Scouting DuPage and Fox girls track and field

  • Zawadi Brown competed in four events at state last year, helping Neuqua Valley take sixth as a team.

      Zawadi Brown competed in four events at state last year, helping Neuqua Valley take sixth as a team. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Marley Andelman is back after helping St. Charles East's 3,200 relay take fifth at the Class 3A state meet last year.

      Marley Andelman is back after helping St. Charles East's 3,200 relay take fifth at the Class 3A state meet last year. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/29/2023 8:16 AM

With a lot of different people contributing to the cause across the board in all events, Neuqua Valley was the top finishing DuPage County area team last year at state.

The Wildcats' girls track team finished in a sixth-place tie with Normal (27 points) as both squads nipped eighth-place Naperville North (26.5 points). The Wildcats also won a sectional title in 2022, and junior Zawadi Brown (state qualifier long jump, fifth at 400 meters, fifth at 200 meters, third in 4x100 relay) will be a great leader. Neuqua Valley coach Gretchen Parejko's squad also features state qualifiers Chioma Anyaegbunam (100/4x100), Tolu Aremu (4x100), and Carissa Hamilton (1,600/3,200).


Addison Trail had Brooke Greaves make it downstate in the 100-meter hurdles as a sophomore, and she should be prepared to head to state again this spring. Angelina Camachi (Elmhurst College) is one of many key seniors that Addison Trail lost to graduation. But in spite of the losses to the lineup, coach Anthony Beltrano is hoping for even better results as the upcoming season unfolds.

Benet Academy knows it will be in for a lot of tough tests this season in the ESCC. Senior Nicole Grimes (pole vault), sophomore Delilah Helenhouse (1,600), freshman Gabi Brown (60-meter run), and freshman Cameron Bruce are among the top athletes for the Redwings so far this season.

Fenton has a strong 4x400 relay team this spring led by Samantha Martens, Giselle Castillo, Diana Zima, and Jayla Spears. The Bison also have Martens running strong in the 400, Spears in the 55-meter dash, Cayden Lewis in the long jump, and Jolie Tracy doing well in the shot put.

Glenbard East will have a hard time replacing state qualifiers Keeli Dunaway (fifth in triple jump, Kent State), and Robin Lenoir (15th in triple jump) after the Rams won the UEC last year. Seniors Mackenzie Huber (400/800/high jump), and Maddie Michelon (100/200/relays) are key athletes for Glenbard East. Juniors Catey Carney (throws) and Breonna Ware (200/relays) are also top performers as is sophomore Emily Fisher (100/relays).

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Glenbard North has a really elite distance runner in Notre Dame-bound Grace Schager back to lead its team. Schager (Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year for women's cross country award winner) not only won the Class 3A cross country title last fall, but she is also the defending state champion at 3,200 meters. The Panthers will miss graduated Taylor Finke (state qualifier in long jump), and Iter Redento (all-conference in shot put). But they do have senior Brooklyn McQuillan (400) along with juniors Skyler Libel (long and triple jump) and Mia Voulamandis (sprints/relays) ready to compete. Sophomore Shay Morris (sprints/relays) is another key athlete for coach Eric Day.

Glenbard West got a state championship in the 1,600-meter run from Audrey Allman, who is now running for Vanderbilt University. The Hilltoppers have a lot of senior experience back in Jane Franz (long jump/sprints), Coach Kelly Hass' daughter Carlin Hass (all-state as a sophomore in 4x400), and Ellie Williamson (high jump). Junior Carina Cudzilo (all-state as a freshman in the 4x400) will jump and sprint again for Glenbard West while junior Elayna Boeh has made significant improvements in the 800 this year.

Glenbard South placed fourth at sectionals last year, and the Raiders have 100-meter hurdles state finalist Gianna Huerta (sixth in 2022) looking to earn a medal in 2023. Glenbard South will be counting on Allison Wallner (pole vault), Ella Zeman (long jump), Lorenza Foster-Simbulan (triple jump), and Diana Kalvelage (distance) to help carry the team scoring this season.

Lake Park will be without the services of Paulina Lucer (Western Illinois), and Martina Latoria (Illinois), who have moved on to compete at the next level. The Lancers will turn to seniors Karmen Kurowicka (high jump/100 high hurdles), Imani Ogunribido (100 meters), Julia Smith (shot put/discus), and Jade Benavides (1,600/3,200) to set the tone. Sophomores Eva Bach (pole vault), and Julia Kelly (triple jump/100 hurdles/long jump) should also be key contributors for coach Jay Ivory.


Lisle has grown its roster from 10 to 22 athletes this year with 18 freshmen or sophomores on the team. Senior Cassi Rosenberg took first place in the discus with a meet-record at the Wildcat Spring Invite. Sophomore Avery Collins has been very strong for Lisle in the sprints and long jump as is sophomore Isabella Furmanski in the sprints and high jump.

Metea Valley lost now graduated Sarah Maggio (Purdue), and Maria Lambert (Millikin) from its sixth-place sectional team. Senior Kelli Blissett leads the Mustangs in the high jump with great support from junior teammates Kyla Harris (all-state in 400), Anna Murphy (all-state in high jump), Maya Hall (800), Sydni Ellison-Muse (shot put), and Makayla Murrell (long jump).

Montini placed third in the GCAC indoor meet behind powers Loyola and St. Ignatius. The Lady Broncos got a first-place throw of 9.91 meters from senior Lily Townsend (shot put) at the GCAC meet while Camryn Amouzou placed third in the 60-meter dash. Montini's 4x400 team of Amouzou, Takeisha Berry, Ava Kehoskie, and Sofia Fisher have been impressive along with freshman Sydney Gertsen in the 3,200, and senior Katherine Gertsen in the triple jump.

Naperville Central is one of the few teams that didn't lose any elite seniors to graduation as the Redhawks won the DVC title last spring. Senior state qualifiers returning are Kait McHale (eighth in pole vault/long jump), Sopie Kusserow (200/400/relays), and Abby Wood (200/400/relays). Juniors Ava Hendren (1,600/3,200) and Brooke Sawatzky (jumps/hurdles/sprints) were also a state qualifiers while Liv Phillips (1,600/3,200) was the DVC cross country champion. Sophomores Lola Satre-Morales (400/800/relays) and Brooke Bilik (sprints/relays) also reached state. Other key contributors will be Addison George (800/relays), Abby Mogg (800/relays), Allison Roozeboom (throws), Liz Hayes (triple jump), and Adeline O'Neill (sprints/relays).

Naperville North had to say farewell to Madeline Andelbradt (all-state high jump, Iowa), Denise Hernandez (second in long Jump, Lewis University), Christina Gu (all-state in two relays), Ashley Kushner (all-state 4x200), and Jackie Liu (all-state 4x800) from its runner-up sectional squad. Now the Huskies will turn to Julie Pio (14th in 3,200), Lily Longenbaugh (all-state 4x200), Logan Brennan (3,200), Clara Longenbaugh (hurdles), and Maggie O'Neill (hurdles) to make a push for the state meet this spring.

St. Francis has some outstanding distance runners back led by seniors Alyssa Falco and Leann Ringsrud. The Spartans also have newcomers Siena Schwan, Ashley Spahn, Diya Khatau, Nella Ksiag, and Cony Martinez who have been performing very well at the middle distances. Junior Abbie Sheldon is strong in the throws while Laila Donato, Becca Heffron, Sophie Resendez, and Kasey Tai will lead a very young group of sprinters.

Waubonsie Valley has to go up against some real powerhouse teams in the DVC. Junior Nicole Demetris (triple jump), junior Daniella Russo (pole vault), and Taylor Ahmadian (long jump) are among the Warriors' top performers in the field events.

Wheaton Warrenville South has an outstanding distance runner in sophomore Nicole Poglitsch, who recently took runner-up honors at 3,200 meters in the DuKane Conference indoor championships. The Tigers also got a fifth in that meet from senior Payton Fleming in the 1,600 as Fleming was able to hold off Poglitsch in sixth place. WW South's 4x800 relay team was easily able to beat runner-up Batavia by almost eight seconds as the Tigers posted a winning time of 10:08.07.

Wheaton North will be without three state qualifiers with Reagan Schaffer (pole vault), Kaelin Leishman (2021 pole vault, Trinity College, TX), and Arwyn Gruenwald (2021 4x200, Messiah College, PA) now graduated. But the Falcons' incredible depth on pole vault will continue this spring as senior Ashley Huang (2021 4x200 state qualifier) will compete in pole vault, high jump, long jump, and triple jump after returning from ACL surgery during the 2022 season. Junior Riya Chaudhari (2021 4x200 state qualifier, 2022 200-meter state qualifier) will also compete in pole vault and triple jump for coach Anne-Marie Lemp.

Wheaton Academy has a strong leader in sophomore Madi Jenkins in the 100 and 200-meter runs. The Warriors also have Katie Morden and Annie Roth in the 400 while Rachel Nelson is their No. 1 runner in the 1,600. Wheaton Academy's 4x100 team of Roth, Jenkins, Victoria Powell, and Annie Stoner are impressive along with teammates Lorien Phinney (shot put), and Han Hoang (discus). Powell and Jenkins are also team leaders in the long jump.

Willowbrook placed third recently in the West Suburban Gold indoor meet behind Downers Grove South and Hinsdale South. The Warriors got a 1-2 finish from Olivia Gwaltney and Molly Morris in the 300 hurdles while Gwaltney has been strong in the 200 and 400 runs. Sophomore Amelie Ojeda has shined in the 800 and 1,600 while Willowbrook's 4x200 team of Morris, Brianna Alandy, Sarah Ball, and Naomi Campbell have been impressive. The Warriors' duo of Amelia Barrington and Sara Stout also went 1-2 in the high jump.

West Chicago placed third in the UEC last season and the Wildcats have a great leader back in junior Kali Waller, who is a two-time returning state medalist in the 200 (eighth both times). She also finished 10th in state in the 100 last spring. Junior Adeline Draper has shown much improvement during the indoor season, and she will likely be one of the top hurdlers in DuPage County. West Chicago's sprint relays could challenge state qualifying marks by the end of the season.

York will really miss Katelyn Winton (third in 4x800, 10th in 3,200), who is now running track and cross country at Indiana University. The Dukes have some fantastic seniors back, including Vanderbilt-bound Bria Bennis (state qualifier in 3,200), Kentucky-bound Brooke Berger (all-state 800, 4x800), Carnegie Mellon-bound Lily Beerhalter (distance), and Katelyn Pratt (state qualifier 4x200, 4x400). Juniors Katherine Klimek (all-state 4x800), Maggie Owens (all-state 4x800), Maggie Maston (state qualifier 4x200), and Elaine Paul (state Qualifier 4x200, 4x400) give Duke great experience this spring. The Dukes broke four school records: the 4x200 team of Paul, Morgan Navarre, Ariana Fraser, and Katelyn Pratt (1:45.77), Paul in the 200 (26.59), Paul in the 55 (7.37), and Navarre (41.78) in the 300 hurdles.


Bartlett lost an outstanding distance runner in Jenna Buchanan, who is now competing in cross country and the triathlon with the TCU Horned Frogs. The Hawks have some solid experience back in seniors Arissa Kramer (fifth in conference in 1,600), Sophia Dryden (sixth in shot put at sectionals), juniors Kristin Farabaugh (400), Naylanie Morales (400), and sophomore Elsie Nwabuego (discus).

Batavia lost not one, but two three-time all-staters to graduation in Katrina Schlenker (Liberty University), and Essie Newburn (UNC-Wilmington). Coming off of DuKane Conference and sectional titles, the Lady Bulldogs (12th in Class 3A) have an all-stater in senior Meghann Hartmann (high jump) back as well as junior all-stater's Izzy Taylor (sprints/relays), Mariah Wilson (sprints/relays), Skylar Sandoval (sprints/relays), and Madison Wilson (sprints/relays).

Burlington Central won a Class 2A sectional title and had a third-place finish in the FVC last year. The Rockets have many returning state qualifiers, including Paige Greenhagel (four events), Maddie Mucci (four events), Tiana Forman (shot put/discus), Tia Brennan (pole vault/400/4x400), Corryn Kester (three events), Kenzie Andersen (three relays), Mia Estrada (three relays), and Danica Weigel (pole vault/two relays). Abby Burke (distance), Keira Heindl (sprints), Sia Patel (sprints), and Teagan Cathcart (distance) will also help lead Central this season.

Cary-Grove placed third in the FVC last year, and the Trojans have senior state qualifiers Lindsey Kownick (100 high hurdles), and Annika Nordin (shot put) ready to make return trips downstate. Cary-Grove had success at the FVC indoor meet with its 1600-meter relay team of Juliana Ferrera, Katie Aniolkowski, Jocelyn Onstot and Sophie Vongsiri taking first place as did Kathryn Perkins in the high jump.

Crystal Lake South will really miss the leadership of Addie Frisch, who is now running at Western Kentucky University. But the Gators have two key state qualifiers returning in senior Bella Gonzalez (made state in 3,200, also runs 1,600), and junior Abby Machesky (state qualifier in 800, also runs 400). After Huntley placed fifth in the state last year, CLS will be trying to chase down the Red Raiders in the FVC race this spring.

Dundee-Crown has a solid group of seniors back, including Paulina Tinajero, who is coming off of a school record in the long jump last season. The Chargers have senior Perla Vargas as one of their top sprinters while senior teammates Kaylee Brodie and Lydia Anderson will be among D-C's top distance runners. Juniors Valerie Ortega (sprints), Grace Bourbon (hurdles/pole vault), Yvonne Castro (distance), Mya Lenz (distance), and Sarah Bernstein (hurdles/jumps) should also have a big impact.

Elgin is very young and learning the ins and outs of track according to coach Dave Borg. But the Maroons have some promising athletes ready to go in Emily James (four sprints), Esmerelda Farias (400), Meredith Henry (long jump), Emma Valdavia (hurdles), and Naomi Johnson, who is the first girls pole vaulter in school history. Distance runners Emma Grendys, Edna Godinez-Rodriguez, and Xenia Salas will be keys along with newcomers Alyssa Wysuph (throws/sprints), and Isabella Coleman (sprints).

Geneva lost 2022 state qualifier Angelina Romano (shot put) to graduation. But the Vikings have great senior leadership back in Kayla Eichstaedt (distance), Kyra Kopec (hurdles), Ava Kruse (sprints), and Mckenna Mertes (distance). Junior Annie Zimny (sprints), and sophomore Bridget Hecker (sprints/400) give Geneva coach Peter Raak a solid nucleus to rely on as Hecker was a sectional champ at 400 meters as a freshman.

Hampshire lost Naomi Jones (Elmhurst College) and two-event state qualifier Karolina Ryzka to graduation. But the Whip-Purs are really optimistic heading into the new campaign as they have senior state qualifier Grace Harris (4x200) back along with senior Lexi Kagel (throws). Juniors Ashley Herzing (state qualifier in 4x200), Ella Perrone (400), Hailey Caraway (high jump), and sophomore Hudson Szymonik (3,200) will all help bolster Hampshire's scoring this spring.

Huntley placed fifth in Class 3A behind Arizona State-bound senior Alexandria "Alex" Johnson winning both long jump and triple jump. Younger sister sophomore Dominique Johnson placed second in the triple jump as she was the No. 1-ranked freshman triple-jumper in the nation for the Red Raiders, who will miss the presence of three-event state qualifier Melissa Aninagyei-Bonsu (U of I). Sectional and FVC champion Huntley still has great depth as Vickey Evtimov (three relays), Sophie Amin (hurdles), Breanna Burak (3,200), Brittney Burak (1,600), and Ally Panzloff (discus) all return with state-meet experience for coach Jason Monson.

Jacobs is very optimistic that sophomore Bailey Schwartz (3,200) can continue to grow this season after Schwartz placed 46th at the state cross country meet. Schwartz won the 3,200-meter run recently at the FVC indoor meet in 11:57.20. The Golden Eagles will also rely on Addie Gorman (400/pole vault), and Natalia Maciorowski (distance) for scoring. Graduates Elizabeth Kania (Judson), Sarah Mars (Augustana), Danielle Pouska (UW-Whitewater), and Kelly Carpenter (Bradley) are now competing in college.

Larkin has Heather Durrant (state qualifier in the 1,600) returning in a limited capacity for the Royals for her senior season. Senior Hannah Durrant turned herself into a utility runner for Larkin after making a comeback from injury while teammate Breannah Burke was the conference runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles. Burke ran cross country last fall to prepare for the event this year. Senior Hailey Dunn will attempt to repeat as UEC shot put champ while sophomore Resa Davis shows great potential in the 100-meter hurdles.

Rosary will really miss the graduated trio of Lianna Surtz (University of Toledo, two-time Class 1A state cross country champion), Mary Dietz (Aurora University), and Eliana Malatt (Loras College). But the Royals still have a solid nucleus of competitors back in pole vaulter Libby Saloga (fourth in 2022), Olivia Kunio (two-time state qualifier in 800), Chiara Surtz (state qualifier in 1,600/3,200), and Vivian Wyller (state qualifier in 4x800). Rosary's Grace Loy (high jump), and Lily Caruso (long jump/triple jump) will also be key performers.

South Elgin will have to do without graduated state qualifiers Naomi Ruff, who is now competing as a triathlete at Arizona State University, and Loreal Wilson (competing at University of California-Berkeley). The Storm placed second in the UEC last year, and they have senior Olivia Stephens back in the hurdles. South Elgin's junior trio of Amaya Teague (long jump), Julia Prorok (high jump), and Gia Nitti (high jump) will be vital cogs along with sophomore Morgan McCloskey (pole vault).

St. Charles East placed second at sectionals last year before the Saints' 4x800 relay team earned medals with a fifth-place finish downstate. Junior Marley Andelman was a member of that relay team, and she is expected to be joined by senior teammates Morgan Sandlund, Lauren Lewison, and Claire Van Lue in their quest to bring home another medal from state. St. Charles East has even more experience to fall back on with seniors Eleanor Clark (4x800/1,600), and Brooklyn Walker (3,200) ready to contribute heavily.

St. Charles North got a fourth-place finish at the Class 3A state meet from Natalie Buratczuk (high jump), who is now competing at Eastern Michigan University. The North Stars will turn to senior Hannah Wallace for leadership as Wallace has pole-vaulted 11-feet, 6-inches during the indoor track season. Sophomore Tosin Oshin is a very promising young competitor for St. Charles North as she placed fourth in shot put at sectionals last season.

Streamwood is going to be facing a lot of tough competition this season in the Upstate Eight. The Sabres have a promising 4x800 relay team assembled with Sophia Baumert, Ashley Harrison, Jasmine Villarreal, and Angela Sinclair off to a good start this spring.

West Aurora lost 200-meter state qualifier Zoe Littlejohn (Loyola) to graduation, but University of Dubuque-bound senior Jasmine Angel is aiming for a return trip to the state meet in the discus. Sophomore Avery Littlejohn reached state last year in the 400 while the junior trio of Delilah Lott, Isabella Ovalle, and Roselynne Orrla are key cogs to the three sprint relays for the Blackhawks.

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