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Girls cross country preview: Hilltoppers to be in hunt for state title

Madeline Perez set a new state record while winning the cross country state title last fall. She hopes repeat the feat this season.
Photo by Colleen Luczak
Madeline Perez set a new state record while winning the cross country state title last fall. She hopes repeat the feat this season. Photo by Colleen Luczak

High expectations abound for both Glenbard South and Glenbard West, with the Raiders returning virtually everybody from last year’s fourth-place state team and the Hilltoppers featuring three of the top runners in the state.

Glenbard South Raiders

Conference: Metro Suburban

Head coach: Brian Webb

2012 results: 1st in MSC, 3rd in regional, 2nd in sectional, 4th in Class 2A

Top runners:

Caroline Arlasky, jr.

Becca Everhart, jr.

Diane Lipa, so.

Elizabeth Niedert, sr.

Bailey Reese, sr.

Jayme Schlenker, jr.

Becca Sippel, jr.

Outlook: Expectations are sky-high for a Raiders’ team that returns six of their top seven from a group that placed fourth (tied for third but fell a spot and were denied a trophy via the tiebreaker) in Class 2A.

Pacing the squad is Diane Lipa, who broke into the top-10 individually as a sophomore.

Also back is Jayme Schlenker (23rd), Becca Sippel (27th), Caroline Arlasky (90th), Bailey Reese (111th) and Elizabeth Niedert (131st).

Glenbard West


Conference: West Suburban Silver

Head coach: Paul Hass

2012 results: 1st in WSS, 2nd in regional, 1st in sectional, 3rd in Class 3A

Top runners:

Lindsay Graham, so.

Lisa Luczak, jr.

Megan Ozog, jr.

Madeline Perez, sr.

Grace Rogers, so.

Christina Sedall, jr.

Outlook: Madeline Perez’s attempt to break her own state-record time while defending her individual title is far from the only storyline this fall for the Hilltoppers.

With the return of fellow standout Lisa Luczak (6th in Class 3A) and the addition of Lindsay Graham, who transferred in from Glenbard East, Glenbard West has the look of a possible state champion team.

Also back in the fold is Grace Rogers (59th) and Christina Sedall (78th) for a team that brought home a third-place trophy in 2012, the program’s first hardware since 1980.

“Knowing what it takes to compete at a high level is invaluable, and this group we have this year will certainly attempt to build upon last year’s success and are ready to embrace the challenge,” coach Paul Hass said.

St. Francis Spartans

Conference: Suburban Christian

Head coach: Scott Nelson

2012 results: 4th in regional, 5th in sectional

Top runners:

Kate Beck, fr.

Tessa McKenna, sr.

Meghan McShea, sr.

Kate Martin, jr.

Katie Vilimek, so.

Outlook: The Spartans return four runners from the group of seven which competed at the Wheaton Academy Class 2A sectional last fall.

Meghan McShea leads the way while Kate Martin, Tessa McKenna and Katie Vilimek also return with experience.

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