Girls track: Scouting the North Suburban Lake
Coach: Lance Pacernick
Key girls graduated: Oliva Allen (3rd in state in 100, 5th in state in 200), Nicole Trittschuh (state qualifier on relay), Erika Powers, Shannon Hughes, Megan Beigl (state qualifier on relay)
Key returnees: Sr. Julia Rossdeutcher (state qualifier in pole vault), Sr. Herel Hughes (state qualifier in 100 hurdles), Jr. Kelly Doheny (state qualifier on relay), Jr. Marissa Wagner (state qualifier on relay), Sr. Kaitlin Leopold (state qualifier on relay), Sr. Kelsey Iverhouse (middle distance), Jr. Amy Polhemus (300 hurdles, relays), So. Cassie Houghton (distance), Jr. Audrey Smith (distance), Jr. Kaeley Ferguson (triple jump), Jr. Bethany Staackmann (triple jump), Jr. Ashley Foote (sprints)
Key newcomers: Fr. Lindsey Moritz (sprints), Fr. Madeline Jordan (sprints), Fr. Teagan Hough (sprints), Fr. Angela Ufheil (middle distance), Fr. Maddie Gelinas (middle distance), Fr. Erin Ferguson (pole vault), So. Andrea Adams
Outlook: Four-year state-qualifier Olivia Allen has graduated and is playing basketball at Bradley University, but the Bears still have girls who can run and jump. For the first time, head coach Lance Pacernick has four assistants in former Lake Zurich star Carrie Dumich (Moffett), Suzanne Santiago and volunteer Sarah Kuchta. "We should be very competitive," Pacernick said. "We're a little bit smaller (65 girls, down from 80 last year), but I think we got a great team with some real balance in terms of youth and experience. We've never had five girls with state experience. And we have some real quality freshman sprinters."
Coach: Tom Bizosky
Key girls graduated: Hannah Reilly (University of Illinois-Chicago, state qualifier in 3,200), Kelly Jaffke (state qualifier on relay), Anne Strychalski (Miami University, state qualifier on relay), Alyssa Corrigan (state qualifier in 300 hurdles, relay), Cally Turner, Kate Tunnicliff (tie for 10th at state in pole vault), Katherine Filippo (Illinois Wesleyan, state qualifier on relay)
Key returnees: Marissa Hollingsworth (sprints), Bridget Loucks (sprints), Sam Zoellick (sprints), Jenn Angster (sprints); Erika Danckers (distance), Erin Jaffke (distance), Sarah Farish (distance), Kylie Jones (throws), Jackie Hansen (pole vault), Taylor Primrose (jumps)
Key newcomers: Nicole Jaffke (distance), Megan Janezic (distance), Carly Stewart (distance), Megan Becker (sprints), Hannah Liberman (sprints), Molly Shanahan (sprints), Ginger Yen (sprints), Haley Becker (field events), Molly Moon (field events), Julia Smagacz (field events)
Season outlook: Coach Tom Bizosky likes his Wildcats' progress early on. "So far, things are progressing very nicely," he said. "We've had a couple of meets that have helped us prepare very well for the season, and our times and marks are looking to be about on par, if not better than last year at this time. We have seen a preview of some of the competition we will be coming up against in the next few weeks and know that they will be very formidable, so as always, we are staying very focused and diligent as to the goals that we want to accomplish for the season. We never underestimate anyone or anything. This group of 100-plus athletes has simply been wonderful so far this season. It's a real pleasure to be coaching this very hardworking and unified team."
Coach: John Osmanski
Key girls graduated: Crimea Baker (all-state triple jump), Jeanne Herry (state qualifier on 1,600 relay), LaTaja Delaney-Bland (state qualifier on 1,600 relay) Sr. Stephanie Emery (state qualifier in 800 and 1,600 relay, playing soccer)
Key returnees: Jr. Lauren Ozimek (state qualifier in high jump), Jr. Megan Geldernick (state qualifier on 1,600 relay, hurdles, sprints), Sr. Jade Cox (state qualifier on 1,600 relay, sprints)
Key newcomers: Fr. Lauren Anderson (distance), Fr. Marisa Perreault (distance), Fr. Claire Naughton (distance), Sr. Kelsey Moon (middle distance), Jr. Lauren Skaathun (sprints/middle distance), Fr. Stephanie Johnson (distance), Fr. Emily Zagula (distance), Fr. Morgan Lohr (distance)
Outlook: The Mustangs graduated some key athletes who had a lot of state-meet experience. "We do have a nice young group of girls running mid-distance to distance events, and it is just a matter of time for us to figure out where they are going to contribute on the varsity level," coach John Osmanski said. "Megan Geldernich is off to a great start in the hurdle events and she should be a lot of fun to watch throughout the year. Team-wise, we are still trying to figure out where to plug everyone in to maximize our points on the varsity level. As always, we look to compete well in the conference meet and qualify as many people down to state as possible with some of these individuals or relays returning home with some medals."
Coach: Don Proft
Key girls graduated: Brittney Geschidle, Inge Karesovica, Chrissy Pacewicz, Kim Tarnoff
Key returnees: Anna Franke, Nia Johnson, Rachel Krakauer, Tessa Lancaster, Christina Pritchett, Celina Romano, Rachel Redmond (state qualifier in shot put)
Key Newcomers: Gabby Ehrens, Shannon Legge, Mackenzie Levy, Alexa Nootbaar-Vogt, Samantha Tarnoff, Jenna Weiner
Season Outlook: Led by two wins apiece from sprinter Christina Pritchett and thrower Rachel Redmond, the Patriots got started this week with a 73-59 win over Vernon Hills. There's optimism for the season. "Our coaching staff is very excited about this squad," coach Don Proft said. "We have a solid core of returning athletes as well as an outstanding group of freshmen that we can count on at the varsity level in a wide variety of events. Our first goal is to finish in the upper tier of teams at the conference meet and then qualify several athletes to the state meet."
Coach: Ryan Dunn
Key girls graduated: Heather Olson (Rice University, 4th in state in 1,600, state champ on 3,200 relay), Sarahbeth Jones (Augustana College, state qualifier in 800, state champ on 3,200 relay), DeNitra Brown (state qualifier on relay), Krystal Jones, Sr. Natalia Jovanovic (state champ on 3,200 relay, playing soccer)
Key returnees: Sr. JonTaye Bonds (7th in state in 200, 11th in long jump, state champ on 1,600 relay), Sr. Aleshia Prince, So. Jada Keys (state qualifier on relay), Sr. Lisa Burns (state qualifier on relay), Jr. Gabby Nystrom (state qualifier in 800, state champ on 3,200 relay), Julie Wiemerslage, Amber Cook, Stephanie Horejs, So. Jessica Prince
Key newcomers: Meg Tully, Alyssa Phillips
Season outlook: The defending North Suburban Conference champs look loaded again. Buoyed by their state-champion 3,200 relay, the Blue Devils tied for 13th at state last year. "The combination of some key returnees and some promising newcomers should make for an exciting season," coach Ryan Dunn said. "If the girls keep working hard at practice and stay healthy, our hope is to be one of the stronger teams in the conference."