Bishop Eustace Crusaders
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Kelly Quinn was third in the South Jersey Non-Public A long jump and fifth in the shot put. She also placed 10th in the 100 hurdles. Senior Megan Hart is a key field event performer.
OUTLOOK: A lack of depth will make it difficult for the Crusaders to challenge for any titles, but with Quinn leading the way, this is a team capable of producing a winning season.
Camden Catholic Fighting Irish
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Lexxus Matos placed fourth in the South Jersey Non-Public A 100 meters in a time of 13.07. She was sixth in the 200. Sophomore Kelly McHugh was seventh in the 3,200 meters, while junior Dajau Fussell is a talented sprinter. Also returning is senior Alexus Goodwin.
OUTLOOK: Teamwise, the Irish don’t have enough depth to challenge for an Olympic Conference National Division title, but Matos, McHugh and Fussell all have the ability to score individually and keep the Irish competitive.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Jess Woodard won the Meet of Champions discus title and was undefeated in this event. She was a national champion in the shot put. Senior Courtney Foster is among South Jersey’s top sprinters after qualifying in four events at the Meet of Champions. Other returning performers are seniors Sarah Robbie (200, 400, 800, 400 hurdles), Brittany King (high jump, 400) and Melissa Arnold (1,600, 3,200); juniors Elizabeth Montague (triple jump, hurdles), Kristin Visconti (pole vault, 800), Clarice Metzger (hurdles, high jump), Lexie Knittel (jumps) and Ally Moraschi (800, 1,600, 3,200); and sophomores Karli Cinelli (hurdles) and Madison Foglia (hurdles).
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs were the consensus No. 1 team in South Jersey and, even though they suffered heavy losses to graduation, they have enough to make a run at defending their No. 1 spot. The Chiefs will be a contender for a S.J. and state Group 4 title.
Cherry Hill East Cougars
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Chelsea Campbell was third in the S.J. Group 4 high jump with a leap of 5-0, while junior Christina Stanley tied for sixth. Senior Lauren Miller is a key returning sprinter. Other sprinters/hurdlers are senior Jessica McIntosh and juniors Brandi Creagh, along with Campbell and Stanley. Among the top distance runners are seniors Alexa Nichols and Allie Smith, juniors Maddie Berman, Caroline Sawn and Sarah Downie, and sophomore Emily Lewis. Senior Shea Ellis is a key field event performer.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars will be competitive but don’t appear to be able to contend for the difficult Olympic American championship. East had a talented squad but was 0-5 in the American last season, which indicates just how strong the conference is.
Cherry Hill West Lions
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sophomore Ayanna Dixon is a versatile performer with the ability to score points as a long jumper and sprinter. Two key distance runners include sophomore Julia Marzocca and junior Casey Owens.
OUTLOOK: Watching the development of Dixon will be one of the highlights of the season, while developing depth will be a key for the Lions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Christina Kursewic was second in the S.J. Group 4 pole vault (10-6) and sophomore Breanna Mariner placed sixth in the S.J. Group 4 javelin. Many others also competed in the S.J. Group 4 championships, including seniors Katherine Camp (hurdles), Lydia Henry (distance), Alyssa Lowe (400), Haley Specht (throws, pole vault) and Rachel Gagne (throws); juniors Sarah Congdon (hurdles), Katharine Lynch (distance), Michaela Meiskey (400), and Elizabeth Lessman; and sophomores Kori Warren (throws), Sierra Reamer (sprints), Miranda Coughlan (sprints) and Cecily DeMarco (800).
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers don’t appear to have the depth to compete for a Group 4 championship, but after placing 14th last season, they have the capability of placing in the top 10.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Jewell Wilson was fourth in the 100 meters during the S.J. Group 1 championships and sixth in the 200, while placing seventh in the triple jump. She is a threat to score multiple points in big meets. Sophomore Melanie Edwards was tied for fourth in the 200 during the S.J. Group 4 championships. Junior Edirin Akiri is a major contributor in the jumps and sophomore Imani Taylor is accomplished in throws. Senior Seattle Ellison placed eighth in the S.J. Group 4, 400 meters. Sophomore Julia Eggie high jumped 5-0 last year. Two top distance runners are Emily Davidson and Carly Kenselaar. Davidson has run 2:23 in the 800 and 11:52 in the 3,200.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings have individuals who could score in big meets. Whether they can contend to win the meets or the Olympic American title will depend on developing depth, especially in the distance events.
Gloucester Catholic Rams
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Miranda Broussard was tied for third in the S.J. Non-Public A championship in the pole vault, clearing eight feet. She was a first-team all-conference selection. Junior Julia Hickman was eighth in the 3,200 meters. Senior Shannon Grega was seventh in the javelin. Classmate Essie Hayward was fourth in the discus. Grega joined Hayward as an honorable mention all-conference selection. Sophomores Danielle Baxter and Abigail Chrzanowski were 10th and 11th respectively in the triple jump. Other players to watch include seniors Liz Priest (sprints) and Rachel Haines (sprints/pole vault); juniors Annie Pegues (throws), Katie Girgenti (throws), Devon Murphy (distance), Devon Smolenski (sprints), Lindsay Grega (throws) and Nicole McLeer (jumps); and sophomores Clare Brown (sprints), Jade Broussard (distance), Jackie Kikon (sprints/hurdles), Cassie Francis (distance/jumps) and Alexis Foschini (throws).
OUTLOOK: The Rams likely won’t contend for a championship but there are enough experienced runners for Gloucester Catholic to vie for a winning record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Olivia Blaber was second in the S.J. Group 2, 400 hurdles (1:03.35) and was third in the 100 hurdles (14.80). She was second in the state Group 2 intermediate hurdles and fifth in the Meet of Champions. Junior Lauren Roberts was fifth in the 400 hurdles and fourth in the 800 meters. Senior Emily Carson was first in the state Group 2 long jump and third in the Meet of Champions. She was also fifth in the state Group 2, 200 meters. At the sectionals, she was third in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Junior Shelby Cain was first in the 3,200 and second in the 1,600 at the sectionals, while senior Meghan Malloy was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600. During the fall, Malloy was South Jersey’s top finisher in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions, placing 23rd in the state. She also was the South Jersey Cross Country Runner of the Year. During the fall, Malloy won the South Jersey Group 2 cross country title while Cain was second. Sophomore Carly Bonnet placed second in the 800 and third in the 400 in the S.J. Group 2 meet. Junior Grace Baccare was a member of Haddonfield’s 1,600-meter relay that placed third in the state in Group 2. Junior Erica Pascocello is also a key returning sprinter.
OUTLOOK: Last season, Haddonfield won the South Jersey Group 2 championship by a convincing margin and, with many key performers back, coach Jason Russo’s Bulldogs will again be a serious contender for not only a sectional but a state title.
Kingsway Dragons (pictured)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Tara Daniels was first-team all-conference in the shot put and discus while senior Kaitlin Clark earned similar honors in the 3,200. Sophomore Thalia Cooper was a first-team selection in the 400 and junior Cassandra Hagstoz was a first-team choice in the 800. Second-team all-conference selections were senior Nikki Burns (javelin) and Lauren Harris (long jump). Senior Vanessa Daultruche is a three-year varsity sprinter. Other returning veterans include sophomores Arianna Waller (sprints), Kara Clark (middle distance), Gabbie Griffiths (sprinter) and Kalesha James-Clarke (shot and discus).
OUTLOOK: The Dragons were 11-4 last season and should be improved this year. In a Tri-County Royal Division with talented teams such as Delsea and Williamstown, the Dragons could be the team to beat.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Natalia Ocasio-Nieves is among the state’s top returning distance runners. She placed second in the 1,600 during the South Jersey Group 4 championships and second in the 800. Sophomore Camille Franklin was sixth in the S.J. Group 4, 1,600 meters. Other key returning athletes include seniors Ana De Las Heras (sprints), Brooke Stanley (distance), Kira Jelks (middle distance), and Ashley Skolozdra (pole vault); juniors Emily McGee (middle distance) and Allison Cox (sprints/hurdles); and sophomores Carly Pettipaw (sprints/hurdles) and Emily McGee (middle distance). Newcomers to watch include sophomores Maeve Ryan (distance) and Sabrina LaRosa (sprints/hurdles) and senior Dionna Anderson (sprints).
OUTLOOK: The Indians have the ability to be a top five team in South Jersey and will seriously contend for the Olympic Conference American Division and S.J. Group 4 tournament.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Kelly Hopkins was third in the shot put in the S.J. Group 3 championships while senior Kathryn McGettigan was seventh in the high jump. Senior Alexandra Elder was third in the pole vault in the S.J. Group 3 championships and sophomore Genevieve Cickavage was sixth in the 1,600 meters.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers have the ability to place in the top five in South Jersey Group 3. Developing depth will be the key to success for Moorestown.
Paul VI Eagles
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Catherine Fiore, coming off a strong soccer season where she earned all-conference honors and scored 13 goals, is an accomplished sprinter. She placed fourth in the S.J. Non-Public A championships in the 400 meters and fifth in both the 100 and 200 meters. Junior Kaylynne Timmons placed eighth in the 100 and seventh in the 200 while sophomore Carly Murphy was ninth in the 200. Junior Stephanie Hiester was 14th in the 1,600 and classmate Kristen McShane was fifth in the 400. The Eagles have a deep group of returning pole vaulters. Senior Sophie Huster and junior Ann Ciancia were tied for third in the S.J. Non-Public A championships while senior Christy Phillips was sixth.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles have the experience to finish among the top five in the ultra-competitive S.J. Non-Public A. The sprinters will be the strong suit, but there is also solid depth all-around.
Seneca Golden Eagles
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Leading the way are two seniors: sprinter Katie Grovatt and distance runner Paige Macauley. Grovatt, who is headed to Baylor, ran a personal best 57.75 in the 400 and 25.99 in the 200. Macauley was the Olympic Conference champion in the 3,200. During the fall, Seneca got another outstanding effort by Maria Schiffbauer, who placed 26th in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions cross country meet. Also returning is senior Brynn MacDougall (javelin).
OUTLOOK: Seneca has won three straight division titles and will be a major threat for a fourth. The Golden Eagles lost quite a bit to graduation but have enough tradition and talent to remain highly competitive.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Renegades will have strong distance runners led by juniors Julia DeSpirito and Shannon Stang and sophomore Nina Bendixen. Sophomore Julie Duncan is among the sprinters to watch.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades were 3-2 last season and would do well to match that record. They have lost as many to graduation as their fellow Olympic Conference Patriot Division teams. As always, this will be a competitive team, but not one favored to win a division title.
Washington Township Minutemaids
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sophomore Lindsey Kane ran a 5:00.61 in the 1,600 meters and coach Kevin Hanrahan feels she will be among the best milers in South Jersey. Last season, she placed fourth in the S.J. Group 4 championship in the 1,600. Junior Lexie Fraction is a key 100-high hurdler who will also contribute in sprints. Junior Lexie Taylor is a key distance runner who enjoyed a strong cross country season, placing fifth in the South Jersey Group 4 meet.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemaids were 2-3 last season and, while always competitive, they don’t appear ready to challenge the likes of Lenape and Cherokee in the Olympic American and S.J. Group 4.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Spring Sports Preview, January, 2013.
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