Coach: Jeramey Wittenauer (6th year)
Key returners: Seniors – Trenton Ely (sprints), Louie Ohlendorf (hurdles), Zach Piper (distance), Aaron Shaw (distance), Travis Westenfelt (sprints); Juniors – Ben Hosto (distance), Skylar Wheeler (distance); Sophomores – Jeffery DeLong (sprints), Liam Ohlendorf (sprints), Sam Owens (sprints)
Key newcomers: Cooper Nelson (sprints, hurdles)
Key losses: Derek Henkel (sprints), Spencer Johnson (sprints), Colton Shaw (distance)
Outlook: Johnson is playing baseball his senior year, which Wittenauer saw coming. But as one star running back leaves, another returns. Cooper Nelson ran for the Galena co-op last season, and will spearhead a talented gang of Clipper sprinters. DeLong and Owens are experienced and lead 20 underclassmen, meaning a nice mix of experience, talent and youth.
Coach: Shea Carpenter (2nd year)
Key returners: Senior – Lane Meurer (sprints); Junior – Mike Gendusa (sprints); Sophomore – Riley Stephens (mid-distance)
Key newcomers: Junior – Mike Finn (sprints); Sophomore – Trevor Ramsey (mid-distance); Freshman – Glen Mundell (mid- to long-distance)
Key losses: Derrick Larson (throws, distance)
Outlook: In just the program's second varsity season, Carpenter has some balance in the running events, but the glaring lack of numbers will put an emphasis on winning the individual battles, as opposed to going out and expecting to win meets. Carpenter wants his athletes to enjoy the experience and develop a passion for running.
Bureau Valley Storm
Coach: Nick Hartz (4th year)
Key returners: Logan Hoffert (jumps, hurdles, relays), Kristian Konneck (sprints); Juniors – Kane Eastwood (distance), Colton Peterson (distance), Tucker Schoff (sprints), Andrew Smith (distance), Ryan Taylor (distance), Daniel Trone (sprints); Sophomore – Parker Neuhalfen (sprints), Tommy Johnston (jumps)
Key losses: Derrick Johnson (distance), Ryan Johnson (distance), Adam Weidner (throws, state champ in shot)
Outlook: Hoffert is the team's lone returning medal-winner, although Trone was a member of the 1,600 relay team that also made state. This year's incarnation was fifth at the Top Times meet Friday, and the 3,200 relay made the de facto indoor state meet, too. Hartz calls Newman and Erie-Prophetstown the cream of the Three Rivers crop, but he has a lot of upperclass talent in Manlius, too.
Coach: Bruce Luther (3rd year)
Key returners: Seniors – Roy Hummel (distance), John Worley (sprints); Juniors – Alex LaMendola (sprints), Skylar Mitchell (distance), Cody Sondgeroth (distance), Simon Thorpe (distance); Sophomores – J.D. Gieson (hurdles, relays), Dane Schielein (mid-distance, relays)
Key newcomers: Sophomores – Quinton Douglas (sprints), Evan Grady (distance), Jacob Harrison (400, relays, shot), Alex Helander (throws)
Key losses: Scott Goad (sprints), Zach Henkel (sprints), Jon Shippert (throws)
Outlook: The Dukes will lean on their corps of outstanding cross-country runners. It will be hard to fill the shoes of Goad, a standout sprinter and leaper, particularly with Dixon's numbers having slipped yet again and 2 weeks lost to the the teachers strike. Shippert was also a two-time state qualifier.
Coach: Jason Snyder (1st year)
Key returners: Seniors – Ryan Blasdell (throws), Jace Bonnell (sprints), Josh Green (distance), Devin Johnson (sprints, jumps), Ethan Oleson (shot), Darius Owens (sprints), Connor Saad (mid-distance); Juniors – Kyle Pannier (pole vault, sprints), Chris Bauer (sprints); Sophomores – Grant Ames (high jump, sprints), Braedon Bonnell (mid-distance), Lucas White (mid-distance),
Key newcomers: Seniors – Nate Andreas (triple jump, sprints); Sophomore – Dvaree Thompson (sprints, jumps); Freshmen – Cody Wiemer (high jump, mid-distance), Dylan Binion (hurdles, sprints, jumps), Jack Bauer (hurdles, sprints), Pedro Herrera (throws)
Key losses: A.J Ackerman (distance), Rob Cobert (sprints, jumps), Mitch Mallary (distance)
Outlook: Tying for fourth place in the Top Times and winning the Chuck Rosenberry Classic offer a glimpse of how good the Panthers can be. With lots of depth and balance in both track and field events, Snyder emphasizes the importance of his athletes trusting each other and the system in order to reach their goals.
Coach: Mike Ankrom (1st year)
Key returners: Seniors – TJ Huizenga (hurdles, jumps), John Widener (throws), Kyle Wiebenga (mid-distance), Collin Willoughby; Juniors – Bryce Holesinger (sprints, hurdles, jumps), Austin Regenwether (shot)
Key newcomers: Sophomores – Rodney Gossard (triple jump, 400, hurdles), Shaun Hintz (sprints), Brevin Mason (distance), Kyle Matthews (high jump, 800); Freshmen – Hobs Winters (distance),
Outlook: In his first season directing the Steamers, Ankrom looks for his team to be "very compeitive this season," and says the new co-op with Unity will help that happen. A dozen upperclassmen will be key to that aspiration, most notably Holesinger, who made state in both hurdles events last season. There's also a lot of talent among the 18 underclassmen, if they can follow the upperclassmen's lead.
Coach: Jason Wroble (3rd year)
Key returners: Seniors – Jacob Dickman (hurdles); Juniors – Cooper Pauley (distance), Devin Schmaling (sprints), Blake Steen (throws), Daniel Walker (jumps, sprints), Rodney Wienke (throws); Sophomores – Damen Cummings (mid-distance), Zach Schmidt (hurdles)
Key newcomers: Seniors – Devin Steen (sprints, throws), Ben Thomas (sprints, throws); Freshmen – Troy Litwiller (triple jump, mid-distance), Josh Walker (sprints, jumps)
Key losses: Vinny DeVito (sprints, jumps), Guy Morgan (sprints, jumps)
Outlook: While Wroble is guiding one of his largest boys squads, 17 of his 26 athletes are underclassmen, yielding what he calls, "plenty of youthful excitement and youthful inexperience." Sprints and jumps will be strengths for the Missiles, and Pauley is in exceptional shape, especially considering being limited to indoor workouts until recently.
Coach: Scott Rickels (11th year)
Key returners: Senior – Mike Rennie (hurdles); Juniors – Ryan Mayberry (mid-distance), Lucas Peppers (sprints); Sophomore – Leather Lewis (sprints to mid-distance, throws)
Key newcomers: Junior – Cory Brown; Sophomore – Andrew Screnock; Freshmen – Mason Muur, Emmit Shepard, Eric Sipes
Key losses: Brandon Belt (sprints, relays), Seth Buckwalter (throws), Rowdy Lathrop (sprints), Derek Nichols (mid-distance), Dave Oudekerk (sprints), Ethan Pruis (throws), Evan Sipes (mid-distance), Matt Weets (sprints)
Outlook: The Mustangs low numbers might lead to some lopsided defeats as a team against better-stocked programs, but Rickels sees great work ethic in his athletes. Hopefully for Morrison, that will translate to individual accolades over the next few weeks and, most importantly, in the month of May.
Coach: Andy Accardi (20th year)
Key returners: Seniors – Maison Bittner (sprints), Alex DeForest (mid-distance), Josh Mossholder (throws), Tyler Rockwood (sprints), Nick Rude (sprints), Andrew Sparapani (jumps), Danny Trygstad (throws); Junior – Micah Trancoso (mid-distance); Sophomores – Nolan McGinn (sprints, jumps), Bryson Reyes (distance), Regan Todhunter (hurdles)
Key newcomers: Senior – Jermaine Jones (sprints); Sophomores – Brandon Ahlgrim (mid-distance), Drew Rosengren (mid-distance); Freshmen – Clay Jungerman (distance), Ethan Nash (sprints, hurdles), Brady Rude (sprints)
Key losses: Brian Bahrs (sprints); Seth Gierhart (distance), Juan Gonzales (mid-distance), Brady Henson (distance), Mike Lee (jumps), Adam Wiegmann (distance), Jeremy Wilson (throws, sprints)
Outlook: The Comets have a full stable of great sprinters, and will be solid in the jumps, too. Their distance runners hope to build on a trip to state in cross country, while Mossholder and Trygstad are the clear-cut leaders of the weightmen. After his squad placed third in the Top Times Meet, Accardi is shifting its focus forward and toward peaking at the right time.
Coach: Jim Spratt (12th year)
Key returners: Seniors – Jacob Adams (high jump), Austin Carr, Danny Daniels (discus), Jacob Kleveland, Tommy McCormick (mid-distance), Garrett Newman (mid-distance), Mark Schmidt (pole vault); Juniors – Austin Burkhart, Pierce Dhaese (mid-distance), Josh Drew, Luke Ferencak, Nick Newman (sprints), Troy Pudlas (discus), Ashton Rutherford (pole vault), Ian Starkey; Sophomores – Jacob Harshman, Adam Weller
Key newcomers: Mavrick McMeeken (mid-distance), Trevor Otten (mid-distance, high jump), Noah Williams (hurdles), Konner Wilson (hurdles)
Key losses: Braden Burton (hurdles), Nick Jones (mid-distance), Austin McCourt (pole vault)
Outlook: The Hawks return three members of all four relay teams and similar depth in the high jump, discus, hurdles and pole vault. Among the few potentially thin areas are the shot put, 3,200 and the long and triple jump. Look for another flock of Hawks to qualify for state.
Coach: Tom Welty (13th year)
Key returners: Seniors – Justin Hughes (distance), Brian Kraft (hurdles), Connor Corbitt (sprints); Juniors – Brian Cavanaugh (jumps); Sophomores – Max Barkalow, sprints. Freshman – Brad Cavanaugh, sprints
Key losses: Twins Michael and Shane Geary (sprints)
Outlook: With 53 athletes out, Welty is excited about the depth and balance of the last team he'll coach. The Cardinals strength will likely lie in its sprinters, while the 800 and 3,200 relay teams have lots of upside. After winning the varsity NUIC title in 2010 and 2011 and the fresh-soph title last season, the Cardinals are itching to reclaim their place atop the varsity ranks.
Rock Falls Rockets
Coach: Eric Bontz (6th year)
Key returners: Seniors – Austin Babcock (sprints, jumps), Travis Johnson (hurdles, jumps), Alex Leaf (sprints, jumps), Mason Thompson (sprints, jumps), Dustin Watts (distance); Juniors – Adrian Villa (sprints), Trenden Schwindenhammer (sprints, jumps), Tanner Mortonson (mid-distance), Bryce Drawyer (discus)
Key newcomers: Seniors – Shawn Busch (throws, mid-distance), Kody Hobart (jumps), Connor Olson (distance, jumps); Junior – Kasey Anger (distance); Freshmen – Bryce Hamblen (sprints, jumps), Seth Williams (distance)
Key losses: Parker Watson (pole vault, hurdles), Davontay Euell (sprints, jumps), Derek Dingman (throws)
Outlook: Fifteen seniors give the Rockets high aspirations. Sprints and jumps are pretty well covered; Bontz is hoping newcomers – like Seth Williams coming off a breakout cross-country campaign – can give the squad balance and a chance to maximize its potential.
Sterling Golden Warriors
Coach: Dennis Hartz (6th year)
Key returners: Seniors – Diego Aguilar (hurdles), Gaije Fowkes (jumps), Andrew Garcia (sprints, jumps), Cornell Hartz (sprints, jumps), Keanu Interone (hurdles, pole vault); Juniors – Cody Hansen (distance), Josh Knie (throws), Dale Mikan (sprints), Draque Penaflor-Heier (sprints, jumps), Dakota Trancoso (distance)
Key newcomers: Junior – Keaton Dir (distance)
Key losses: Aaron Brenner (mid-distance), Dylan Harkness (distance), Patrick Petrosky (mid-distance), Alejandro Rivera (mid-distance), Michael Schneiderbauer (hurdles, pole vault)
Outlook: Replacing Schneiderbauer, who set the school record for qualifying the most state events (3 – 110 and 300 hurdles, and pole vault), won't be easy, but the Warriors have the horses to fill in those events. They're also in great shape in mid- to long-distance, perhaps even stronger than a year ago. What they lack is throwers and sprinters.
West Carroll Thunder
Coach: Dave Baisden (6th year)
Key returners: Seniors – Jacob Klein (sprints, throws), Aaron McCray (distance), Tanner Meador (sprints); Juniors – Jacob Carey (distance), Jeff Casey (800, 1600), Paawan Dandona (distance), Devin Saunders (hurdles, jumps); Sophomores – Jordan Bracero (sprints, mid-distance), Anthony McColley (mid-distance), Mason Vanhook (mid-distance)
Key newcomers: Juniors – Shawn Baker (throws), Adrian Magana (sprints), Mike Strauch (mid-distance); Sophomores – Justin Johnson (mid-distance); Freshmen – Livtar Dandona (throws), Cameron Ehlers (jumps, hurdles), Salvador Magana (sprints, jumps), Steven McColley (sprints, hurdles), Matt McGinnis (throws), Jake Miller (sprints, jumps), James Reeves (sprints), Keigan Rice (sprints), Joseph Quinn (mid-distance), Chad Zink (jumps)
Key losses: Jason Bracero (sprints, relays), Sam Quintana (sprints, hurdles), Austin Saunders (sprints), Tyler French (jumps), Payton Nevills (distance)
Outlook: As exhibited by the lists above, Baisden expects all of his athletes to realize their potential and contribute. With 16 first-time athletes, strengths are to be determined, which could make the Thunder a team to be reckoned with.