Bishop Eustace Crusaders
Players to watch: Senior Gina Bischof is a terrific hurdler who will compete for numerous titles this season. Last year, she was the South Jersey Non-Public A champion and took fifth in the state in the 400 hurdles. She also placed fifth in the Olympic Conference in the same event and took fourth at sectionals in the 100 hurdles. Bischof also placed fourth in the 200 at sectionals and is part of a strong group of sprinters that includes fellow seniors Jamie Brandenburger and Katherine Damato and sophomore Michelle Carrie. As a freshman, Carrie placed third at sectionals in the 100, with only two seniors ahead of her. Brandenburger was fourth in the 400 and sixth in the 200 at sectionals, while Damato was eighth in the 400 and ninth in the 200. Other key returners are senior hurdler Erica Aurite, junior distance runner Sarah DiDomenico and junior thrower Colleen Schmitt, who was third in the discus and seventh in the shot put at sectionals.
Outlook: With the sprinters leading the way, the Crusaders have an excellent chance of moving into the top five in South Jersey Non-Public A after finishing sixth in 2013. They can also improve on their 2-2 record in dual meets.
Camden Catholic Fighting Irish
Players to watch: Junior distance runner Kelly McHugh has already enjoyed varsity success, finishing in the top 10 in South Jersey Non-Public A in the 3,200 in each of her first two seasons. Last year, she was third and went on to place fifth at states, and she also took fifth in the 1,600 at sectionals. Other key returners are sprinters Dajau Fussell, a senior, and Moriah Hall, a sophomore, who helped the Fighting Irish take second at sectionals in the 4x100 relay. Also back are sophomore sprinters Kiara Torres and Jada Wade, and junior middle distance runner Kaylin Blacks.
OUTLOOK: The Fighting Irish finished ninth in the team standings at sectionals. Without a lot of depth, it will be hard to contend for a team crown, but McHugh especially could be in store for a special individual season.
Players to watch: While Cherokee graduated some big stars, talent does remain. Senior Elizabeth Montague was the Olympic Conference champion and took second in South Jersey Group IV in the triple jump. She also placed third at sectionals and fourth at the conference meet in the 100 hurdles. Senior Kristin Visconti claimed the conference title and was second at sectionals in the pole vault. Sophomore Jess McAdams was seventh in the 1,600 and 11th in the 800 at sectionals, while senior Clarice Metzger was third in the high jump and is also a solid hurdler. Also back are sophomore sprinter Maya Dawkins, junior sprinter Jess Strauss, senior distance runner Ally Moraschi, sophomore distance runner Izzi Moraschi, junior hurdlers Karli Cinelli and Madison Foglia, and senior Alexis Knittel, who’s strong in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs finished as the No. 1 team in South Jersey last season for the second year in a row, winning the S.J. title and finishing third in the state in Group IV. They graduated one of the best throwers in state history in Jess Woodard, along with standout sprinter Courtney Foster, so they figure to drift back in the pack a bit. But they should remain among the top teams in the area. Pictured: Emily Davis
Cherry Hill East Cougars
Players to watch: High jumper Chelsea Campbell placed in the top three at the South Jersey Group IV meet each of the last two years, including second in 2013, and will be gunning for the sectional title this year. She also tied for third in the event at last year’s Olympic Conference meet. Maddy Berman placed seventh in the 3,200 at sectionals and had a strong cross country season in the fall, helping the Cougars to a fifth-place showing in South Jersey Group IV. Sophomore Jessica Bryant placed fifth in the conference in the long jump and senior Christina Stanley is a talented sprinter and high jumper. Also back are senior middle distance runner Mollie Taylor, junior distance runners Nicole Marchetti, Rebecca McCormack and Emily Lewis, sophomore distance runner Gillian Ranes, junior hurdler Laura Morella and sophomore hurdler Grace Garemore. Freshman Julie Woods is a promising newcomer in the field after throwing the discus in the 70-to-80-foot range as an eighth-grader.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars have a solid core returning and, while not among the best squads in the area, should remain competitive.
Cherry Hill West Lions
Players to watch: The Lions have a solid group of distance runners that includes seniors Erin McBride, Annaliese Reissmann and Casey Owens. Also back are sophomore hurdler Michelle Thong, junior sprinter, long jumper and triple jumper Ayanna Dixon and senior thrower Christiana Ogunsami.
OUTLOOK: The Lions have several talented individuals and are looking to build the foundation for future team success.
Players to watch: Senior Sarah Congdon took third in the 400 at the Tri-County Conference meet, and was 17th in the same event at the South Jersey Group IV meet. She is also strong in the hurdles. Junior hurdler I’Shay Little took third at the conference meet in the 100 hurdles, while senior distance runner Katharine Lynch is another key returner. Also back are senior sprinters Shannon Lynch and Michaela Meiskey, junior sprinters Jordan Lin and Evelyn Eisenhart, senior distance runner Krystyn DiLuigi, sophomore distance runner Molly Worek and sophomore thrower Anaiyah Bryant. Junior Breanna Mariner was very good in the throws, especially the javelin, as a freshman in 2012 and is back after taking last year off. Junior sprinter Sierra Reamer also returns after missing last season with an injury.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers finished 10th at the South Jersey Group IV meet and, while they graduated some key seniors, hope to remain in the top 10.
Players to watch: The Vikings bring back a pair of outstanding juniors in Sydney Jackson and Melanie Edwards. Jackson was second in South Jersey Group IV and fifth in the state in the 200, and she took second in the same event at the Olympic Conference meet. Edwards was the South Jersey champion in the 400 after taking second in the conference. Junior Carly Kenselaar is a talented distance runner who was fifth in the conference and 13th at sectionals in the 3,200. Senior Abena Asare was third at sectionals and fourth in the conference in the triple jump. The Vikings also won the South Jersey title and took second in the state in the 4x100 relay, and Edwards, Asare and senior Veronica Giles return from that team. Other key returners are senior Edirin Akiri in the jumps, junior Imani Taylor in the throws and senior Allison Tingley in the pole vault.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings have a terrific nucleus returning and have an excellent chance of improving on their sixth-place effort at last year’s sectional meet.
Gloucester Catholic Rams
Players to watch: Junior Abigail Chrzanowski is strong in several events, including the triple jump, in which she placed fifth at the South Jersey Non-Public A meet. She also has the ability to score in the sprints and hurdles. Senior Julia Hickman is a key distance runner for the Rams, senior Shannon Catanella is a standout thrower, and junior Shea Coniglio will be an important piece in the hurdles and the pole vault. Other returners are junior sprinter Danielle Baxter, junior distance runners Devon Murphy and Jackie Kukon, and senior thrower Annie Pegues.
OUTLOOK: The Rams aren’t among the elite Non-Public A teams but they hope to improve upon last year’s 10th place showing at sectionals.
Players to watch: The Bulldawgs can boast a spectacular group of distance runners that includes senior Shelby Cain, the South Jersey Group II champion in the 1,600 and 3,200 last year who also took fourth in the state in the 3,200. They also welcome in Briana Gess, who became the third freshman ever to win the Meet of Champions title in cross country in the fall, and junior Lauren DeCoursey should also have an impact in the distance events. Another standout back on the roster is junior Carly Bonnet, who was second at sectionals and sixth at states in the 400 hurdles. Bonnet was also seventh in the 400 at sectionals. Grace Baccare, a senior, will be aiming for the South Jersey title in the 400 after placing second, and Jean Gerlach is a junior thrower who has really stepped up the last several years. Other returners include senior sprinter Erica Pascocello, junior sprinter Annie Carson, sophomore sprinter Ana Buzzard, junior distance runner Julia Fonshell, senior hurdler Lauren Roberts, senior Hayley Palacki in the jumps, and senior throwers Alexandra Mulvenna, Colleen Meidt and Melissa Meidt. Kaitlyn Bonnet, Carly’s younger sister, and Alexa Gostovich are newcomers expected to have an immediate impact in the middle distance and distance events.
Outlook: Despite graduating standouts Emily Carson and Olivia Blaber, the program will continue to be among the elite in South Jersey. Haddonfield won the South Jersey Group II team title a year ago and took second at states by three points. The Bulldawgs should be a threat to win both again.
Players to watch: Junior Thalia Cooper will look to follow up a phenomenal sophomore season in which she won the South Jersey and state Group III championships in the 400. Cooper also took second at sectionals and third at states in the 400 hurdles. Senior Mikaela Biester tied for fourth at sectionals in the high jump and senior Loren Harris was sixth in South Jersey in the 100 and 200, while senior Cassie Hagstoz was seventh in the 800 at sectionals. Other returners include junior sprinter Arianna Waller, senior distance runner Roisin Breen, junior distance runners Kara Clarke and Claudia Wells, junior thrower Kyleesha James-Clark, senior pole vaulter Kerri Burns, who was fourth at sectionals, and senior vaulter Kelly Ann Burns. The freshman class is loaded with talent, as distance runner Rachel Vick leads the way along with sprinters Caprice James and sisters Kelly and Casey Murphy.
Outlook: The Dragons finished second to Winslow Township at both sectionals and states, and will be another threat this season as well as a top team in the Tri-County Conference.
Players to watch: The Indians return a strong distance runner in junior Camille Franklin, who took fourth in the 1,600 at the South Jersey Group IV meet and was third in the 800 at the Olympic Conference Championships. Senior Allison Cox took fourth at sectionals and the conference meet in the long jump. Junior Carly Pettipaw is a strong returning sprinter and hurdler who placed ninth at sectionals in the 400, and junior Gabriela Friedman took second in the conference in the javelin. Other returners include senior middle distance runner Emily McGee, junior distance runner Maeve Ryan, junior Sabrina LaRosa in the jumps, and junior sprinter-hurdler Samantha Maynes, who was fifth in the 100 hurdles and ninth in the 400 hurdles at sectionals.
Outlook: The Indians finished 13th in South Jersey and were ninth at the Group IV sectional meet. They have a bright outlook for this spring and should again be a top 10 team in Group IV.
Players to watch: Juniors Genevieve Cickavage and Natalie Cooper are part of an impressive pack of distance runners for the Quakers, who took third in South Jersey Group III during cross country season. Cooper was fifth in the 3,200 at sectionals last spring, while Cickavage was in the top 10 in both the 1,600 and 3,200 at sectionals. Moorestown also has some talented throwers, including senior Kelly Hopkins and sophomore Anna Blatcher. Hopkins was fifth in the discus and 12th in the shot put at sectionals, while Blatcher was 14th in the javelin. Other returners include senior sprinter Kirsten Lis, sophomore middle distance runner Heather Warren and senior pole vaulter Karly Deam.
Outlook: Despite graduating pole vaulter Alexandra Elder, who placed sixth at the Meet of Champions, the Quakers hope to place in the top 10 in South Jersey Group III again.
Paul VI Eagles
Players to watch: Senior Kaylynne Timmons is a terrific sprinter who took third at states and second in South Jersey in Non-Public A in the 100, and was the South Jersey champion in the 200. She also was third in the Olympic Conference in the 100. Junior sprinter Carly Murphy added fifth-place finishes at states and sectionals in the 200. Junior Steele Stokley was third at states and sectionals in the high jump, while senior Stephanie Hiester took second in the conference and seventh at sectionals in the 3,200. Other returners include senior pole vaulter Anne Ciancia, sophomore thrower Bernadette McGowan, senior thrower Claire Gallagher, and sophomore distance runners Michaela Urbach and Madeline Almand.
Outlook: With the excellent sprinters leading the way, the Eagles will be aiming for another top-five finish at sectionals.
Seneca Golden Eagles
Players to watch: The strength of the program once again lies in the middle distance and distance runners, many of whom helped Seneca to a second-place showing in South Jersey Group III during cross country season. Sophomore Joey Webb is looking to follow up an impressive debut track season from 2013. She was the Olympic Conference champ in the 800 and 1,600 and placed in the top five in both events at the South Jersey Group III meet. Junior Carley Donia was second in the conference and sixth at sectionals in the 800, while senior Mara Schiffauer—coming off a standout cross country season—was fourth in the conference in the 1,600 and placed in the top 10 in both the 1,600 and 3,200 at sectionals. Other standouts are senior hurdler Moriah Webb, senior thrower Rachel Hoffin and junior thrower Kayln Bryan. Also back are sophomore sprinter Kayla Johnson and senior middle distance runner Stephanie Flemming.
Outlook: Year in and year out, this is a strong program in the area. The Golden Eagles can be expected to be among the top five teams in South Jersey Group III yet again.
Players to watch: Senior Nicole Sanelli was one of the top throwers in the Olympic Conference last year, taking third in both the shot put and the discus. Junior Marissa Suriano is also strong in the shot put. The Renegades also have a talented group of distance runners who won the South Jersey Group IV team title during cross country season. Senior Julia DeSpirito was second in the 1,600 and third in the 800 at the conference meet, and was 10th in both events at the South Jersey Group IV meet. Junior Nina Bendixen and senior Shannon Stang are also standout distance runners. Other returners are junior sprinter Jenna Maladra and senior hurdler Nadia Maslowych. Kara Bonner is a freshman to watch in the 1,600 and 3,200.
Outlook: New head coach Darren Welsh inherits a solid team. With the distance runners leading the way, the Renegades should certainly improve on last year’s 16th-place finish at sectionals.
Washington Township Minutemaids
Players to watch: The Minutemaids bring back an elite hurdler in senior Lexie Fraction, who took second at the Meet of Champions in the 100 high hurdles. She was also second in South Jersey Group IV and fifth at states in the same event and was fifth in the 100 at sectionals. Classmate Lexie Taylor was sixth in the 3,200 and ninth in the 1,600 at sectionals, while senior Shea McGee placed 10th in the 3,200 at the same meet. Junior Lindsey Kane missed last season with an injury after a strong freshman campaign, and the coaching staff expects her to be one of the top 800 and 1,600 runners in South Jersey. Senior Jessica DiProspero was sixth at the Olympic Conference meet in the discus and 12th at sectionals. Other returners are senior sprinter Miranda Myers, sophomore distance runner Megan Heston, senior hurdler Shayla Smith and senior pole vaulter MaryKate Florkiewicz.
Outlook: Both Fraction and Taylor will be athletes to watch at the major meets, and the Minutemaids will look to move up in the team standings at sectionals from 11th.
Click here for this season’s schedules.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Spring Sports Preview, January, 2014.
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