PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sarah Jones, one of the top hurdlers in the state, is primed for a terrific final season at Bishop Eustace. Last spring she placed second at sectionals and states and fourth at the Meet of Champions in the 100 hurdles. Jones also took second at sectionals in the long jump and competed in the event at states, and shines in the triple jump and 400 hurdles as well. Sophomore Katy Storti joined Jones at the MOC, qualifying as a freshman in the 1,600 with a fifth-place showing at states. She is also strong in the two-mile. Sophomore Claire Morelli is another solid distance runner and senior Katarina Ruehilicke is a versatile athlete who contributes in the hurdles and long jump. Sophomore Madeline Ricci competes in the sprints and throws and sophomore Caroline Steeves is another sprinter. Other returners are senior Madeleine Bristow, juniors Oreoluwa James, Veronica Lucien and Rebecca May and sophomores Margaret Schwab, Teresa Faust and Helen Closkey.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders hope to remain in the top 10 at the county and sectional meets and it will be interesting to see Jones and Storti compete for South Jersey and state championships.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Camden Catholic graduated several of its top competitors but is excited about the return of junior Kadijah Nurudeen. She placed seventh at sectionals in the 100 hurdles and went on to compete at states, and also competes in the 400 hurdles and long jump. Sophomore Sayndia Sando is another versatile competitor who took third in the triple jump at the Camden County meet and also runs both hurdles races. Senior Holly Bednarek and junior Shannon McHugh are key returners on the track. Junior Jordan Semon contributes in all three throwing events.
OUTLOOK: The Irish have a promising core returning and Nurudeen in particular should perform well at the major meets.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherokee brings back a pair of track standouts who both ended the 2016 season at states. Junior Morgan Clark placed fifth at sectionals in the 400 hurdles to advance; she also took third in the event and the 200 at the Burlington County meet. Sophomore Brianna King punched her ticket to states in the 400 by taking third at sectionals. The sprinter also runs the 100 and 200. Junior Madison Fearon is another key returner who shines in the high jump and 400. Senior Tricia Donahue and junior Carolyn Strauss are returning sprinters, junior Gabrielle Moraschi specializes in the 800 and seniors Sierra Keller and Joelle Wash are back in the jumps. The Chiefs graduated an elite thrower in Kaela Schrier but will count on senior Molly Janik in the throws. Juniors Rachel Kodluk (hurdles) and Kalya Fericy (pole vault) are also expected to con- tribute along with junior runners Anna Juszczyszyn (400, 800), Teanna Washington (100, 200) and Alyssa Nastasi (100, 200). Two standouts from the Cherokee cross country team—Kate Rathman and Sophia Eick—are important newcomers along with Fejiro Akiri (throws) and Gigi Glenning, a first-year runner.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs’ solid 2016 campaign featured a fourth-place effort at the county meet and a sixth-place finish at sectionals. Expect another consistent season this spring.
Cherry Hill East
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Star Beasley is one of the key returners for Cherry Hill East after emerging as a top high jumper last spring. She took fourth at the Olympic Conference meet and seventh at sectionals, moving on to states. Beasley is also a sprinter along with junior Danielle Allen, who placed seventh in the 400 at sectionals. Sophomores Dani Lazarus and Sarah Pierce placed second and third, respectively, in the 1,600 at the Camden County meet, and senior Taegan Field took fourth in the conference in the 3,200. Seniors Alexa Happ and Greer Field, juniors Giovanna Roberson and Alicia Lopez and sophomore Bay Wilson also return on the track. Junior Analisa Groble placed second in the javelin at the county meet and junior Alana Cohen finished third in the pole vault. Other returners are seniors Chelsea James and Dahyo Coleman and juniors Lauren Atkin, Rachel Lee and Kiana Hollingsworth.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars placed third at the county meet for the second straight year and expect to move up this season with athletes like Beasley leading the way for new head coach Yanell Holiday.
Cherry Hill West
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Keller Bean took fifth in the Olympic Conference in the 3,200 and leads a solid group of distance runners for Cherry Hill West that also includes sophomore Mirasha Williamson and junior Cassaundra Hoch. Freshman Cameron Wright will also be in that group after shining during the cross country and winter track seasons. Junior Trinity Huff is a talented sprinter along with junior Amina Hughes and sophomores Taquera Gibson and Elizabeth Santana. Juniors Shannon Meloche and Danielle Rash are back in the hurdles, junior Emily Santana specializes in the 800 and senior Aadit Tamhanker contributes in the throws.
OUTLOOK: The Lions have some potential standouts at the major meets and hope to make noise in the team standings as well under new head coach Brittany Gibbs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Dyani Bigelow emerged as one of South Jersey’s best hurdlers in 2016 and is looking for a strong finish to her high school career. She was the sectional champion in the 400 hurdles, placed sixth at states and competed at the Meet of Champions. She also won titles in the event at the Gloucester County and Tri-County Conference meets, and added a first in the 100 hurdles in the conference. Kaitlin Donahue is another senior leader who placed second in the conference and third in the county in the two-mile. Senior Rachel Lanzalotti and juniors Sophie Fossett and Magdalene Henry are other key returners on the track. Senior Jacklyn Guht and juniors Emily Walters and Joanna Somer hope to keep making progress in the throwing events, and other returners include sophomores Brianna Groch and Zekira Francis.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers claimed the conference title, took fourth in the county and 10th at sectionals. This is shaping up as another successful season and it will be exciting to see what Bigelow can accomplish on an individual level.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: A pair of stand-out runners who competed at states last spring are back to lead Eastern. Junior My’yonna Boyd placed fourth at sectionals in the 100 to advance to the state meet. She also took fifth in the event at the Olympic Conference meet and runs the 200 as well. Senior Jen Civatte made it to states in the 400 with a sixth-place effort at sectionals. She also took third at the conference meet and fourth in the 800 at the Camden County meet. Another talented returner is senior Tamika Voltaire, who high jumped 5-2 last year before suffering a stress fracture right before sectionals that ended her season. She set an indoor school record of 5-4 this winter and is poised for a huge outdoor season. Sophomore Dariyah Corbett-Collier had an impressive rookie campaign that included an eighth at sectionals in the 400 hurdles. She will join Voltaire, Civatte and a runner to be determined on a nice 4x400 relay team. Sophomore transfer Olivia Covington has been impressive in the sprints during the indoor season, and Jireh Davis is another sophomore sprinter expected to contribute. The senior class features distance runners Irene Nam and Nicole Meskin and Karina Goldberg, who runs the 800. Two other seniors lead the throwers: Brooke Stafford and Amanda Ashmen, who placed fourth in the county and sixth in the conference in the discus. Sophomore Jade Kenny, a high jumper, will also contribute.
OUTLOOK: A strong group of seniors should help the Vikings make some noise at the county and conference championships.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Samantha Hiester and Meghan McGonigle both qualified for states in breakout seasons and are back to lead Gloucester Catholic. Hiester, a senior thrower, competed at states in the discus, javelin and shot put. Her best finish was a fourth in the discus, which sent her on to the Meet of Champions. McGonigle, a junior, placed fifth at sectionals and seventh at states in the high jump. She also took second in the event at the Camden County and Tri-County Conference meets. McGonigle went to states in both hurdles events as well. Junior Taylor Caldas is another returner in the high jump and hurdles, and juniors Amy Gartland and Emma Holian contribute in the sprints and long jump. Other returners include junior Morgan Burman and sophomores Lauren Young and Mia Simila.
OUTLOOK: Hiester and McGonigle are strong leaders for a young Rams squad that will look to keep improving throughout the year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Briana Gess’ unforgettable career at Haddonfield will come to an end this spring with a shot at history. The senior runner has a chance to become just the third girl ever in the state to win the 1,600 four times at the Meet of Champions. Last year she won a thrilling race over Freehold Township’s Ciara Roche at the MOC. Gess, who will continue her running career at the University of Virginia, won individual state titles in the 1,600 and 800 and sectional crowns in the 3,200, 1,600 and 800. She also joined junior Lilly Minor and seniors Meg Schroeter and Lauren Lynch on the 4x800 relay that won sectional and state championships and placed 10th at the MOC. Kaitlyn Bonnet is another senior leader who took third in the mile and fourth in the 800 at sectionals. Other returning state qualifiers include Lynch (3,200), Minor (800), seniors Bridget Kane (high jump), Megan Helf (discus) and Julia Parker (pole vault) and juniors Lizzy Mulvenna (400 hurdles), Cassidy Cao (triple jump) and Izzy Miller (1,600). Haddonfield will also receive contributions from seniors Maura Enright and Jenna Zappetti and juniors Megan Burns, Gianna Cucinotta, Bella Nugent and Layla Watkins.
OUTLOOK: After placing second at sectionals and seventh at states in 2016, the Bulldawgs expect to be contenders at the championship meets. And Gess will certainly be worth watching throughout her final season in red and black.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway graduated just three seniors from last year’s team and has a talented roster that includes five individual state qualifiers and elite distance runner Rachel Vick. A senior, Vick shines in the mile and two-mile as well as the 800 and had an outstanding cross country season in the fall. She will continue her career at the University of Connecticut. Senior Destiny Stanford joins Vick as a top performer on the track; she qualified for states in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Vick and Stanford were both part of the 4x800 relay—along with sophomore Morgan Robinson and senior McKenzie Nugent—that placed fourth at the Meet of Champions with a school-record time of 9:18.22. The senior class also includes an excellent thrower in Emily Hilt, a former sectional champion in the discus who qualified for states in the discus and shot last year. She was also the Gloucester County champ in the shot. Junior state qualifier Najiyah Palmer is the team’s top sprinter and also shines in the long jump and triple jump. Senior pole vaulter Erin Gray also competed at states, and Robinson’s strong rookie season included a trip to states in the 400 after a fourth-place showing at sectionals. Other key returners are senior Hailey Rivell, juniors Alexis Mullarkey and Kylie Anicic and sophomore Ajanae Slaughter. The Dragons are also counting on seniors Erykah Webster, Katelyn Green and Nicole Kibler; juniors Allison Hartwyk and Cassidy Fagan; and sophomores Nadira Harris, Autumn DeMary and Christine Ruggieri.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons’ 2016 season included their second straight county championship and a thirdplace showing at sectionals. Another county title is possible and they expect to be in the hunt at sectionals and states as well.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lenape has a talented group of returners led by outstanding senior Megan Quimby. She was the sectional champion in the 800, took second in the 1,600 and finished in the top five in both events at states. Quimby went on to take sixth in the mile at the Meet of Champions. Other returners who shined at sectionals are senior Jasmine Fuller (eighth in the shot put); senior Shannon Lambert (eighth in the 200); junior Cassie Hoxit (fifth in the pole vault); and sophomore Alexis McDonald (fifth in the high jump). Contributors also include seniors Dana Duffield, Ciaron Williams, Sara Campbell, Patricia Thomas and Mekaya Hayes; juniors Sadie Horner and Talia Hartman; and sophomores Hayley Conway, Jess Trauger, Catherine Overman and Grace Overman. Newcomers Alexa Woltjen, a junior, and Shelby Whetstone, a sophomore, will provide depth and energy.
OUTLOOK: Although the Indians couldn’t repeat as state champions last year, they did defend their title at the county meet and took second at sectionals. Expect another successful season with Quimby leading the way.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seniors Kaitlin Winiarski and Amanda Wichterman and sophomore Amanda Allen all qualified for states in 2016 and lead the returners for Moorestown. Winiarski reached states for the second year in a row, this time in the 400 hurdles thanks to a fourth-place effort at sectionals. Wichterman placed fourth in the 800 and fifth in the mile at sectionals, moving on to states in both events. Allen took third at sectionals in the javelin and finished 10th at states. Senior hurdler Sarah Gally and senior high jumper Ali Simeone are also expecting solid seasons and sophomore Morgan Darmo will look to build on a promising rookie campaign in the pole vault. Other returners are seniors Mila Defelicis, Madeline Rausch, Jamie Wun, Charlotte Lewis, Shannon Vizzard and Dana Seamon; juniors Kyleigh Kover, Emily Hurren, Nailah Jackson and Cassandra Lis; and sophomores Anjali Akula, Julia Pierson, Jillian Calhoun, Katie Goettle and Angeli Figueroa.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers hope to save their best performances for the championship meets, and it will be interesting to see what athletes like Winiarski, Wichterman and Allen can accomplish at sectionals.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Jariah McFadden has qualified for states in the 400 hurdles two years in a row and ended her 2016 season at the Meet of Champions. She placed fourth at sectionals and fifth at states in the event and will again be a leader for Paul VI. Senior Natalie Burns (eighth in the 400) and junior Gabriella Babore (sixth in the high jump) also had strong showings at states, and sophomore Carly Schmidt was a state qualifier in the 400 hurdles and pole vault. Senior Celine Assi specializes in the javelin and leads a group of throwers that also includes seniors Emily Broderick and Chloe Georges. Sophomore distance runner Annie Skiles had a promising rookie season and other returners on the track are juniors Erin Siciliano and Jacklyn Schultz and sophomores Keyann’a Watkins, Julia Bruno and Sarah Schultes. Sophomores Naomi Shorts and Gabriella Griffo contribute in the triple jump. Freshman Bridget Lyons had a strong cross country season and will look to carry it over to the distance events in the spring.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles return a solid nucleus after taking sixth at sectionals and 11th at states, and this is shaping up as another successful season under new head coach Priscilla Frederick.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seneca has a dynamic duo to build around in seniors Brittney Raffo and Kayla Martin, who both claimed sectional championships and went to the Meet of Champions last spring. Raffo’s title came in the pole vault, and she cleared 12 feet in the event to win the MOC title and become the best of the best in the state. Martin placed in the top 10 at the MOC in the 800 follow- ing a sixth-place finish at states. She also shines in the mile. Junior Susann Foley took eighth at states in the high jump and senior Elizabeth Hagmayer competed at states in the javelin. Other key returners are seniors Jessica Sprague (distance) and Katelyn Dever (throws) and juniors Grayce Heinemann (sprints), Kayla Hay (800) and Samantha Derkas (hurdles). Juniors Sydny Warner (middle distance) and Hannah Packard (middle distance/sprints) are running spring track for the first time and join freshman Ainsley Jodlbauer (sprints) as promising newcomers. Warner has PRs of 5:14 in the 1,600 and 2:24 in the 800 and should be a major asset to the program.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles had strong performances at sectionals and states last year, placing fifth and eighth, respectively. With many of the top competitors back, they hope to remain in the top 10.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Shawnee returns a strong crop of runners that includes junior Claire Rankin, the Olympic Conference champion in the two-mile, and senior Kara Bonner, who placed second in the 800 at the Burlington County Open and second in the 1,600 at the conference meet. Junior Laura Mavracic was fifth in the county in the mile and other talented runners are junior Georgia Larzelere and sophomore Grace Kearns, who specialize in the 800. Senior Tara DeSpirito is a versatile athlete who contributes in the hurdles, long jump and triple jump. In the throwing events, returners include seniors Jessie Maier and Alana Leomporra and juniors Taylor Miliano and Alex Rosania. Other contributors are senior Cara Keevey, junior Elizabeth Longshaw and sophomores Olivia Falzone and Alyssa Curilla. Freshmen to keep an eye on are Claire Hauser (distance), Amanda Demko (sprints/hurdles), Maddie Corsi (sprints), Bella Turner (distance) and Chloe Khalil (throws).
OUTLOOK: The Renegades have a chance to move up a few spots at the county and sectional meets thanks to their veteran runners.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Rebekah Leone had a strong sophomore season and will look to build on it this spring. She took third in the Olympic Conference and fourth in Gloucester County in the 800, and placed ninth in both the 800 and mile at sectionals. Key seniors include sprinter Seana Cleary, who took fourth in the county in the 400, and thrower Tameah Young, who placed seventh in the discus at sectionals with a throw of 101 feet. Junior distance runners Katherine Taylor, Christina Fath and Julia Reilley are also back on the track. Joining Young as returning throwers are seniors Jessica Coates and Molly Comerford and sophomores Isabelle Deal and Kayla Webster. Other returners hoping to make an impact are junior Hailey Shaw and sophomores Bella Marchese and Linday Kuss. Freshman Kami Hickson just finished a spectacular winter season and will help lead the team in the spring along with junior Jaelyn Davis.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemaids have some talented competitors back in the fold and hope to show improvement throughout the spring.
To see all of the spring girls track schedules, click here.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 11 (January, 2016).
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