Boys Track and Field: Previewing 2023 teams from around the Suburban Life coverage area

Hinsdale Central’s Daniel Watcke, Wheaton’s Ryan Schreiner, and Bolingbrook’s Brett Wasick battle for position as they compete in the 800 meter run during the IHSA Class 3A State Track and Field Championships Saturday, May 28, 2022, at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

The boys track and field season is underway. Here are previews of teams in the Suburban Life coverage area.

Downers Grove North

Coach: Andrew Adelmann

Top returning athletes: Vince Davero, jr., triple jump/4x400 relay; Will Guerin, sr., 4x100 relay/4x200 relay/4x400 relay; Jackson Irby, sr., 4x200 relay/4x400 relay; Caden Weber, jr., 4x800 relay; Ryan Eddington, jr., 4x800 relay; Leo Gartlan, sr., 4x800 relay; Zac Bender, jr., 4x800 relay; Topher Ferris, sr., 3,200; Asa Gaspar, 800/1,600/3,200/4x400 relay; Ethan Murphy, so., 200/400; Emanuel Murphy, so., high jump/200/400; Jay Ford, sr., 100/200.

Top new athletes: Alain Denou, jr., sprints; Tim Denou, so., sprints; Max Troha, fr., long jump/triple jump/100/200; Connor Jackson, fr., 100/200; Jake Davero, fr., long jump/100/200; Joe Lasota, fr., 100/200; Phil Cupial, fr., 800/1,600/3,200; Will Surratt, fr., 800/1,600/3,200.

Worth noting: The Trojans qualified all four relays for state last year, as well as two triple jumpers and individuals in the 1,600 and 3,200. Guerin and Irby return from the 4x200 relay that took fifth and were on the state-qualifying 4x400 relay and Weber, Eddington, Gartlan and Bender return from the 4x800 relay that took seventh. Weber and Eddington were All-State last fall in cross country. Vince Davero took sixth at state last year in the triple jump and also ran on the 4x400 state qualifier. Ferris is a returning state qualifier in the 3,200 and was All-State in cross country last fall. Gaspar was runner-up in the 800 at the West Suburban Silver indoor meet in March and anchor of the 4x400 relay conference champion. Alain Denou and Tim Denou, transfers from Davenport North in Iowa, will be big pieces this year. Alain Denou was a state qualifier and Junior Olympics qualifier in the 200 and broke 23 seconds as a sophomore. Cupial was an eighth grade state champion in cross country.

“With the exception of three guys, we are returning every guy that ran at the state meet for us last spring and we believe that experience will pay dividends coupled with a huge influx of really strong newcomers,” Andelmann said. “Will Guerin, Jackson Irby and Vince Davero have been tremendous and our core distance runners are coming off a fall where they trophied for the second year in a row in cross country and finished 10th in the nation at the Nike NXN Cross Nationals Meet. We are really diverse again with where our points are and are well rounded to where everyone contributes and makes an impact as opposed to needing to rely on one to two people to score 30-plus points.”

Downers Grove South

Coach: Sean Senf

Top returning athletes: Shane Hosty, sr., 400/800/1,600/4x400 relay/4x800 relay; Luke Spear, sr., 100/200/400/4x100 relay/4x200 relay/4x400 relay/long jump; Carter Smott, sr., 1,600/3,200/4x800 relay; Josh Poeschel, jr., 1,600/3,200/4x800 relay; Jake Steele, so., 200/400/300 hurdles/4x400 relay/triple jump.

Top new athletes: Chris Williams, jr., 100/4x100 relay/4x200 relay; Liam Dobson, sr., high jump.

Worth noting: The Mustangs, West Suburban Gold indoor and outdoor conference champs last season, are halfway to matching that this spring with an indoor title in March. State 400 champ Eli Reed has graduated, but Senf believes Downers Grove South can qualify its 4x400 and 4x800 relays, as well as athletes in the 1,600 and 3,200. Hosty was part of the 4x800 relay that took third at state and regularly split 1:58s in the 800 and 52 seconds in the 400. Spear ran a 11.45 100 at sectionals last year, long jumped 22 feet, 3.75 inches to win the West Suburban Gold indoors and took eighth in the long jump at the Top Times indoor state meet. Smott, 31st at state cross country last fall, is a recent Illinois State commit who ran a 9:39 3,200 in February. Poeschel ran a 4:35 1,600 and will look to qualify in the event and the 4x800 relay. Senf called Steele a “diamond in the rough” who has run a 52-second split in the 4x400 relay, triple jumped 40-6 outdoors last year and could do damage in the 300 hurdles. Williams, who has joined track for the first time coming from football, ran a 7.09 60 indoors and took 12th in the event at Top Times. Dobson also joined track for the first time and has cleared 5-11 in the high jump.

“Our goal is always to win both the indoor and outdoor conference meet,” Senf said. “As a coaching staff, we look to put athletes in a position to have success at the end of the season qualifying for the state meet.”

Glenbard East

Coach: Dan Greco

Top returning athletes: Ryan Van Dam, jr., 1,600/4x800 relay; David Hernandez, jr., 400; Joey Rosenthal, jr., 100/200/4x100 relay; 4x200 relay; Terrell Hatter, sr., triple jump; Ryan Stringer, jr., 800/4x800 relay; Quami Stanton, long jump, 4x100 relay/4x200 relay; Cooper Hoffmann, sr., 4x800 relay/800; Beck Moreau, sr., 4x800 relay/800.

Top new athlete: Eric McClain, jr., long jump/100/200/4x100 relay/4x200 relay.

Worth noting: The Rams, third in the Upstate Eight outdoor last year, took second at the UEC indoor this spring and Greco said this group looks to be one of the strongest teams in a few years. Greco is encouraged by the talent and depth in the team’s sprints and distance runners. Hernandez, Rosenthal, McClain and senior Dylan Dale lead Glenbard East’s sprint crew. Van Dam, Stringer, Moreau and Hoffman return from the Rams’ 4x800 conference champion from last year. VanDam also will compete in the 1,600. McClain went 21 feet, 9 inches indoors as the Rams’ top long jumper. Stanton and Hatter also will contribute in the jumps.

Glenbard South

Coach: Doug Gorski

Top returning athletes: Ryan Chung, sr., 800/4x800 relay; Jonah Keating, sr., pole vault; Cam Williams, jr., high jump/long jump/100/200; Harper Bryan, jr., 110 hurdles/300 hurdles; Tim Jochum, jr., 800/4x800 relay; Lucas Newman, jr., 4x800 relay; Michael Bailey, jr., 4x800 relay; Jaden Frederick, 1,600/3,200; Matthew King, sr., 1,600/3,200.

Worth noting: The Raiders, fourth at the Upstate Eight Conference outdoor meet and sectional champions last spring, won the UEC indoor championship in March. Williams, a Notre Dame football recruit, qualified for state last year in the high jump, long jump, 100 and 200, placing ninth in the long jump and eighth in the 200. Bryan qualified for state last year in both hurdles races and posted a top 10 time in the state in the 55-meter hurdles indoors. Chung, who ran on last year’s 4x800 relay that qualified for state, finished 23rd at state cross country in the fall and already has run the state-qualifying time in the 800. Keating is a returning state qualifier in the pole vault. Frederick finished 25th at state cross country and Gorski believes he should qualify in the 1,600 and 3,200. Other state hopefuls include Chung and Jochum in the 800, the 4x800 relay, King in the 1,600 and 3,200 and the sprint relays depending on how the Raiders use Williams and Bryan.

Glenbard West

Coach: David Voland

Top returning athletes: Anthony Nitti, jr., 4x400 relay/4x800 relay/800; Chuck Halden, jr., 4x400 relay/4x800 relay/1,600; Owen Reiffel, sr., 4x800 relay/800; Ben Saucedo, jr., shot put/discus; Julius Ellens, jr., 100/200/4x100 relay/4x200 relay; Mason Ellens, so., 110 hurdles/300 hurdles/4x100 relay/4x200 relay; Luke Benson, jr., high jump/triple jump; Eduardo Vargas, jr., 4x200 relay/4x400 relay; Jed Bentinganan, jr., 4x200 relay/4x400 relay.

Worth noting: Halden placed fourth at indoor conference in the 1,600-meter run. Saucedo threw the discus 150 feet as a sophomore. All-State football running back Julius Ellens returns from last year’s sprint relay that placed fourth at sectionals. Mason Ellens took second in the varsity conference meet in the 55 high and low hurdles. Benson took third at indoor conference in the high jump. Vargas and Bentinganan return from last year’s 4x400 relay that took third at sectionals.

Hinsdale Central

Coach: James Westphal

Top returning athletes: Dan Watcke, sr., 800/1,600/4x400 relay/4x800 relay; Michael Prieto, jr., high jump; Michael Skora, sr., 4x800 relay; Grant Miller, sr., 4x800 relay; Aden Bandukwala, jr., 4x800 relay.

Top new athletes/other returning athletes: Smith Maxwell, so.; Joey Morrissey, jr.; Evan Bots, jr.; Max Lowe, jr.; Jesse Gamboa, sr.; Mehlum Anjarwala, sr.; Brady Koschik, jr.; Mark Ortiz, jr.; Owen Peterson, sr.; Brody Marcet, jr.; and Arjun Khatau, so.

Worth noting: Hinsdale Central’s 4x800 relay team of Watcke, Skora, Miller and Bandukwala posted the nation’s fastest indoor time of 7:43.82 at New Balance Indoor Nationals in March in Boston. Hinsdale Central finished ninth in the state in Class 3A last spring. The Red Devils’ 4x800 relay team took second, as did Oregon recruit Watcke in the open 800 and the 4x400 relay. Prieto was 12th in the state high jump. Hinsdale Central took second at the outdoor West Suburban Silver meet last spring, second at sectionals and fourth at the conference indoor meet in March. Bandukwala won the Class 3A state cross country title last fall and Watcke was third. Gamboa was runner-up in the 3,200 at the indoor conference meet, Watcke won the 1,600 and Prieto won the high jump.

“Team goal is to finish higher than the 2022 team place at state finals, but everything has to come together and we’ll need all hands on deck,” Westphal said.

IC Catholic Prep

Coach: Robert Cronin

Top returning athletes: AJ Walsh, sr., high jump/long jump; Elijah Eason, jr., sprints/relays; Byron Jones, jr., throws/hurdles; Johnny Velasquez, jr., 800; Zach Spencer, long jump/triple jump.

Top new athletes: Aidan Rosa, jr., sprint relays; Haydn Posejpal, jr., throws; Billy Grogan, fr., throws; Eben Smith, fr., throws; Evan Smith, so., sprints/long jump; Justin Grace, jr., hurdles; Ben VanKoughnet, fr., throws.

Worth noting: Walsh is a returning state finalist in high jump and already has cleared 6 foot, 6 inches indoors this year. He took ninth at the Top Times meet. Eason took fourth in the 400 at conference last year.

“We don’t have our top sprinters returning to track this season as they are participating in other pursuits this spring, so we go with who we have and look to improve every day,” Cronin said.


Coach: Dennis Kennedy

Top returning athletes: Quinton Peterson, jr., hurdles/sprints; Chase Lefevers, so., high jump/long jump/4x200 relay; Nathan Wrublilk, sr., 100/4x200 relay; Kevin Schmitt, so., hurdles; Jacek Blaczynski, sr., shot put; Jacob Katauskas, jr., shot put; Jack Davey, jr., distance; Liam Carey, sr., distance; Adam Bromberek, sr., distance.

Top new athletes: Noah Taylor, senior, sprints/relays; Daniel Jaquez, fr., high jump; Sam Scoville, fr., distance.

Worth noting: Lemont, second in the South Suburban Blue last year, looks strong with 15 seniors and 70 boys out for track. During indoor season, Lemont won the Morris Quad and the 14-team Lemont Invite and took second at the Troy Doris Invite. Taylor, a North Dakota State football recruit, is out for track for the first time and qualified for Top Times in the 60, 200 and 4x200 relay. He is ranked top five in the 60 and top 10 in the 200 but is out with a hamstring injury. Peterson placed sixth in the hurdles at Top Times. Lefevers had cleared 6 feet in the high jump and gone 20 feet in the long jump. Wrublik, a Monmouth football commit, ran on the 4x200 relay that was eighth at Top Times with anchor Taylor out with injury. Blaczynski and Katauskas both have thrown the shot put more than 50 feet. Bromberek, last year’s team MVP, is the top 800 and 1,600 runner and also anchors Lemont’s 4x400 and 4x800 relays. Scoville has great potential in distance, having gone 2:13 in the 800 and low 5 minutes in the 1,600.


Coach: Eric Brechtel

Top returning athletes: Jayden Leise, sr., triple jump, relays; Luke Hemmersmeier, sr., long jump/200/sprint relays; Jonathan Goff, sr., sprints/relays; Josh Ugorji, sr., sprints/relays; Hugh Flannery, jr., distance; Gabriel Bianco, jr., distance/relays; George Asay, jr., relays; Sam Hemmersmeier, jr., relays; Nolan Ferris, so., distance.

Top new athletes: Alex Marre, jr., sprints/sprint relays; Collin Angelakos, jr., shot put/discus; Tre Barrett, sr., 400; Joey Gabreleski, fr., long jump/sprints; Nico Castalldo, fr., sprints.

Worth noting: Montini has its largest team since 2018 and looks to be strong in many events. The sprint relays remain a focus as the Broncos look to qualify the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays to state. The emergence of Leise as one of the top triple jumpers in the area has been a huge boost to an already strong jump squad led by state qualifier Hemmersmeier. Leise, a North Central College commit, is the indoor school record holder in the triple jump and took second at indoor conference and sixth at Top Times. Goff, a North Central football/track commit, Ugorji, Bianco and Asay are all returning state qualifiers. Flannery is the indoor school record holder in the 3,200. Bianco is the indoor school record holder in the 800. Ferris is a two-time cross country state qualifier.

“Montini is poised to have state qualifiers in sprints, distance and field events for the first time since 2016,” Brechtel said.


Coach: Paris Lewis

Top returning athletes: Patrick Titzer, sr., 800; James Penley, so., 100/200; Ethan Enrique, jr., sprints; Noah Barnes, sr., shot put; Nolan Daly, so., sprinter/thrower; James Mercurio, sr., 400/800; Aiden Ryan, jr., triple jump/400.

Top new athletes: Daniel Lewis, fr., 1,600/4x800 relay; Will Albright, jr., 1,600/4x800 relay; Carlos Lopez, sr., long jump/200; Lesroy Tittle, fr., sprinter/long jump; Logan Malachuk, so., sprinter; Trenton Walker, fr., triple jump/relays; Garrett Reese, so., sprinter/triple jump; Ian Surowiec, sr., 400/4x400 relay; Dylan Colbert, sr., 200/400; Kharon Cotton, sr., 200/400; Edward McClain, fr., sprint relays.

Worth noting: The Roadrunners enter the outdoor season with depth in the sprint, distance and field events. Titzer, who just missed qualifying for state last season, will continue in his quest to get to Charleston in the 800. Lewis said the sprint events will continue to evolve and the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 relays should make headway in the outdoor season. The distance events will be led by Lewis and Albright. Several key contributors from Nazareth’s state championship football team include Malachuk, Penley and Tittle. Colbert, a four-year basketball player and Cotton, a three-year basketball player, are out for track for the first time.

“Look for a breakout season in the triple jump by Trenton Walker and Garrett Reese, long jump by Lesroy Tittle and Carlos Lopez, shot put by Noah Barnes and discus with Nolan Daly,” Lewis said. Our relays should be very strong with the depth this season.”

St. Francis

Coach: Mike Prizy

Top athletes: Sam Andrzejewski, sr., middle distance, distance; Michael Coco, fr., distance; Charles Coyle, jr., middle distance, distance; James Keegan, jr., middle distance, distance; Nolan Kiley, fr., distance; Gavin Mueller, fr., throws; Ben Sanchez, sr., sprints, jumps.

Worth noting: The Spartans’ track teams share fundamental similarities. “As with the girls, the boys are a distance dominant team,” Prizy said. “An early season leader is a name familiar to cross country but new to track in Coyle.” Sanchez had the same distinction last year as a junior newcomer. Much will be expected of Sanchez in the horizontal jumps. Smaller private schools frequently do not have the luxury of grooming underclassmen on the lower levels. Mueller already has shown his varsity mettle with an indoor shot put invitational championship. Prizy expects the ninth grader to develop as quickly in the discus as well.

– Kevin McGavin

Timothy Christian

Coach: John Vander Kamp

Top returning athletes: Nathan Canada, sr., hurdles; Caleb Hoekstra, jr., sprints; Noah Laslo, sr., distance; Tyce Plaisier, jr., distance; Gio Molina, jr., distance; Josh Bemister, jr., distance.

Top new athlete: Chandler Brady, fr., sprints/jumps.

Worth noting: The Trojans have a young, inexperienced team this spring. Almost half of the team has never been involved in high school track and field, so Vander Kamp is interested in seeing their track and field learning curve and development. Canada, a returning state qualifier in both hurdles, was a conference champion in the 300 hurdles, conference runner-up in the 110 and runner-up in both at sectionals.. He is running well in hopes of returning to Charleston. Hoekstra, a two-time state qualifier in the 400, is rehabbing an injury.

“Our four varsity distance runners [Laslo, Plaisier, Molina and Bemister] have been working hard and are making very good progress,” Vander Kamp said. “They have been showing great leadership for our young squad.”


Coach: Rainy Kaplan

Top returning athletes: Tim Rosland, sr., 800/1,600/3,200/4x800 relay; Henry O’Connor, sr., 110 hurdles/300 hurdles/400/4x400 relay/4x800 relay; Matt Pecard, sr., pole vault; Quentin Jarlson, sr., 400/800/4x800 relay; Kamron Singleton, sr., throws.

Top new athletes: Billy McGhie, jr., high jump/triple jump; Joey Dooley, sr., 200/long jump; Brock Storey, jr., shot put/discus.

Worth noting: The Sentinels took second at the conference and sectional meets last year and won the Nalley and Chicago Christian Invites. Rosland is a returning state qualifier in the 4x800 relay and was a cross country state qualifier last fall. O’Connor and Jarlson ran on Westmont’s state-qualifying 4x800 relay last year. McGhie and Dooley join the track program from Westmont’s basketball team.

“It looks like it will be a season-long battle with rival Chicago Christian,” Kaplan said. “We see them several times up until conference and sectionals.”

Wheaton North

Coach: Nathan Roe

Top returning athletes: Caleb Varney, sr., throws; Caleb Youngstedt, sr., distance; Kyle Komro, sr., 4x400 relay; Hudson Romaine, sr., 4x400 relay; Ben Shebar, sr., 1,600/3,200; Jonpaul Bell, sr., high jump/triple jump; Landen Walker, sr., high jump/long jump; Ben Hsu, sr., pole vault; Aiden Dabbert-Beard, sr., sprints/300 hurdles; Ryan Erkenswick, sr., sprints/relays; Alton Chapman, sr., sprints/relays; Simeon Turner, sr., middle distance; Anthony Rosignol, sr., sprints/relays.

Worth noting: The Falcons graduated middle distance standout Ryan Schreiner, fourth in the Class 3A 800 last year, but return an experienced group from a team that took third in the DuKane Conference. Varney finished 16th in state shot put last year. Youngstedt is a returning state qualifier in the 3,200. Komro and Romaine are back from the state-qualifying 4x400 relay.

“We will also lean on some talented youngsters like sophomores Colin Voress (hurdles) and Aidan Murphy (distance),” Roe said. “Our “Throws Army” is developing great depth and could see multiple qualifiers this season. Overall, we are ready to take the next step. We’ve added one meet to the outdoor schedule [Red Grange Invite], which will help sharpen our guys for late-season competition.”


Coach: Charlie Kern

Top returning athletes: Aidan Hill, sr., 800; Payton Noble, sr., 200/400/high jump; Joey Valeski, sr., 200/400; Leo Glennon, sr., 100/200; Kelly Watson, sr., 100/200; Danny O’Shaughnessy, sr., 800/1,600; Cash Langley, jr., 100/200; Luke Mailander, jr., 100/200/400.

Top new athletes: Gavin Schaer, jr., pole vault/high jump; Danny Karnatz, so., 200/400/triple jump.

Worth noting: The Dukes qualified their 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 relays for state last year, with the 4x800 team taking fifth. This York team appears to have a very strong sprint crew. The 4x200 relay team of Glennon, Noble, Valeski and Langley set a new indoor school record of 1:30.40, the second-fastest Illinois indoor time this season. The 4x400 relay of Karnatz, Valeski, Hill and Noble almost broke a school indoor record, running a 3:28.18. Hill ran the third-fastest Illinois indoor 600 meters of 1:22.83 and 12th-fastest Illinois indoor 800 of 1:56.68. Schaer, who cleared 10-6 in the pole vault last spring, already has gone 14 feet this year. Noble and Schaer have both cleared 6-3 in the high jump.

Joshua  Welge

Joshua Welge

I am the Sports Editor for Kendall County Newspapers, the Kane County Chronicle and Suburban Life Media, covering primarily sports in Kendall, Kane, DuPage and western Cook counties. I've been covering high school sports for 24 years. I also assist with our news coverage.