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Boys track and field preview: What does Glenbard South have for an encore?

Glenbard South

Coach: Ronald Claussen

Top returners:

Erik Greenwell, sr. (mid. distance, distance)

Sean Henderson, sr. (jumps, sprints)

Matt Loos, sr. (throws)

Jeremiah Ratliff, sr. (hurdles)

Jarius Shannon, sr. (sprints)

Brandon Blankenship, jr. (jumps)

Joe Singleton, jr. (distance)

John Wold, jr. (distance)

What to watch: The Raiders are coming off a runner-up Class 2A finish in the final season with coach Andy Preuss at the helm.

Ron Claussen takes over a program team that, while hit hard by graduation, still returns a ton of talent.

Gone is 300-meter state champ Elven Walker and top-five placers Nick Boesso (shot put) and Wesley Sanders (100).

On the other hand, Sean Henderson and Jarius Shannon return from the state-champion 4 x 200 relay team, Shannon was also a member of the third-place 4 x 100 relay, and Joe Singleton and John Wold made up half of the third-place 4 x 800 relay. Singleton and Wold were also sectional champions in the 3,200 and 800, respectively.

“We should compete for the conference title,” Claussen said, “and be very competitive in our sectional. We have some returning state medalists in the distance and sprint groups and are looking to qualify again in those events for the state meet.

“We have an experienced group of juniors and seniors who should be able to contribute this year as we continue to add to our success.”

Glenbard West

Coach: Jon Schweighardt

Top returners:

Nate Hokenson, sr. (sprints, relays)

Paul Selman, jr. (relays)

Devonte Dillon, jr. (mid. distance, relays)

Nate Hall, sr. (mid. distance, relays)

Will Lindstrom, sr. (distance)

Alec Larsen, sr. (distance)

Brandon Bonifer, sr. (distance, relays)

What to watch: Last spring, the Hilltoppers qualified three out of four relays for the state meet, along with individual Mike Lederhouse, who has since graduated.

This time around, the squad has aspirations of possibly advancing all four relays to Eastern Illinois University.

“We qualified the 4 x 100, 200 and 400 relays last year,” said Glenbard West coach Jon Schweighardt, “and we are hoping to get those relays down state again. Our 4 x 800 will be close to qualifying and we missed last year by one second.

“Individually we hope to qualify a few individual sprinters in the open 400. We are working hard as a team and improving every day so that we can be a factor in the conference meet in May.”

Glenbard West finished sixth at the indoor conference meet with 39 points. Dillon was the lone individual champion with a first-place showing in the 400. The 4 x 400 relay was the runner-up while the 4 x 200 came in third.

St. Francis

Coach: Scott Nelson

Top returners:

Andrew Hallet, jr. (mid. distance)

Matt Lorish, jr. (mid. distance)

What to watch: The Spartans, who were scheduled to kick off their season on Tuesday with a dual meet against Plano, will head to their first invite of the spring Saturday at Aurora Central Catholic. Other events include the Lisle Mega Meet on April 6, the Matt Wulf Invitational at Yorkville on April 12 and the Walther Lutheran Invite on April 20. St. Francis did not qualify anybody for the Class 2A state meet last year.

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