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Girls track and field previews: Lyons returns several state qualifiers

Morton, RB, Fenwick also prep for outdoor season

Lexy Rudofski returns for Lyons Township after competing in the 3,200-meter run at state last spring. 
File photo by Bill Ackerman —
Lexy Rudofski returns for Lyons Township after competing in the 3,200-meter run at state last spring. File photo by Bill Ackerman —

Lyons Township

Coach: Greg Frandsen

Top returners:

Madeline Bernstein so. 800

Emma Haugen so. jumps, hurdles

Makayla Hubbard sr. throws

Sarah Kreikemeier sr. sprints

Laura Krivicich sr. throws

Lexy Rudofski jr. distance

What to watch:

After sending 17 entries to the state meet and placing in the top 20 of the team standings, the Lions have a tough act to follow this year. But much of the talent is back.

Sophomore Emma Haugen was the high jump state champion as a freshman. She qualified in all three jumps and the 100-meter high hurdles. She will score plenty of points for the Lions again this year.

Five other state returners are back, not to mention three out of the four runners that competed in the 4 x 800 state finals. Senior Randie Speir and juniors Kate Heinz and Amy Bazzoni will hope to improve enough to replace the loss of all-stater Lisa Gordon.

Sarah Kreikemeier is another athlete to watch. The senior qualified in the 100 last year and won the 400 at the West Suburban Silver indoor meet to show her range as a sprinter.


Chris Tompkins

Top athletes:

Destiny Castaneda jr. hurdles

Sierra Downey sr. distance

Ashley Graham so. high jump

Rocio Hernandez jr. pole vault

Lesley Lopez jr. distance

Lily Mendez jr. shot put

Sara Sanchez jr. distance

What to watch:

The Mustangs have a strong distance team led by senior Sierra Downey (3,200 and 1,600). Lesley Lopez (800, 1,600) and Sara Sanchez (800) also medaled at the indoor conference meet.

Junior Rocio Hernandez won indoor conference in the pole vault, and junior Lily Mendez is already close to a state-qualifying distance in the shot put.

Morton has a talented group of younger athletes that helped the Mustangs finish second at indoor conference at the frosh/soph level.

"We are working to move those girls up to varsity so we may improve our fourth-place varsity indoor conference finish at the outdoor meet," said coach Chris Tompkins. "We should qualify multiple athletes for the state meet this year."

Riverside Brookfield

Coach: Bob Bensfield

Top returners:

Clare Bollnow jr. distance

Janae Dabney so. long jump, sprints

Jackie LaBelle so. pole vault, sprints

Danielle Witken sr. sprints, long jump

What to watch:

The young Bulldogs have just three seniors and five juniors on the roster and struggled at the Metro Suburban Conference indoor meet, placing seventh out of seven teams.

The future may be looking up though as RB has more numbers at the lower levels.

Among the younger athletes, Janae Dabney and Jackie LaBelle should contribute while senior Danielle Witken was one of the top athletes last year.

Clare Bollnow was the Bulldogs’ top cross country runner in the fall. Bollnow won a regional title and qualified for state.


Coach: Dale Heidloff

Top returners:

Megan Cahill sr. 800

Briana Daley jr. distance

Sarah Pezza sr. sprints

Olivia Ryan so. distance

Becky Steinmeyer sr. distance

What to watch:

The Friars will again be strong in the distance runs. Olivia Ryan and Briana Daley both placed in the top 10 at the 3,200 and qualified in the 1,600 at state last year.

Freshman Grace Cronin is in line for a strong debut after a fifth-place showing in the 400 at the Mt. Assisi Fast Times Invitational on March 23. Cronin even outpaced returning state-qualifier Sarah Pezza.

St. Joseph

Coach: Kristin Kalal

Top returners:

Taylor Hesslau sr. hurdles

Melissa Hollingshed sr. long jump, sprints

Shaya Minter sr. sprints

What to watch:

The Lady Chargers held their own at the GCAC indoor meet, placing seventh out of 11 teams against mostly larger schools.

Melissa Hollingshed was second in the long jump and contributed to relays as well. Hollingshead, along with fellow seniors Taylor Hesslau and Shaya Minter, will be state hopefuls.

Proviso West

Coach: Mike Brazier

Top returners:

Emani Johnson jr. sprints, long jump

Jabria Stainback sr. jumps, sprints

What to watch:

Emani Johnson and Jabria Stainback both return from the Panthers’ 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays that made it to state.

Stainback also qualified in the triple jump, but she also has a shot to make it in the high jump this spring. She won the West Suburban Silver indoor title in the triple jump and was second to defending state champ Emma Haugen of Lyons Township in the high jump.

Johnson claimed indoor conference titles in the 55, 200 and the long jump.

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