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Sports

Girls Track and Field: Previewing Benet, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Lemont and Westmont

The girls track season is on hold, but we’re still previewing area teams. Here are previews of Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Benet Lemont and Westmont. Note: # denotes a returning All-Stater.

BENET REDWINGS

Head coach: Scott Brooks

Athletes to watch: Juniors Meghan Andrews, Elisabeth Camic, Joy Jackson and Emily Spellman and freshmen Shirley Bai and Nicole Grimes

Outlook: The Class 3A Redwings are riding a 2A cross country state championship from last fall, but they must overcome the graduation of sprinting talent for a 13th East Suburban Catholic Conference title in 14 seasons after sharing last year's crown with Marist. At state cross country, Spellman (12th) and Andrews (14th) were all-state, Jackson (26th) was one place from all-state, and Camic was 56th. As freshmen, Spellman and Camic reached the 2018 state track finals with the 3,200 relay (11th, 9:29.56). Grimes and Bai show versatility in sprints, hurdles and field events.

DOWNERS GROVE NORTH TROJANS

Head coach: Matt Maletich

Returning 2019 3A state competitors: Seniors Carolyn-Paige Breit (pole vault#) and Celeste Bonga (400 relay, 800 relay), juniors Kenna Cinotte (triple jump#, 400 relay), Mia Bowers (400 relay, 800 relay), Erin Beatty (discus) and Lily Johnson (800 relay) and sophomores Elisabeth Mooney (800 relay) and Abby Streff (400 relay)  

Others to watch: Seniors Eva Bednard, Sophie Goray, Lauren Lucina and Torie Miller, junior Melissa Jachim and freshmen Ava Geiger, Maddie Casey, Maeve Courtney, Ava Geiger and Claire Pyne

Outlook: The Trojans return all of last season's state competitors and two record-setting all-staters. Cinotte, sixth in triple jump (38-2 1/2), went a lifetime-best and indoor school-record 38-4 1/2 Feb. 15. Breit, who shared sixth in pole vault (all-time school-record 11-3), broke her indoor school record with 11-0 Feb. 22. Beatty was 23rd in discus (114-2) after her lifetime-best 124-9 at sectionals. Pole vaulter Bowers, Bonga and Cinotte are veterans of sprint relays, which added Streff, Mooney and Johnson at state. From another state-qualifying cross country team comes Jachim (26th), one place from all-state, and promising freshmen.

DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH MUSTANGS

Head coaches: Doug Plunkett and Tess Johnson

Returning 2019 3A state competitors: Seniors Erin Reidy (800#, 3,200 relay#), Brenna Cohoon (3,200#), Ayshia Johnson (long jump, triple jump) and Kennedy Warden (1,600) and junior Becca Diddia (3,200 relay#)

Others to watch: Senior Kamile Dirzys, juniors Aamari Taylor and Josephine Brobby and sophomores Sophia McNerney, Renee Kowalski, Alex Spang and Kelsey Casella

Outlook: Former assistants Johnson and Plunkett are co-head coaches. At last year's state meet, Minnesota recruit Reidy was third in the 800 (2:14.13) and joined Diddia on the sixth-place 3,200 relay (9:20.27) after Reidy ran with the third-place 2018 lineup. Cohoon, an Iowa State commit, was fourth in the 3,200 (10:52.16) after seventh in 2018. Johnson was 15th in triple jump (36-6 1/2) behind seven seniors and 19th in long jump (17-2 3/4) and Belmont recruit Warden was 19th in the 1,600 (5:08.03). At state cross country last fall, the Mustangs were fifth. Reidy (sixth) achieved the program’s highest individual finish, Cohoon (14th) equaled a program-best three all-state medals, and Spang (53rd), Casella, McNerney, Warden and Diddia also competed.

LEMONT INDIANS

Head coach: Tim Plotka

Returning 2019 state qualifiers: Sophomore Kaylie Politza (800#) and senior Morgan Wrublik (shot put)

Others to watch: Seniors Marin Schiffman and Jenna Valenti, junior Jenny Martinez and sophomore Destiny Vargas

Outlook: Building off their 2019 breakthrough seasons, all-stater Politza (59.10 in 400) and Illinois State recruit Wrublik (41-9 3/4 in shot) achieved school records indoors March 6. At the 2019 state meet, Politza was an all-state ninth (2:15.96) after her school-record 2:13.48 in prelims. Last fall Politza became Lemont's first two-time all-stater in girls cross country by taking fifth in 2A after 12th in 2018. In shot, Wrublik was 14th at 2019 state (40-2), two inches from finals and three from her previous best, and she excels at triple and long jump. Other indoor highlights included newcomer Hunt’s 17-2 in long jump, high jumpers Schiffman and Valenti, respectively, clearing 5-1 and 4-9, Schiffman's 5:30 for the 1,600, and the 1,600 relay of Hunt, Martinez, Schiffman and Politza (4:19.72).

WESTMONT SENTINELS

Head coach: Steve Wolf

Returning 2019 1A state competitors: Junior Kelly Koopman (3,200 relay) and sophomores Mikayla Hickey (3,200 relay, 1,600 relay) and Nora Schlacks (3,200 relay)   

Others to watch: Senior Ashley Valtman, sophomores Lizzy Szynal and Raven Basit and freshman Cate McDaniels

Outlook: Koopman, Hickey and Schlacks return from the state-qualifying 3,200 relay (28th, 11:31.34) and Hickey from the state-qualifying 1,600 relay (30th, 4:37.63). The Sentinels suffered a key blow when junior Megan Thompson, a 2019 state qualifier in the 400 and with the 1,600 relay, was lost to injury. Sprinters Valtman and Basit, Szynal (distance) and McDaniels (hurdles) help the depth of a predominantly young roster with only 17 athletes.

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