Athletes to watch: Taylor Adams, So., 1,600; Joanna Banasiak, Jr., shot put; Mary Rose Gionatti, Sr., 400; Megan Gliva, Jr., 100.
Outlook: There’s balance on the LadyCats, with Megan Gliva’s potential in the 100 meters joining Taylor Adams’ efforts in the 1,600 and Joanna Banasiak’s work in the shot put. At 34 feet, 5 inches, Banasiak’s already ahead of her best distance last year, impressive given the lack of facilities at Beecher.
Athletes to watch: Ivory Cassell, Sr., 100, long jump, triple jump; Angelique Hamilton, Jr., 200, 400, 800; Gina Narcisi, Sr., 1,600, 3,200; Sullibet Rameriez, Jr., 800, 1,600; Jazzmin Ruiz, Sr., 400; Brittany Thomas, Sr., 100, 200.
Outlook: Andrew Schmitt moves from the boys team to take over for the retired Huey Johnson, and inherits a strong squad led by sprinter-jumper Ivory Cassell and distance runner Gina Narcisi. “Our strength will be our depth, with many talented athletes,” Schmitt said. Cassell made it downstate in the triple jump and anchored a state-qualifying 400 relay team that included Thomas. Narcisi’s been a threat in the distances for two years.
Athletes to watch: Latris Daniels, Sr., 400, triple jump; Kamryn Daniels, So., triple jump; Simone Fears, Sr., 100; Tineja Foy, Jr., 400, hurdles; Tatyana Henderson, So., 200; Chastity Powell, Sr., 800.
Outlook: Hurdle wizard Foy is the class of the Warriors, with state potential in both hurdle races. She made it to Charleston in the 300 last year and was part of Crete’s state-qualifying 1,600 relay squad, as was Latris Daniels and Chastity Powell. That group was 1.4 seconds short of a finals berth last year.
Athletes to watch: Antoinette Broughton, Jr., 100, 200, 400; Aliyah Mickens, Fr., 100, 200, 400, long jump; Christin Salley, Jr., 100, 200, 400, 300 hurdles, long jump, triple jump; Jayla Stewart, Jr., 100, 200, hurdles; Rachel Wilson, Jr., shot put, discus; Amari Windom, Fr., 100, 200, hurdles.
Outlook: Starting with Jayla Stewart, in the state top 10 in both the indoor 55 and 200, coach Rob Assise has a crew that could impress. The 800 relay ranks 37th in the country indoors. His biggest problem may be in putting the right runner at the right distance. Only the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 don’t have contenders.
Athletes to watch: Alexa Beezhold, Sr., 800, 3,200 relay; Kassandra Burgett, Jr., sprints; Lauren Carlson, Jr., shot put; Christy DeBoer, Sr., sprints; Nia Fuller, Fr., sprinter, long jump; Diane Kamp, 300 hurdles, high jump; Gabby Kreykes, Fr., distance, shot put; Monica Smits, Sr., 800, 3,200 relay; Rachel Smits, Jr., 3,200.
Outlook: It’s a new look for the Vikings, especially in field events. Illiana’s middle distance crew, led by Beezhold and buttressed by freshman Kreykes, should be formidable. Kreykes also competes in the shot put. The Smits sisters will cover middle and long distances. Coach Deb Top may be experimenting with the lineup until the Chicago Christian Invitational on May 9.
Athletes to watch: Gabrielle Cooper, So., long jump, triple jump; Kyndal Fletcher, Fr., high jump; Olivia Kocol, Fr., 200, 400; Mee Shondra Roddy, Fr., 400; Taylor Walker, Sr., 100, relays, hurdles.
Outlook: Taylor Walker is the lone Spartan with experience and speed, giving her a chance to get to state in hurdles. Otherwise, La Von Burks has a kiddie corps, led by sophomore Gabrielle Cooper, to develop. Nia Oliver was expected to threaten in the 100 and relays but decided not to compete this season.
Athletes to watch: Deja Parker, Sr., 200, 400; Kyla Mays, Sr., 100, 400, relays; Mariah Woods, So., 100, relays.
Outlook: Small in number, the Sting has a pair of senior stalwarts in Mays and Parker and a surprise sophomore in Woods, who made it to the final in the Bloom indoor meet. Seton traditionally is at its best by sectional time.
Athletes to watch: Mya Garrett, So., high jumper; Tatayana Groom, Sr., hurdles; Quishanna Johnson-White, Sr., 400; Rayven Wise, Sr., triple jump; Destiny Wesley, Jr., 100, 200.
Outlook: Tashanna Gillenwater-Catron has some senior leaders despite having a young team overall, including hurdler Groom, whose 9.30 clocking in the indoor 55 at Bloom moved her into the top 50 in the state. Depth was lost when relay and hurdles standout Pedra Hicks moved to Arizona.
Athletes to watch: Dasia Blackmon, Sr., 200; Charlene Horton, So., 200; Emain James, So., long jump, triple jump.
Outlook: Coach Omari Garrett can’t wait for outdoor season to see the team’s strengths. Said Garrett, “We have good pieces at every event, but we are such a young team this year I’m still in developmental mode.” Blackmon (1:05.2 in the 400 and 27.7 in the 200) is the likely leader, while jumper James and sprinter Horton should blossom.
Athletes to watch: Amber Bell, Sr., 100, 400 relay, triple jump; Alexis Greenhill, Sr., high jump; Celestine Keys, Sr., shot put, discus; Lily Leopardo, So., 800, 3,200 relay; Jessica Maracich, Sr., shot put; Kierston Parks, So., high jump.
Outlook: Keys will lead the field crew in both shot put and discus, with Kierston Parks contending in the high jump and Amber Bell taking part in the triple jump. What the Rebels haven’t shown so far is speed. That may change once they can get on the track, where Leopardo could surprise.
Athletes to watch: Frodine Adams, Sr., 100, 200; Brianna Anthony, Soph., hurdles, relays; Shavonne Faust, Sr., 100; Yashena James, Jr., shot put; Laurice McNeal, So., 100, relays; Dreemmalyn Smith, Sr., 200, 800 relay; Mitzi Terry, Sr., long jump; Keyanna White, Sr., relays.
Outlook: Thornton boasts plenty of potential, from senior sprinters Smith and Adams to sophomore hurdler Anthony. What the Wildcats don’t have yet is a state finals threat, but coach Vince McAuliffe usually develops more than one by May.
Athletes to watch: Kayla Allen, Jr., 100, 200; Janaia Carter, Jr., hurdles, long jump; Krysta Dean, Sr., 400; Mariyam Faniyi, Jr., hurdles; Brieana Holmes, Sr., high jump, long jump, triple jump; Kenda Pryor, Jr., pole vault; Misty Rogers, Jr., 400, 800, triple jump; Kameesha Smith, Fr., 400, high jump, long jump, triple jump; Janeah Stewart, Sr., shot put, discus; Deandra Stokes, Jr., 800, 1,600; Janez Winston, Jr., shot put, discus.
Outlook: Roy White’s team features a plethora of jumpers led by Holmes, a pole vault specialist in Kenda Pryor plus shot putter Janeah Stewart, who was seventh in last year’s Class 3A final. Oh, and the Thunderbirds can run, too, with Kayla Allen the top sprinter, Deandra Stokes leading the distance brigade, and freshman Kameesha Smith the secret weapon. “We may not be state caliber, but we will be a good invitational team,” coach Roy White said.
NOTE: Washington did not provide information for the preview.
-- Compiled by Times Correspondent Tim Cronin