Daily Chronicle 2024 Boys Track Previews: Team-By-Team Capsules

DeKalb’s Jacob Barraza finished fifth overall and qualified for the state meet at the Lake Park High School cross country sectional meet in Medinah on Saturday, October 28, 2023.

DeKalb Barbs

Coach: Jeff Saurbaugh

Last season: Class 3A sectional champions

Top returners: Talen Tate, sr., jumps; Xavier Dandridge, sr., sprints; Ben Robinson, sr., jumps; Eduardo Castro, sr., distance; Donald Collin, sr., throws; Jacob Barraza, jr., middle distance; Adam Allen, jr., hurdles; Jauharie Wilson, jr., sprints; Chris Thunder, jr., middle distance; Jackson Pfaff, jr., middle distance; Billy Miller, jr., sprints; Justin O’Neal, jr., sprints; Levi Andrews, jr., sprints; Nathan Tumminaro, jr., pole vault; Braylen Anderson, so., sprints; Cam Mathews, so., sprints

Key newcomers: Rahsheed Greer, sr., sprints; Isaiah Butler, sr., sprints; Tyree Cooper, sr., sprints; Davon Grant, so., sprints

Worth noting: Last season the Barbs won their second sectional in program history, and they are in very good shape to do the same in 2024. Anderson is an elite sprinter in 3A, and he proved that by winning the indoor state title in the 200. His time of 22.27 seconds was the 19th fastest time in the nation indoors this year. Allen is a hurdles state qualifier in the making. After a dominant indoor season that saw him win the DuPage Valley Conference title in the 60 hurdles, expect bigger things from Allen this spring. Tate is one of the state’s best sprinters, Barraza is a returning state qualifier in the 1,600, and Miller is another outstanding sprinter for the Barbs. Saurbaugh called this group “young but talented.”

Sycamore Spartans

Coach: Matt Kosecki

Last season: Tied for 9th in Class 2A state meet

Top returners: Matt Rangel, sr., sprints; Naif al Harby, sr., distance; John Cerny, sr., distance; Eli Crome, sr., middle distance; Liam Harris, sr., pole vault; Aidan Wyzard, jr., sprints/jumps; Preston Picolotti, jr., middle distance; Phoenix Calabrese, jr. 400/800; Corey Goff, jr., middle distance; Devin Karda, jr., middle distance; Dylan Hodges, jr., middle distance/jumps; Miles Galindo, jr., jumps; Braedon Shaner, jr., pole vault; Dylan Weides, jr., sprints/throws; Clark Jamarolin, so., throws; Felix Arends, so., distance

Worth noting: If the indoor season is any indication as to the type of season the Spartans are about to have outdoors, Sycamore fans should be excited. The Spartans return one of Class 2A’s best in Wyzard. He finished second at state in the long jump in 2023 and won the indoor title in the long jump this season. The relays have been a hit as the 4x200 and 4x400 medaled at indoor state. Shaner impressed in the pole vault, finishing second indoors. The Spartans should push to the top of the Interstate 8 Conference this spring.

Genoa-Kingston Cogs

Coach: Davon Granderson

Top returners: Corey Bowman, sr. sprints; Dakota Dynek, sr. hurdles; Azuriah Albert, sr., throws; Brandon Hernandez-Villalobos, sr., middle distance; Terrell Marshall, sr., sprints; Hawke Mitchell, sr., pole vault; Jarik Scott, sr., 800; Kenny Combs, jr., sprints; AJ Sager, jr., sprints; Brandon Wolcott, jr., sprints; Nolan Boehmer, so., distance; Adrian Delgado, so., sprints; Tyler Guptail, so., 400; Braydon Halter, so., middle distance; Peter Hernandez-Villalobos, so., middle distance; Quincy James, so., sprints; Isaiah Moreno-Hayes, so., distance; Ryken Scott, so., middle distance

Key newcomers: Tyler Atterberry, jr., sprints; Ryder Easterbrooks, sr., middle distance; Jayden Fuentes, so., distance; Derek Homan, so., middle distance; Ayden Lucio, so., distance; Eric Wesemann Jr., so., distance; Ulises Ayala-Zavala, fr., distance; Gavin de la Isla, fr., distance; Christopher Garcia, fr., distance; Kyle Gutknecht-Sabin, fr., middle distance; Elton Lin, fr., middle distance; Brady Mathey, fr., middle distance; Gabe Peña, fr., distance; Michael Schmidt, fr., distance

Worth noting: Getting to the top of the always rugged Big Northern Conference is a goal for the Cogs this spring, and they have the athletes to do so. Wolcott is one to watch in the sprints, as is the newcomer Atterberry. Brandon Hernandez-Villalobos is emerging in the 400. Marshall has shown great promise indoors in the sprints and jumps, and Combs will make for a nice 1-2 punch in those events.

Kaneland Knights

Coach: Andy Drendel

Last season: Interstate 8 Conference champions; Class 2A sectional champions; 16th place, Class 2A state

Top returners: Aric Johnson, sr., sprints; Collin Reutimann, sr., middle distance; David Valkanov, sr., distance; Logan Ehlers, sr., middle distance; Devon Kowalczyk, sr., middle distance; Brett Larson, sr., throws; Brady Betustak, sr., throws; Nick Alstott, sr., sprints; Nick Stefanik, sr., jumps; Eric Ramos, sr., sprints; Alex Moos, jr., sprints; Tyler Rebacz, jr., sprints; Zachary Murdock, jr., middle distance; Evan Nosek, jr., distance; Liam Lentz, jr., middle distance; Levi Herst, jr., middle distance; Fred Hassan, jr., jumps; Ryan Moreno, jr., middle distance; Kyle Rogers, jr., middle distance; Evan Whildin, so., distance; Luke Gadomski, so., middle distance; Evan Olp, so., jumps

Key newcomers: Dylan Sanagustin, jr., jumps; Gavin Smith, fr. sprints; Joey Schuch, fr. distance

Worth noting: Depth, distance and dominating sprints. It’s a perfect combination and one that worked well for the Knights last season. The bulk of that talent is back, led by arguably the best 1-2 distance combination in the state in Valkanov and Nosek. Both broke the school indoor record in the 1,600 this winter, and they finished 1-2 in the indoor state championships with Valkanov winning the title. But it goes deeper than that for Kaneland. Moos and Johnson will be key elements to sprint relays this year, and Ramos is a versatile athlete who can cover three or four events.

Hinckley-Big Rock

Coach: Amber Moore

Last season: Little Ten Conference champions

Top returners: Tyler Smith, sr., jumps/sprints; Lucas Buckson, jr., jumps/sprints; Aidan White, jr., sprints, Austin Kennedy, so., sprints; Alex Casanas, so., jumps; James Arguijo, so., sprints; Andrew Harper, so., distance

Key newcomers: Caden Hageman, fr., distance; Maddux Rodgers, fr., distance; Matthew Juneau, jr., middle distance

Worth noting: Casanas is a returning state qualifier in the high jump and he along with Smith will be the leaders of a young group of Royals this spring. Smith can do it all – hurdles, middle distance and sprints. Kennedy adds to the sprints and is a talented hurdler who will help HBR as it looks to defend its conference title. How the field and distance events come along will be the key to the Royals winning the title again.

Indian Creek

Coach: Jenilee Johnson

Last Season: 5th in Little Ten Conference

Top Returners: Angel Monarrez, sr., 400, Cayden Gaston, jr., sprints, Everett Willis, jr., throws, Ben Parnow, jr., throws, Juan Sanchez, so., sprints, Cooper Rissman, so., sprints, Julian Acevedo, so., sprints,

Key Newcomers: Parker Murry, fr., sprints, Jason Brener, fr., sprints., Amir Brown, fr., sprints, Colin McLaughlin, fr., 200400, Hayden Bushnell, fr., sprints; Isaac Willis, fr., throws, Liam Forde, fr., sprints, Pablo Cano, fr., sprints, Ryland Noble, fr., sprints, Sean Acker, fr., sprints, William Stanley, fr., 200/400.

Worth Noting: The Timberwolves have a great nucleus of freshmen to jump-start the program. Good talent is at the top in returning state qualifier Parnow. Gaston emerged as a do-it-all kind of sprinter from 100-400 as a sophomore and he will be counted on for IC this spring to lead the young group. Murry and Brener have already shown signs that they could be some of the group of freshmen.

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