4x100 team that qualified for state returns junior Tony DeWald and senior Jeremiah Johnson. The Lions lost state qualifiers Chris Farrell (shot put and discus), and Casey Rosenberg (triple jump) to graduation.

Metea Valley The Mustangs placed fourth in the DVC and fourth at sectionals as seven events went to the state meet. Metea Valley has returning state qualifiers Jailen Shegog (long jump/triple jump), Austin Brown (800/1,600), and Rameez Abrar (800). Seniors Daniel Pere (100/200), Christian Lee (long jump/triple jump), Lucas Van Vlerah (400), and Samanyu Devanaboyina (discus) will be keys with junior Omotola Taiwo (triple jump). "On the sprints side we lost a lot to graduation, said coach Aaron Lewis. "So we are looking for our seniors Pere and Van Vlerah to anchor us in the sprint relays and work with our talented sophomores to fill in the gaps."

Montini The Broncos placed seventh at sectionals as seniors Hugh Flannery (3,200 state qualifier), George Asay (sprints/relays), Gabriel Bianco (400/800), and Sam Hemmersmeier (sprint relays/long jump) will be leaders. Juniors Nolan Ferris (distance/3-time state XC qualifier), Santino Florio (sprints/relays), Vince Irion (sprints/relays), and Nick Irion (sprints/relays) will be keys with sophomores Nico Castaldo (sprints/relays), and Joey Gabreleski (sprints/relays).

Naperville Central The Redhawks finished second in the DVC, third at sectionals, and 11th in Class 3A last year as senior Maverick Ohle is the returning state champion in the discus. Returning state qualifiers are Foster Shelbert (all-state 4x800/4x400, state qualifier in 400/800), Bode Smith (all-state 4x400/state qualifier 300 hurdles), Patrick Clune (all-state 4x800/4x400), Julian Brozek (all-state 4x800/4x400), Henry Kane (state qualifier in pole vault), Tyler Browning (state qualifier in 3,200), and Noah McAninch (state qualifier in 300 hurdles).

  Naperville Central’s Maverick Ohle is the returning Class 3A state champion in the discus. John Starks/

Naperville North The Huskies placed third in the DVC and fourth at sectionals as senior Carson Marlar (long jump) was part of the third-place 4x100 team at state. Marlar was also on the 4x200 team at state (fifth). Senior Muneeb Shah was also on the 4x100 and a state qualifier in the 400. Junior Kaiser Williams ran downstate on the 4x200 team while senior Eric Beedon (pole vault) just missed state. "Our goals revolve around our team competing for a conference championship and a state championship with a highly decorated and experienced senior group, and very talented group of underclassmen, said coach Chris Arthurs.

St. Francis The Spartans took 15th at the Genoa-Kingston Class 2A sectional last spring. St. Francis did not have any individuals earn a berth to the state meet, but it did get sixth-place finishes from sophomore Nolan Kiley in the 800, senior Charlie Coyle in the 3,200, and sophomore Gavin Mueller in the shot put.

Waubonsie Valley The Warriors placed 11th at the Plainfield North Class 3A sectional before taking fifth place in the DVC indoor meet. Senior Austin Gianino won the high jump while junior Santana Watson won the triple jump. Waubonsie Valley's duo of Lucas Jaime and C.J. Fykes went 5-6 in the 60-meter hurdles. Junior Patrick Cassidy added a fifth-place throw in the shot put while Brady Teeple took fifth in the pole vault.

West Chicago The Wildcats placed sixth in the UEC before junior Judah McLean (distance) took sixth at sectionals at 1,600 meters. Seniors Mason Williams and Louis Zeitler will be key runners in the sprints and relays while sophomore teammate Nicholas Roskilly is competing in the high jump. "We are hoping to be extremely competitive in the sprint relays and finish in the top half of our conference." said West Chicago coach Tyler Belding.

Wheaton Academy The Warriors took third in the MSC last year, and they have moved to the Chicagoland Christian Conference this year. Senior Canyon Roberts (110/300 hurdles) reached state last year, and he hopes to reach state in the pole vault this year. Sophomore Griffin Schlenbecker reached state in the high jump last year and he is looking to make the finals this spring. Junior Emery Eckert went to state in the 100, and one of his goals is to break 11 seconds. Shaymis Powell (distance) is hoping to earn a trip downstate in the 1,600. Freshman Miguel Boney (400/800) could be the missing piece on the 4x800 relay team according to coach Chris Felinski.

Wheaton North The Falcons took 10th at sectionals last year before starting off the new season with a seventh-place finish at the DuKane Conference indoor meet. Junior Matt Beamer won the long jump for Wheaton North while junior Aidan Murphy took second in the 1,600. Senior John Tarpeh took fourth in the shot put.

Wheaton Warrenville South The Tigers tied for fourth place in their own sectional meet before winning the DuKane Conference indoor title on March 16. WWS got first-place finishes at conference from Da'jion Riley (55 dash), Josiah Narayanan (3,200), and Amari Williams (55 hurdles). Riley, Williams, Parker Holz, and Jacob Brocious won the 4x200. Senior Aaron Vivar took third in the shot put.

Willowbrook The Warriors saw their team grow tremendously last season by placing second in the WSC Gold Division and placing ninth at sectionals. Junior Jaylin Miller (sprints) was on the 4x100 downstate while junior Jaden Royal (sprints) placed 12th at state in the triple jump. Seniors Evan Weeder (jumps), Noah Boyd (long jump), Joe Hanson (sprints), and Sam McNeilly (mid-distance) will be keys. Weeder already made his indoor mark for high jump at 6 feet, 4.75 inches. Junior Kasen Blain (middle distance) and sophomore Otis Powell (jumps) are ready to make their marks in 2024.

York The Dukes placed fourth in the West Suburban Silver and second at sectionals before tying for 11th place in Class 3A. York senior Cash Langley was a 100-meter dash state qualifier and a part of the Dukes' second-place 4x200 and sixth-place 4x100 teams at state. Senior Gavin Schaer placed fifth in the state in pole vault while York recently finished second in the WSC indoor meet. Senior Brady Golomb (mid-distance) moved back to Elmhurst from Texas and he was undefeated indoors this year. Junior Danny Karnatz has run the 400 in 51.37 and triple jumped 42-7.5.


Aurora Central Catholic The Chargers (ninth in Class 2A) have the top 800 runner in the nation in University of Wisconsin-bound senior Patrick Hilby, who won the state title in 1:50.49. Hilby also posted the fourth fastest indoor time in U.S. prep history (1:48.47) to win the New Balance National Championships in Boston on March 10. The 4x800 team of Hilby, Jacob Gay, Ben Bohr, and David Valencia took first at the Illinois Top Times indoor state championships while the 4x400 team of Hilby, Gay, Tom Keller, and Bernard Fellows won the 4x400. Senior Daniel Eberle placed ninth in the state in pole vault for veteran coach Troy Kerber's squad while Hilby is ranked ninth in the country in the 1,600.

Aurora Central Catholic’s Patrick Hilby wins the 800 meter run in the Class 1A Boys Sectional track meet on Friday, May 20, 2022 in Plano. Scott Anderson/Shaw Local

Bartlett The Hawks took 12th place at the Batavia Class 3A sectional before taking fourth at the UEC indoor meet. Bartlett got runner-up finishes from seniors Arturo Martinez in the 400-meter run, and Luke Regalado in the 800-meter run. The Hawks went 2-3 in the pole vault behind Gavin Mulhall and Ezekiel Carrillo.

Batavia The Bulldogs won their third straight sectional title after winning Kane County and DuKane Conference crowns. Batavia sprinters Nathan Whitwell, Cole Howland, Joe Reid, Wyatt Wies, Brett Berggren, and Andrew Culotta will provide leadership. Senior Luke Alwin (state triple jump qualifier) and Josh Kahley (jumps) are back as are Gavin Pecor and Cody Heeringa (throws). Juniors Isaiah Brown (jumps) and Malachi Smith (throws) will be keys along with distance leaders Colin Knowles and David Bednarek. Thomas Woodard and Drew DiBiase are top hurdlers with support from Micah Johnson (jumps/relays), Felipe Wickler (distance), Francesco Benelli (distance), and Colton Benkers (pole vault). Batavia won the state title in 2022 and it has one of the biggest programs in the state with 165 boys in the program.

Wheaton Warrenville South's Da'jion Riley finishes in front of St. Charles North's Ayodele Bateye and Batavia's Nathan Whitwell in the 55 meters during DuKane Boys Indoor Track and Field Conference Championships. Mar 16, 2024 Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local News Network

Burlington Central The Rockets finished third in the FVC and third at the Genoa-Kingston Class 2A sectional. Burlington Central has a lot of depth back in seniors Ryan Kries (distance), Grayson Burton (state qualifier pole vault), Logan Karrotu (4x800 state qualifier), Adam Hinkleman (4x800 state qualifier), Porter Mihelich (shot put), and Tristan Sanceda (sprints). Top juniors are Rocco Boss (sprints/jumps), A.J. Jenkins (state qualifier 4x100), and Jayden Beecroft (state qualifier 4x800). Key newcomers are L.J. Kerr (jumps), Brandon Pflug (distance), Patrick Shell, (hurdles/jumps), and Caden West (sprints/jumps). Coach Mike Schmidt is in his 29th and final season as the Rockets will move up to Class 3A for the first time.

Cary-Grove The Trojans placed fifth in the FVC and ninth at sectionals before senior Reece Ihenacho took second in Class 3A in the discus. Ihenacho also took 12th in the state in the shot put while sophomore Logan Abrams was a state qualifier in the discus. Senior Caleb Ramirez (sprints/jumps) took fourth in the county in the long jump while junior Grant Bond (sprints/hurdles), and sophomore Jameson Tenopir (mid-distance/distance) will be major cogs. "Numerous guys have worked hard in the off-season and are looking to see that work pay off this spring," said Cary-Grove coach Layne Holter.

Crystal Lake South The Gators placed 10th at the DeKalb Class 3A sectional and just two points behind Rockford Auburn. CLS will really miss graduated state qualifier Carter Alvarado (300 hurdles), as well as all-stater Ryne Salas (eighth in discus). The Gators will be facing a real struggle in the upcoming outdoor season after they placed 10th in the FVC indoor championships in mid-March.

Dundee-Crown The Chargers took sixth in the FVC and fifth at sectionals, and they have senior Kali Freeman back from the 4x100 and 4x200 teams that took first place in the FVC before qualifying for state. Junior Terrion Spencer was on the 4x100 and 4x200 teams that went downstate while senior Iyanuoluwa Shonukan was on the 4x100 team. Sophomore Orelouwa Sobodu was all-conference in the 400 and a state alternate in the 4x100 and 4x200. "As a team, we are better all-around as we are now able to challenge to score conference points in pretty much every event," said coach Matt D'Angelo. "We are hoping we can challenge for a top three FVC finish and another top five sectional finish."

Dundee-Crown’s Kali Freeman anchors the 4x200 meter relay teams to victory Friday, May 12, 2023, during the Fox Valley Conference Boys Track and Field Meet at Huntley High School. Gregory Shaver/Shaw Media

Elgin The Maroons took eighth in the recent UEC indoor meet, as junior Cole Tupper took third place in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. Tupper has a shot at reaching state meet 1,600, 3,200, and possibly the 800 according to coach Anthony Mason. "He (Tupper) is getting heavy Division I interest, and he will be close to scholarship times before his senior year," said Mason, whose team took ninth-place at sectionals last year. "This year we are building in order to get more talent working and improving toward track and field as a team."

Geneva The Vikings placed eighth at the Class 3A Batavia sectional. Geneva placed sixth recently at the DuKane Conference indoor meet as senior Warren Cooper took second in the pole vault. Junior Paxson Cohrs placed third in the high jump at the indoor meet while teammates Finnegan Weppner (fourth in 200), and Owyn Reynolds (fifth in 55-meter dash) also got in the scoring column.

Hampshire The Whip-Purs took second in the FVC and third place at the Class 3A DeKalb sectional. Hampshire's entire 4x400 team that went to state graduated. But the team has two triple jump state qualifiers back in seniors Vince Scott (seventh place), and Shamar Allwood (27th). Senior Gage Homola took third place in the shot put in the FVC indoor meet while junior Gregory Land placed fifth in the high jump. Scott (13.34 meters) was the FVC runner-up in the triple jump.

Huntley The defending FVC champion Red Raiders have junior Tommy Nitz (3,200, 14th in Class 3A) back in the fold. Senior sprinters Talon Sargent (200/400/relays), Jeff Cruickshank (HJ/LJ), and Lex Giron (100/200/relays) give Huntley strong leadership. Juniors Vinny Costa (100/200/relays), Zach Rysavy (TJ/LJ), and Dominic Giuseffi (100/200/relays) bring added depth. Coach Chris Maxedon said the Red Raiders are looking to win another FVC championship, compete well in their sectional, and send as many guys to state as possible.

Jacobs The Golden Eagles tied for second place in the FVC last year before tying for seventh at sectionals. Jacobs will be led by seniors Matt Andreano (mid-distance), Andrew Beyer, (distance), Henry Beyer (sprints/relays), Devan Mctague (hurdles), and Alex Sadiq (high jump). Juniors Tyvon Boddie (sprints/relays), Jackson Cook (sprints/relays), Isaac Pepin (mid-distance), Khristos Oludimu (jumps/sprints), and Max Sudrzynski (mid-distance) are key runners. Top new athletes Vince Catalanotto (sprints/relays), Jackson Foley (sprints), Carson Goehring (hurdles), and Kieran Nally (sprints/relays) hope to make a difference. "We’ve had some injuries during the indoor season, but we feel like if we are healthy we can be a strong team at the end of the season," said coach Jason Borhart.

Kaneland The Knights were Interstate 8 Conference champions, Class 2A sectional champions and 16th in Class 2A. Kaneland has three returning all-staters in senior David Valkanov (fifth in 3,200), junior Evan Nosek (sixth in 3,200), and junior Freddy Hassan (fifth in high jump). "We'd like to defend our conference championship for the seventh time, finish in the top five at the always loaded and historic Kane County meet, and qualify as many athletes as possible to the state championships," said Kaneland coach Andy Drendel.

Larkin The Royals competed in the powerful Class 3A Batavia sectional to close out the 2023 season before they started off the new season with an eighth place finish at the UEC indoor meet. Senior Terrance Boone won the 55-meter hurdles for Larkin while Tremare Reed was third in the triple jump and sixth in the high jump. Jaydis Frazier (55 dash), Christian Huerta (400), and Boone (long jump) placed sixth.

Marmion The Cadets took fifth in the Chicago Catholic League and sixth at sectionals. Senior Ryan Anderson tied for ninth in Class 2A in the pole vault, and he is currently ranked third. Seniors Jonah Augustyn (high jump/relays), Brendan Blair (sprints), Nate Brandon (distance), Michael May (distance), Max Rowe (distance), Nolan Sayasane (pole vault), Grayson Stewart (distance), Robert Gramley (distance), John Murray (sprints/relays), Sanjay Vlk (distance), and Chris Yarwood (sprints/relays) are back. Juniors Patrick Fitzgerald, (hurdles, coming off ACL surgery), John Daffenberg (distance), Henry Mikrut (distance), Caleb Soulsby (sprints/relays), Chimaobi Oguike (throws) Matt Sullivan (distance), Vince Dorando (distance), Juan Liz (sprints/relays), and Rudy Reitmann (jumps/throws/sprints) are keys.

South Elgin The Storm took 11th place at the Batavia Class 3A sectional before taking third place at the UEC indoor meet. South Elgin got a first from junior Noah Callahan in the 400 and a first from De'Angelo McCullough in the triple jump. The team of Callahan, Josiah Lindsey, Gael Bibiano, and Brody Mills won the 4x400. Senior Ethan Zagore took second in the 200 as did McCullough in the long jump.

St. Charles East The Saints placed sixth at the Batavia Class 3A sectional before beginning the indoor season with a fifth-place finish at the DuKane Conference meet. Junior Greyson Ellensohn was the 1,600-meter champion while sophomore teammate Liam Tomagan tied for second at 200 meters. The 4x400 team of Peter VanLue, Leo Bolsoni, Mike Wilson, and Sam Wollack took third place.

St. Charles North The North Stars have a returning state qualifier back in junior Nathan McLoughlin, who recently pole vaulted 15-5 for second place at the Illinois Top Times meet. St. Charles North's team numbers are robust at 130-plus. Junior Dimitri Rosales (pole vault) and sophomore Cooper Kowalczyk (shot put) have already reached their state qualifying marks. Sprinters Ayodele Bateye, Robert Messina, and Walker Hornstrom (distance) all ran at state last year. Seniors Wil Lackner and Will Stone anchor a distance squad which won the indoor conference in the 4x800. Senior Keegan Hall went 20 feet in the long jump during the indoor season.

St Charles North's Nathan McLoughlin performs in the pole vault during DuKane Boys Indoor Track and Field Conference Championships. Mar 16, 2024 Gary E Duncan Sr./for Shaw Local News Network

Streamwood The Sabres had to compete at the rugged Class 3A Batavia sectional before they opened the indoor season by placing 10th at the UEC championships. Streamwood's young squad got sevenths from Gabriel Inorio in the 200, Alex Harrison in the 1,600, and Taro Ishikawa in the shot put.

West Aurora The Blackhawks have senior Sean Heetland back, who was a state qualifier in the 3,200 and placed 56th in Class 3A in cross country. Junior Azuriah Sylvester (110 hurdles) is a top-ranked triple jumper and he reached the state meet in the 4x200 last year. Junior Kewon Marshall (6 feet, 10.75 inches) is the top ranked Class 3A high jumper after the indoor season and he has been impressive in the long jump (21-6.5). Other returning state qualifiers for West Aurora are Sere Iranloye (4x200/300 hurdles), Ben Giesen (4x200), and Brodie Caragher (4x200). Junior Terrence Smith (6-5) is the 12th-ranked high jumper while Nathan Gehrmann is the squad's top middle-distance runner.

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