Girls cross country: Kane County Chronicle team-by-team preview capsules

Brian Hill/
Batavia's Liliana Bednarek and St. Charles North's Norah Dorrance at the Kane County cross country meet Saturday August 27, 2022 at Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva.

The girls cross country season is underway. Here are previews of teams in the Kane County Chronicle coverage area.


Coach: Chad Hillman

Top athletes: Avery Hacker, fr.; Chloe Kammes, so.; Gwendolyn Krodel, fr.; Madison Wnek, jr.

Worth noting: The Bulldogs graduated some top talent from last year’s lineup, but have a bit of a youth infusion that already has brought them results this season. In Saturday’s season-opening Kane County meet, Batavia had four individual runners place in the top 10 with Hacker (fourth), Krodel (sixth), Wnek (eighth) and Kammes (10th) and swept all three girls divisions. That indicates Batavia will continue to be a force in the DuKane Conference and in the postseason.

Burlington Central

Coach: Vince Neil

Top athletes: Abby Burke, jr.; Teagan Cathcart, jr.; Emie Davis, so.; Alyssa Bognetti, sr.; Carmie Winkelhake, so.; Aanya Vyas, so.; Ivy Didomenico, so.

Worth noting: Burke was a Class 2A state qualifier out of the tough Kaneland Sectional and finished 58th in the state meet. Neil feels Burke, Cathcart and Davis will make a strong top three for Central. From there, the Rockets will rely heavily on Bognetti, a senior, and four sophomores. “We finished strong as a team at sectionals but look for a better performance this fall,” Neil said. “If we can run as a packed team, we can have a very solid group of ladies that can go deep into the postseason.”

– Joe Stevenson


Coach: Beth Morrison

Top athletes: Sofia Borter, so.; Lucina Lechtenber, so.; Lila Storaasli, sr.; Lauren Verdecchia, sr.

Worth noting: The Vikings have six returning to the varsity lineup. Borter is one to watch. Borter’s standout freshman season ended with her placing 78th at the state meet, Mira Meyers and Juliet Whiston, both freshmen, are new additions. Geneva finished 11th as a team at sectionals last year.


Coach: Doug Ecker

Top athletes: Abby Fitts, sr.; Graycen Cole, so.; Olivia Pastovich, sr.; Abigail Lechocki, jr.; Jaden Unzueta, jr.; Audrey Walker, jr.; Danielle Bower, so.

Worth noting: Kaneland returns all but one runner from last year’s top seven. The team is loaded with talent and Ecker hopes they can get a little luck this season when it comes to the health of the team. “We gotta stay healthy,” Ecker said. “Last year, we battled injuries and illnesses. If we can do that, I think that we can be competitive with an outside chance of making it out of our sectional as a team.”

– John Gallione


Coach: Vic Mead

Top athletes: Olivia Kunio, sr.; Chiara Surtz, jr.; Vivian Wyller, sr.

Worth noting: The Royals placed third as a team at the Class 1A state finals last year. Surtz, the 2022 Kane County Chronicle Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, is back along with Kunio and Wyller, all major pieces of the state third-place team. Wyller (first), Surtz (second) and Kunio (sixth) had top finishes at the Aurora City Invite last weekend to open the season.

St. Charles East

Coach: Brad Kaplan

Top athletes: Marley Andelman, sr.; Kendall Crossen, jr.; Amalia Im, so.; Colleen Thumm, sr.

Worth noting: The Saints are going to be in contention in most races with Andelman at the top of the lineup. Andelman turned in a first-place finish at the Kane County meet last week. The Saints had six runners place among the top 31 individuals.

St. Charles North

Coach: Shari Hayes

Top athletes: Norah Dorrance, sr.; Gwen Hobson, fr.; Tia Kilroy, jr.; Paiten Kruse, so.; Camille Sabau, sr.; Zoe Ulaszek, sr.

Worth noting: The North Stars had five runners finish in the top 20 at the Kane County meet last week. Dorrance, a returning state qualifier, finished fifth. St. Charles North also returns Sabau, who was a state qualifier. Hobson made an impression in her first varsity meet, finishing third.