2015 Girls Track Capsule Previews


Head coach: Tyrel Cooper, ninth season

Top athletes: Madison Christian (Sr.), Kasia Lawrynowicz (Sr.), Madison Aldred (Jr.), Aelicia Taylor (So.), Ariona Gill (Sr.), Danica Hammond (Jr.), Bella Sakai (Sr.), Nicole Snow (Jr.)

Outlook: The Aggies have a solid group of returnees and are hoping to be among the top three teams in the state and in the Sunset Region.

“We return some quality athletes,” Cooper said. “The team is very well-balanced, and we are excited for the upcoming season.”

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Head coach: Bruce Eubank, 10th season

Top athletes: Esmerelda Hinojos (Jr.), Marielle Reilly (Sr.), Marchella Marconi (Sr.), Leia Royster (Jr.)

Outlook: Hinojos, Reilly, Marconi and Royster all qualified for last year’s Sunset Region meet.

“The team will be strong in the distance and pole vault events,” Eubank said. “The remaining events will take time to develop the inexperienced athletes.”

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Head coach: Roy Session, fifth season

Returning letter winners: 21

Top athletes: Holli Dunn (Sr.), Peyton Green (Jr.), Addie Hall (Jr.), Kayla Roberts (So.), Talie Bonds (So.), Lauren Ritter (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs lost some of the best athletes in the state to graduation when Tiana Bonds, Sydney Badger and Tyler Rowlette departed.

“The girls team is young but talented,” Session said. “This young group is up for the challenge. They would really like to go for their fifth state title in five years.”

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Head coach: Nic Bolken, 14th season

Top athletes: Charly Jordan (So.), Linnea Saltz (Jr.), Brittany Whitt (So.), Catherine Sanders (Jr.), Jessica Attebery (Jr.), Sasha McCormick (Sr.), Haleigh Piotrowski (Sr.)

Outlook: Jordan, who placed second in the state meet in the 100-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles and as part of the Cougars’ 1,600 relay team, helped the squad win its third straight Sunrise Region title and finish second in the state meet.

“With several returning state qualifiers, the girls are hoping to take a fourth regional championship in a row and make a run at the state title despite several key losses from last year’s team,” Bolken said. “The girls this year are highly-motivated and pushing themselves toward their goals.”

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Head coach: Jennifer Powell, third season

Top athletes: Ingrid Zarate (Jr.), Kalijah Williams (Jr.)

Outlook: Zarate was the Southern Region cross country champion in the fall, and Williams returns after qualifying for the region finals in two events last year.

“We know we have our work cut out for us,” Powell said. “We have several runners that are juniors and seniors that are looking to make their way to state this season.”

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Head coach: Jim Dinkel, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Seventeen

Top athletes: Brooke Locey (Sr.), Tawny Rodriguez (Sr.), Ashle Love (Jr.)

Outlook: Rodriguez, a transfer from Missouri, and Love, a transfer from Texas, will join distance runner Locey as leaders on the girls team.

Locey was a top 15 finisher in the Division I state cross country meet.

“The Diamondbacks will continue to look for success in the difficult Northwest League,” Dinkel said.

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Head coach: Wesley Stephens, first season

Returning letter winners: Four

Top athletes: Jessica Jacocks (Sr.); See’Arriah Evans (So.)

Outlook: Stephens expects big things from Jacocks in the long jump and 400-meter run and long jump. Jacocks was fourth in the Division I-A state meet in the long jump alst season.

Evans ran on the 400 relay team that was second at state last season.

“The Desert Pines women’s team is young,” Stephens said. “We are only returning two seniors and will rely on freshmen and sophomores this season.”

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Head coach: Doug Anderson, second season

Top athletes: Kiana Wilcox (Fr.)

Outlook: The Trailblazers are inexperienced, but Anderson expects a strong season from sprinter Wilcox.

“For our young athletes, we are looking for steady improvement throughout the season,” Anderson said.

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Head coach: Dan Kober, second season

Returning letter winners: Twenty-four

Top athletes: Brenna Rohnkohl (Jr.), Bryanna Neagle (So.), Casey Leonard (Jr.), Cayla Nikodemus (Sr.), Christine Rasmussen (Sr.), Clarissa Maxey (Sr.), Haley Vinson (Sr.), Hannah Pavlov (Sr.), Morgan Hill (Sr.), Ohemaa Dixon (Jr.)

Outlook: Nikodemus in the Division I-A state meet record holder in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. She won both events and the high jump and state last year.

Vinson was the triple jump champion in the state meet.

“Faith Lutheran returns the majority of the team that won the 2014 state meet and has high expectations going into the 2015 season,” Kober said. “We again hope to compete for the region and state team titles.

“Faith will be led by a number of seasoned veterans such as Cayla Nikodemus, Clarissa Maxey, Haley Vinson, Hannah Pavlov and Morgan Hill, but also hopes to see larger contributions from a number of younger athletes who seem poised to make large strides.”

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Head coach: Natalie Thomas, 15th season

Returning letter winners: Ten

Top athletes: Rakayla Tyler (Sr.), Rachel Oehler (Sr.), Morgan Dennett (Sr.), Tabitha Winward (Sr.), Charleigh Allen (Jr.), Madeline Videtto (Jr.), Cerina Troyano (Jr.), Rachel Neff (Jr.), Erica Williams (So.), Casey Welch (So.)

Outlook: Tyler finished second in the 400-meter dash in last year’s Sunrise Region meet, and Videtto (high jump) and Neff (400) finished fifth in the meet.

They lead a group of 10 returning letter winners for the Falcons, who hope to improve throughout the year.

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Head coach: Mark Fordney, first season

Top athletes: Debbie Olalare (Sr.), Amy Amezcua (So.), Sydney Eastwood (Sr.), Mackenzie Gravo (Sr.)

Outlook: Olalare finished third in the 200-meter dash in last year’s Sunrise Region meet, and Amezcua placed fourth in the 1,600.

Eastwood and Gravo also fared well at the region meet and will be among the leaders this year.

“The girls have strong field representation with pole vaulters, throwers and young jumpers,” Fordney said. “We have some good returning sprinters and distance runners.”

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Head coach: John Lentsch, first season

Returning letter winners: Fourteen

Top athletes: Gifty Nkansah (So.), Sydney Groom (So.), Devon Jones (Sr.), Skyler Free (So.), Meghan Coggins (Jr.), Gabby Carson (Fr.), Serafina Ah-You (So.), Litia Ortquist (So.)

Outlook: Groom, who likely will run in the 400-meter dash and 800, was a state qualifier last year, but the Patriots must make up for the loss of state champion thrower Ashlie Blake.

“We are looking to build on the solid, young team the Patriots had last year,” Lentsch said. “With two new head coaches, we have a lot bigger numbers than in previous years.

“We expect Coach Cagle to get our new throwers off to a great start. We have some new sprinters that should perform well, in addition to our strong distance program that is returning a lot of talent.”

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Head coach: Tony Stephens, second season

Returning letter winners: Eleven

Top athletes: Dani Chami (Sr.), Jeneke Heerema (Sr.), Delaney Gosse (Sr.), Bailey Gosse (Sr.), Francie McCall (Sr.), Kaitlyn Herndon (Jr.), Cassidy Gosse (Sr.), Dionne Giang (Sr.), Hannah Thistle (So.), Krista Thompson (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mustangs certainly aren’t short on experience with state meet champions returning in Heerema (1,600, 1,600 relay, 3,200 relay), Chami (pole vault, long jump), Delaney Gosse (800, 3,200 relay), Bailey Gosse (3,200, 3,200 relay) and Thompson (3,200 relay).

“The state runnerup girls team will be even stronger this year with numerous returning state leading athletes,” Stephens said. “Two-time state champ Dani Chami will defend her pole vault and long jump titles and will compete in the sprint relays. Delaney Gosse returns as a top multi-event performer in the high jump and distance races along with co-state meet champions Jeneke Heerema, Bailey Gosse, Krista Thompson, Elizabeth Bice and Hannah Thistle.

“Newcomer Ellen Hirsberg will add depth. Francie McCall and Kaitlyn Herndon will lead in the short sprints along with Tessa DeJong.”

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Head coach: Shenoa Davis, fourth season

Top athletes: Kationa Baughman (Sr.), Tamara Frezzell (Jr.), Morgin Dickson (So.)

Outlook: The Rattlers bring back a handful of state meet qualifiers, including Frezzell, Baughman and Dickson.

“We are looking forward to continuing to build our program with some key returners and a lot of freshmen,” Davis said.

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Head coach: Lark Harrington, second season

Top athletes: Jessica Harrington (So.), Minami Onodera (So.), Heidi Thatcher (Jr.), Shayla Leavitt (So.), Melody VanDeSluis (So.)

Outlook: The Panthers are focused on individual improvement.

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Head coach: Frank Messina, fourth season

Top athletes: Emma Wahlenmaier (So.), Cydnee Bush (Jr.), Shakiya Hollis (Sr.)

Outlook: The Panthers have high hopes for the season.

“This year’s team looks exceptionally promising with many new faces to complement some returning region and state qualifiers,” Messina said. “Our team goal is always to strive to be the best we can be and work hard toward achieving a region or state championship.”

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Head coach: Ryan Quinn, third season

Returning lettermen: Two

Top athletes: Morgan O’Neal (Sr.), Sydney Land (Sr.)

Outlook: O’Neal and Land, both sprinters, qualified for the region meet in multiple events last year.

“We are looking to mix some young talent with our seniors and compete for a region title this year,” Quinn said. “Our senior individual athletes are looking to place in the state meet.”

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Head coach: Jerry Oliver, 11th season

Returning letter winners: Fifteen

Top athletes: Monet Salazar (Sr.), Teah Fisher (Jr.), Nina Jenson (Sr.), Chase Jenkins (So,), Francesca Locascio (So.)

Outlook: Salazar, who has the potential to be one of the better throwers in the Sunrise Region, is one of 15 returning letter winners on a young team.

“We hope to have some of these girls be able to compete at the varsity level and revive our program,” Oliver said.

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Head coach: Adam Zakos, first season

Top athletes: Zamiah Austin (So.), Eimainei Thomas-Palmer (Jr.)

Outlook: Zakos takes over a squad with plenty of potential.

“Our team is made up of a dedicated and hard-working group of athletes who will improve every week and has a chance to be very competitive in the postseason,” Zakos said.

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Head coach: Gary Hartman, fourth season

Returning letter winners: Eight

Top athletes: Taylor Bryant (Sr.), Dylan Bryant (So.), Emma Dodenbier (Sr.), Abbie Barnum (So.), Kaydee Bingham (Jr.), Kaitlyn Frump (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs welcome back eight letter winners.

“The girls should have a good season,” Hartman said. “We should be strong in the sprints, hurdles and vault.”

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