The boys track season is on hold, but we’re still previewing area teams. Here are previews of Benet, Downers Grove South, Morton, Nazareth and Westmont.
Head coach: Brian Quick
Top athletes: Brendon Carter, sr., sprints/hurdles; Brandon Saguil, so., sprints; Ben Grundman, sr., 800/1,600; Nik Anderson, sr.; Sean Donnelly, jr.; Jack Robinson, jr.; Jack Tams, jr.; Dom Ullmer, so.; Sean Kingston, so.
Outlook: Carter, a two-time state qualifier in the 300 hurdles, anchors a Benet team that's won the last three East Suburban Catholic Conference titles. Carter won the sectional championship in a season-best time of 39.74 seconds, has won 300 hurdles titles the last two years at conference and won athlete of the meet at last year's conference meet. Saguil ran varsity as a freshman last year with a season-best 11.7 100, and ran an indoor-best 6.93 in the 55 at the ICOPS Invitational on Feb. 29. Grundman, who had a breakout sophomore season, is looking to recapture that spark, and was already building off a strong cross country season with a 4:48 and 4:42 in his only two indoor 1,600 races.
"If we are able to resume our season and get in some good training, we are still hoping to put together a sub 8:05 4x800 relay," Quick said.
DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH MUSTANGS
Head coach: Sean Senf
Top athletes: Shawn Lee, sr., shot put; Nick Mears, sr, shot put; Peter Haplin, so., shot put; Gavan Jones, sr., discus; Jayden Deshazer, sr., triple jump; Brendan Doyle, sr., high jump; Felix Legge, jr., high jump; Rahshon Murff, jr., long jump; Elijah Reed, so., 200/400; Kenny Creamer, so., sprints/relays; Richmond Baah, sr., sprints; Jack Motuelle, sr., sprints; Patrick O'Neil, so., sprints; Tim Nuemann, so., distance; Canyon Stage, sr., distance; John Heneghan, sr., distance; Ben Skibbe, sr., 400/800/relays; Josh Atlas, sr., relays.
Outlook: Lee, 10th in the Class 3A state shot put last year, returns as one of the state's best throwers, and is working his way back from an ankle injury. Stage is a returning state qualifier in the 3,200. He was working on his speed during indoor season, running several 600 and 800 races, with designs to qualify for state in the 1,600 or 3,200. Legge was a Top Times qualifier and a 6-3 high jumper last year. Reed, a tremendous athlete and fierce competitor who starred on the football field last fall, usually runs leadoff in the 800 and 1,600 relays, and has run a 23.46 200 and 52.64 400 this spring. Nuemann joined cross country last fall and is someone that Senf said could be on the state podium in the coming years. Skibbe is a big part of the Mustangs' 1,600 and 3,200 relays and probably the fastest natural distance runner on the team.
Head coach: Daniel O'Donnell
Top athletes: Guillermo Ibarra, sr., 1,600/3,200; Victor Rodriguez, jr., pole vault; Erick Paulino, jr., 400/400 relay/800 relay; Chris Ceballos, jr., long jump/400 relay/800 relay; Jaelyn Brown, jr., 400 relay/800 relay; Amari Whitmore, jr., 400 relay/800 relay; Jonathan Razo, jr., pole vault; Joshua Suarez, jr., shot put; Jeremiah Swanigan, sr., discus; David Montalvo, sr., 1,600/3,200; Allen Miramontes, jr., 300 hurdles/triple jump.
Outlook: Ibarra, third in the Class 3A 3,200 last season in 9:12.84 at state, anchors the Mustangs' lineup. Ibarra also qualified for state in the 1,600 in 2019, after winning sectional titles in both. Ibarra ran a 2:01.19 800 at an indoor meet Feb. 6. Rodriguez is a returning state qualifier and sectional runner-up in the pole vault. He cleared a personal record 15 feet, 1 inch on Feb. 14.
"This year's team has been putting in a lot of hard work and is really looking forward to getting the opportunity to compete in the outdoor season," O'Donnell said.
Head coach: Paris Lewis
Top athletes: Jailon Welch, sr., 100/200; Brendan O'Brien, jr., 3,200; Jack O'Brien, jr., 3,200; Sam Odeh, so., 100/800 relay/1,600 relay; Joaquin Aguilar, so., 800 relay/1,600 relay; Ian Suroweicz, fr.
Outlook: Welch, who will play football and run track collegiately at Southern Illinois, is the man to watch. Welch placed fifth in the Class 2A 100 in 10.90 seconds last spring, and is also a returning state qualifier in the 200. He took fourth in the 55 at the Proviso West Indoor Invitational on Feb. 29 and third at the Greg Foster Invitational on Feb. 22, both in 6.66 seconds.
"He has truly committed to being a leader this year and challenging himself to qualify for the state finals in two events," Lewis said.
Head coach: Rainy Kaplan
Top athletes: Isaac Lischalk, sr., 400/sprint relays; Tony Cole, so., sprint relays/long jump; Alex Pietrzak, sr., horizontal jumps; Tim Rosland, fr., distance; Ryan Domin, so., high jump/sprints; Nick Carr, jr., pole vault; Trevor Kapusta, sr., sprints; Jelani Scott-Childress, sr., sprints; Michael Doll, so., hurdes.
Outlook: Kaplan noted that indoor season, what there was of it, went quite well. The Sentinels competed well at Hinsdale South and West Chicago, beating West Chicago, and the pole vaulters went to Naperville Central where Carr took 16th against a Class 3A-heavy field.
"Although we were competing against 3A schools, we won many events at our two indoor meets," Kaplan said.