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Prep roundup: Area athletes take first steps toward state meet

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.

Addison Trail Blazers

Coach: Dave Pytko

Top athletes:

Lynette Banuelos so. sprints, triple jump

Lauren Kroll fr. sprints, hurdles

Kim Schonder jr. hurdles, relays

Kaleen Smith sr. sprints, triple jump

Yulisa Vivero sr. sprints

Outlook: As far as coach Dave Pytko could find in the historical records going back to 1980, Addison Trail has never had a runner qualify for state. That might be about to change.

Freshman Lauren Kroll burst onto the scene at the West Suburban Gold indoor meet and won three events at the frosh/soph level. In two of those, the 55-meter dash and the 200 dash, she would have won on the varsity level as well.

“Everybody is buzzing about her,” Pytko said. “It’s incredible to hear the feedback about her. Her junior high coaches cannot believe the times she is at. There’s nobody faster in the sectional right now in the 200.”

Early on, Kroll is hovering around the state qualifying time in the 200. This weekend, she will run the 100 for the first time this season and is one second off of state qualifying time in the hurdles.

Senior Kaleen Smith has a chance to qualify in the 100 and the triple jump. Senior Yulisa Vivero and sophomore Lynette Banuelos will join to give AT sprint relay teams that also have the goal of making state. Both the 4x100 and 4x200 relays won at the Willowbrook Invite on Saturday.

“I don’t think Addison has had runners qualify for state,” Pytko said. “We’re going to try and break that trend and send somebody down. If we’ve had runners it’s been a long time.”

Glenbard East Rams

Coach: Joe Latala

Top athletes:

Anitra Davis sr. sprints

Stephany Flores sr. sprints, long jump

Allison Hansen jr. distance

Kelly Heniff jr. distance

Corinthia Jordan sr. sprints

Angela Kerndl jr. hurdles, jumps

Anaiyeh Smith sr. sprints

Outlook: The Rams have four senior sprinters that will carry strong relay teams.

In the first outdoor meet of the season, an eight-team invite at St. Charles North on Saturday, the Rams won the 4x100-meter relay and were second in the 4x200 and 4x400. Anitra Davis, Stephany Flores, Corinthia Jordan and Anaiyeh Smith each will be key in those relays.

The other Rams’ winner at that meet was junior Angela Kerndl in the high jump. Kerndl is the team’s only returning state qualifier after making it in the 100 hurdles last year.

“The goal for us is to finish in the top half of the DuPage Valley Conference in our last year here before heading to the Upstate Eight Conference next year,” coach Joe Latala said.

Beyond the seniors, the Rams have some good youth as well. East’s junior varsity team won the St. Charles North Invite.

Montini Broncos

Coach: Pete Connelly

Top athletes:

Cynthia Almazan jr. 400, 800

Brittany Fisher sr. middle distance, high jump

Maggie Hallerud sr. 1,600, 3,200

Madeline Jamrozek jr. middle distance, sprints, long jump

Emma Makowski so. 400 & 800

Kelly McNamara jr. hurdles, sprints, long jump

Gianna Salzbrunn so. middle distance, sprints, hurdles, long jump

Outlook: The Broncos’ 4x800-meter relay has placed second in Class 2A each of the past two seasons.

Current senior Brittany Fisher was a part of both of those relays and junior Maddy Jamrozek was on last year’s team.

“After finishing second in the 3,200 relay at state the last two years, we’d like to move up a notch this year,” coach Pete Connelly said.

Jamrozek was 10th in the 400 at the Top Times indoor meet, which is as close to an indoor state meet as there is. Maggie Hallerud was 10th in the 1,600.

Sophomore Gianna Salzbrunn is the team’s other state returner after taking 14th in the 300 low hurdles as a freshman.

Willowbrook Warriors

Coach: Clyde Ware

Top athletes:

Taylor Burton sr. 200 & 400

Kayla Denwood jr. 800

Stefania Enescu jr. hurdles

Shannon Jones so. distance

Molly Krawczykowski sr. middle distance

Jada Stills sr. throws

Outlook: Northern Illinois recruit Molly Krawczykowski is Willowbrook’s top athlete. The senior was all-state in the 800-meter run as a junior and won the indoor conference title in that race.

Taylor Burton, who won the 300 dash at the indoor conference meet, was a state qualifier in the 400 last year.

Burton and Krawczykowski will also help in the Warriors’ relays. The 4x400 relay especially should score points regularly this spring.

Jada Stills was another indoor conference champ on shot put and has a chance to qualify for state.

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