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.
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.
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).
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.