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Girls outdoor track previews: York, IC, TC off and running toward state finals

York's Emily Simo competes in a meet last season. Simo returns this season as a top sprinter and a part of the Dukes' relays.
York's Emily Simo competes in a meet last season. Simo returns this season as a top sprinter and a part of the Dukes' relays.

The outdoor track season is just getting underway as Saturday marked the first day of big outdoor invites for area teams. The season is just starting but the girls state meets are less than six weeks away (May 22 to 24). Here’s a look at what to expect over those next six weeks for area girls track and field teams.

IC Catholic Knights

Coach: Bob Cronin

Top athletes:

Maddie Aspan jr. sprints

Mikko Eguia so. middle distance

Rachel Hill sr. sprints

Cara Horan sr. sprints

Outlook: Three-quarters of the 4x100 and 4x200 relays that qualified for state in Class 1A are back for the Knights.

Junior Maddie Aspan and seniors Rachel Hill and Cara Horan give IC a reasonable expectation to get back to Charleston in both relays. Aspan also figures to be able to score in the 100 and 200 individually.

Sophomore Mikko Eguia had a strong freshman season, primarily running the 800, and will be back for more this spring.

Timothy Christian Trojans

Coach: Kevin Hackert

Top athletes:

Hannah Bosman so.

Abby Dykema sr.

Heidi Hunter jr.

Christie Mittlestaedt sr.

Outlook: All four runners from the Trojans’ state-qualifying 4x800-meter relay team from last year are back. Abby Dykema, Heidi Hunter, Hannah Bosman and Christie Mittlestaedt give Timothy Christian a high-level relay that could contend for an all-state finish.

“I expect they will again make a large impact at conference and sectionals,” coach Kevin Hackert said. “We are also hoping to see a repeat performance at state in the 4x800 and a few individual events from these four.”

The team’s top two sprinters, Lindsey Grilli and Elena Bulthuis, are injured after coming to the team from other sports. Hackert is still hopeful the duo can make a comeback.

A strong group of freshmen joins the team, including Olivia Hoekstra, Zoe Stanton, Jaszmine Simmons and Alyse Schnurr.

“We are pushing to be in the top three again this year at our conference meet,” Hackert said.

York Dukes

Coach: Annette Schulte

Top athletes:

Shante Dansby jr. sprints

Sammy Harrell sr. throws

Dayle Mueller sr. distance

Amy Nosek sr. high jump

Emily Simo sr. sprints

Hannah Wahlgren jr. middle distance

Abby Waltz jr. pole vault

Outlook: The Dukes return three-quarters of the 4x200-meter relay that took seventh in Class 3A last season.

Senior Emily Simo and juniors Josephine Jelinek and Shante Dansby will be hoping to take the relay higher on the podium this year. Simo also looks to be a top runner in the 400 and Dansby can contend in the 100 and 200 dashes.

That trio are the only state returners for the Dukes. Junior Abby Waltz (pole vault) and senior Sammy Harrell (shot put) won indoor conference titles. Waltz was also York’s only winner at the Homewood-Flossmoor Invitational on Saturday.

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