Boys Track: Previewing Benet, Downers North, Downers South, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South and Westmont

The boys track season heads outdoors as athletes begin their quest to reach the state meet in Charleston. Here is a preview of area teams.

Benet Redwings

Coach: Brian Quick

Athletes TO WATCH

NAME YEAR

Matt Hatch sr.

Dylan Kingston sr.

Lucas Lefebvre sr.

Devin Petersen sr.

Enzo Bilog jr.

Colin Luwanja jr.

Connor O’Keefe jr.

Connor Seely jr.

Ian Smith jr.

Brendon Carter so.

Outlook: Last spring the Redwings pulled out their second East Suburban Catholic Conference title in three years, edging Marist. Conference champions included Luwanja in the 800, Smith in pole vault and the 1,600 relay with Luwanja. Seely shared second in high jump and Petersen was third in discus and fifth in shot put. DePauw recruit Hatch, who was fourth in discus, will be counted on for a sprint group hit hard by graduation, including two top-five Class 3A sectional finishes. O’Keefe was among Benet’s three individual sectional cross country qualifiers last fall.

Downers Grove North Trojans

Coach: Eric Buhot

RETURNING STATE QUALIFIERS

NAME YEAR EVENT

Ryan Birkmeier sr. 1,600

Brendan Lockerby sr. 1,600 relay

Matt Moravec jr. 3,200

OTHERS TO WATCH

NAME YEAR

Joe Bunalas sr.

Miles Christensen sr.

Nick Chudzik sr.

Jeremiah Lumpkin sr.

Sam McCool sr.

Jacob Ridderhoff sr.

Nolen Bowerman jr.

Trenton Cintron jr.

Jack Roberts jr.

Outlook: The Trojans will benefit from two returning all-staters and their first team state championship in cross country that they won in November. Moravec was seventh in the 3,200, but was injured for cross country this past fall. Lockerby contributed to the seventh-place 1,600 relay and won the 600 and was second in the 800 at indoor conference March 16.

Also indoors, Christensen won the 3,200, Ridderhoff was third in the 1,600, and Bunalas was fourth in pole vault. At state cross country, Ridderhoff (eighth), Chudzik (19th) and Christensen (21st) were top-25 all-staters, and Roberts, McCool, Birkmeier and Lockerby also contributed.

Downers Grove South Mustangs

Coach: Dustin Hausherr

Athletes TO WATCH

NAME YEAR

Akhil Ghosh sr.

Jose Lagunas sr.

Andrew Nelson sr.

Stephen Pipilas sr.

Eddie Siuda jr.

Jayden Lambert so.

Shawn Lee so.

John Neer so.

Outlook: Going after their ninth West Suburban Gold title in 10 seasons, the Mustangs have several state contenders led by a distance crew that helped cross country take 10th in Class 3A last fall, its highest team state finish. Pipilas was an all-state 24th, with Ghosh and Siuda the next two team finishers.

At the indoor Gold meet, Siuda won the 600 and 3,200, Lambert won triple and long jump, Ghosh and Pipilas were 1-2 in the 1,600, Lee won shot put, Nelson won high jump, Neer and Lagunas were 2-3 in the 55 hurdles, and the 3,200 relay won. At last year’s sectionals, Pipilas was third in the 3,200 and Siuda fifth in the 1,600 after Pipilas won the 3,200 and Siuda and Ghosh finished 2-3 in the 1,600 at the Gold meet.

Hinsdale Central Red Devils

Coach: Noah Lawrence

RETURNING STATE QUALIFIERS

NAME YEAR EVENT

Cullen Fitzgerald sr. high jump

Luke Skokna jr. 800 relay, 1,600 relay

OTHERS TO WATCH

NAME YEAR

Neil Cumberland sr.

Sean O’Connell sr.

Justin Taylor sr.

Vlad Vincent sr.

Colin Yandel sr.

Alec Hill jr.

Matt Kusak jr.

Ethan Ruth jr.

Outlook: The Red Devils could have their first multiple all-stater in high jump. Fitzgerald finished fourth at state last year and is the indoor and defending outdoor West Suburban Silver champion. Skokna, the lone returnee among three state-qualifying relay lineups, was second in the 400 indoors. O’Connell just missed a 3,200 state berth last season. The distance group comes off a fourth-place Class 3A state cross country finish. Yandel was an all-state 16th, with Hill, O’Connell, Kusak and Cumberland rounding out the top five. Taylor was third in high jump and long jump indoors. Vincent and Ruth are among another competitive hurdles group.

Hinsdale South Hornets

Coach: Dean Norman

Athletes TO WATCH

NAME YEAR

Brett Haffner sr.

Carmelo Lazzara sr.

Jaylen Plaxico sr.

Kwentin Brookins jr.

Jacob Marcus jr.

Terrill McCray jr.

Kamron Lipscomb jr.

Quinton Fields so.

Outlook: Three strong seniors typify what Norman calls an “overall well-balanced team.” While the Hornets are Class 3A for track, Haffner was an all-state 13th in 2A cross country. Haffner won last year’s West Suburban Gold 1,600 and was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 at indoor conference March 17, where Lazzara won the 55 hurdles, Plaxico and Marcus went 1-2 in the 200 and Marcus was second in the 55. Lazzara may be best at the 300 hurdles, taking second at outdoor conference last spring. Among other key varsity newcomers at indoor conference, McCray and Lipscomb finished second and third in high jump, Brookins was third in triple jump and Fields third in shot put.

Westmont Sentinels

Coach: Rainy Kaplan

RETURNING STATE QUALIFIER

NAME YEAR EVENT

Kyle Casper sr. 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles

OTHERS TO WATCH

NAME YEAR

TJ Bueser sr.

Trevino Fukar sr.

Jasper Requiron sr.

Tyreke Winston sr.

Gavin Carr jr.

Hadi Hammadeh jr.

Michael Thompson jr.

Outlook: Casper leads a large group that includes many basketball players out for the first time.

Casper was 10th at state in the 300 hurdles, .53 from a berth in the finals. He’s qualified for state twice in the 110 hurdles and with the 400 relay in 2016. Also at 2016 state were Requiron with the 3,200 relay and Carr in pole vault. The Sentinels have never had all-state 400 or 800 relays, but most of their newcomers are sprinters.