Boys track and field: Previewing the 2024 outdoor season across the Herald-News area

Joliet West’s Marcellus Mines holds a slight lead midway in the Class 3A 1600 Meter Run State Finals on Saturday, May 27, 2023 in Charleston.

A look at the 2024 outdoor boys track and field season across the Herald-News coverage area.


Coach: Jeff Lester

Top returners: Hussein Almousawi, sr. (distance); Vincent De Farno, sr. (distances); C.J. Jones, jr. (sprints), Jacob Matlock, sr. (throws); Cameron Talmadge, sr. (triple jump)

Key newcomers: Edmond Ankomah, fr. (sprints); Devin Cathey, so. (sprints); Jonah Sawyer, so. (sprints)

Worth noting: Jones (4x100) and Almousawi (4x800) could be a decisive factor in relays for Bolingbrook.

Coal City

Coach: Colin Keppner

Top returners: Keaton Stroner, sr. (sprints); Julian Micetich, so. (hurdles)

Key newcomers: Reese Fitzpatrick, fr. (throws); Parker Jacovec, fr. (sprints, jumps)

Worth noting: Stroner came within an eyelash of qualifying for last year’s state championship for the Coalers. Jacovec could be an all-round point producer.


Coach: Larry Lane

Top returners: Tristan Chambers, sr. (distances)

Key newcomers: Tyler Gubbins, fr. (sprints); Graham Meister, fr. (shot put)

Worth noting: Meister won the Class 1A shot put at the Illinois Top Times indoor meet. Gubbins took 10th in the 1A 200 at Top Times and is on two relays for the Trojans.

Joliet Catholic

Coach: Rachael Reyes

Top returners: Nathan Ciarlette, sr. (distances); H.J. Grigsby, sr. (jumps); T.J. Rzasa, sr. (sprints); Elija Watt, jr. (throws)

Key newcomers: Craig Peacock, so. (sprints, jumps); Dylan Travis, fr. (jumps)

Worth noting: The Hilltoppers have good balance between Rzasa and Peacock in the sprints and Ciarlette in the distances.

Joliet Central

Coach: Brian Reed

Top returners: Antwi Boayke, jr. (sprints); Zion Kostyra, sr. (sprints); Anthony Miranda, jr. (sprints); Jamari Straughter, sr. (hurdles, jumps)

Key newcomers: Nathaniel Gabriel, fr. (distances); Devin Tripplet, so. (sprints)

Worth noting: Straughter is aiming for a second state appearance in the triple jump and hoping to add the hurdles for the Steelmen.

Joliet Central’s Jamari Straughter competes in the long jump the Southwest Prairie Conference indoor track and field championship at Lewis University in Romeoville.

Joliet West

Coach: Joe Tucker

Top returners: Julian Esquivel, jr. (distances); Jayden Jurkowski, sr. (shot put); James Kokuro Jr., jr. (sprints); Marcellus Mines, sr. (distances); Tommy Polacek, jr. (hurdles); Aiden Rodriguez, sr. (sprints)

Key newcomers: Tristan Jackson, fr. (sprints); Andrae Lyles, fr. (sprints); Landon Mars, so. (hurdles); Jordan Bennett, so. (sprints)

Worth noting: The Tigers are relay experts and, having set school records in all four distances, could qualify all four relays for the state meet this year.


Coach: Dennis Kennedy

Top returners: Jack Davey, sr. (distances); Jacob Katauskas, sr. (shot put); Quinton Peterson, sr. (hurdles); Daniel Foy, sr. (pole vault)

Key newcomers: Gavin Abad, fr. (distances); Sam Scoville, fr. (distances)

Worth noting: Kennedy is retiring after 19 years at Lemont and hopes for successful seasons and repeat state showings from Peterson and Katauskas.

Lincoln-Way Central

Coach: Dustin Waddell

Top returners: Kyle Friedl, jr. (distances); Braden Hoff, jr. (distances); Sean Ikerodah, sr. (sprints); Nick Udovich, sr. (sprints)

Key newcomers: Patrick Ciukaj, fr. (shot put); Nicholas Sons, so. (sprints)

Worth noting: Friedl runs leadoff on the fleet 4x800 relay, which is L-W Central’s brightest spot so far this season.

Lincoln-Way East

Coach: Ray Hines

Top returners: Alexander Collins, sr. (sprints); Sean Hanrahan, jr. (distances); Dedrick Richardson Jr., sr. (jumps); Keagan Ruane-Martino, jr. (sprints); Benjamin Tishka, jr. (sprints); Roosevelt Walker, sr. (jumps)

Key newcomers: Nathan Schroers, fr. (distances); Tebit Okwen, fr. (jumps)

Worth noting: The Griffins won the SWSC Indoor Meet title and are loaded. Hanrahan is a double threat in the 1,600 and 3,200, and Richardson took the long jump title at the 3A Top Times meet.

Lincoln-Way East’s Dedrick Richardson Jr competes in the Long Jump at the Class 3A Minooka Boys Track and Field Sectional on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in Minooka. Dedrick finish first to move on to the State Finals.

Lincoln-Way West

Coach: Joe Strain

Top returners: Cameron Kasper, sr. (sprints); Drew Munch, sr. (jumps); Ryan Stiglic, jr. (pole vault); Joshua Veldman, jr. (sprints)

Key newcomers: Alex DiLorenzo, fr. (jumps); Evan Schultz., so. (pole vault); Hunter Spee, fr. (distances)

Worth noting: L-W West pole vaulter Stiglic already has cleared 15 feet, 3 inches this year and moved into the national top 50.


Coach: Tom Razo

Top returners: Xavier Adeniyi, so. (sprints); Chase Creed, sr. (shot put); Jaden Davis, sr. (pole vault); Nathan Lamoureux, jr. (sprints)

Key newcomers: Caleb Prendkowski, so. (shot put); Jacob Soderstrom, so. (pole vault)

Worth noting: The Porters traditionally finish strong; a fourth in the SWSC Indoor championships is a good sign of things to come.


Coach: Nick Lundin

Top returners: Nate George, sr. (sprints); Micah Hamilton, sr. (discus); Dejay Smith, sr. (hurdles)

Key newcomers: Cooper Bowman, so. (pole vault); Hayden Bowman, so. (sprints); Nico Cimino, so. (distances)

Worth noting: Lundin says he didn’t expect to continue to have a dominant team, but after a big indoor campaign he has his sights set on another IHSA trophy to go with Minooka’s second-place 3A trophy in 2021.


Coach: Ryan Battersby

Top returners: Dominic Alvarez, jr. (sprints); Michael Cuthbertson, jr. (sprints); Chris Hovious, sr. (distances, throws); Corey Olson, sr. (jumps); Caleb Stage, sr. (throws)

Key newcomers: Nikita Hovious, so. (distances); Cuyler Swanson, fr. (distances); Everett Swanson, fr. (distances); Colin Zierman, so. (sprints, hurdles)

Worth noting: With the exception of Olson, Morris is a young team with some noticeable depth in distances.


Coach: Lori Lonard

Top returners: Joshua Bass, sr. (sprints); Luke Lally, jr. (throws)

Key newcomers: Josh Dalen, so. (jumps); Adam Murray, fr. (jumps)

Worth noting: The departure of sprinter Ayden Bettenhausen means the Blue Devils might not have a great deal of depth, but they do have some athletes.

Plainfield Central

Coach: Jeff Purdom

Top returners: Christian Martin, sr. (throws); Tyler Schick, sr. (distances); Bryan Underwood, sr. (sprints, hurdles, jumps); Adrian Washington, sr. (jumps)

Key newcomers: Stephon Griffin, so. (high jump)

Worth noting: Washington, a transfer from Joliet Catholic, qualified in four events for last year’s state finals and should be a boost for Plainfield Central.

Plainfield East

Coach: Mike Adamson

Top returners: Abdulrahman Abushharbain, jr. (jumps); Isaiah Smith, jr. (sprints); Josh Winterroth, jr. (hurdles, jumps)

Key newcomers: Adam Majchrowski, so. (pole vault); Nasir Robinson, so. (sprints)

Worth noting: The Bengals scored only one point in the Southwest Prairie Indoor Meet and have nowhere to go but up as outdoor season arrives.

Plainfield North

Coach: Tony Holler

Top returners: Kwame Amoo-Otoo (hurdles, jumps); Keith Cyracus, jr. (sprints, long jump); Connor Gramley, sr. (sprints); Easton Miller, sr. (sprints); Owen Stahl, sr. (sprints)

Key newcomers: Thomas Czerwinski, so. (distances)

Worth noting: Plainfield North might be the deepest team in the area, especially in relays and distances – the Tigers were second in the 3A cross country state meet in the fall.

Plainfield North’s Keith Cyracus finished fourth in the long jump in the Southwest Prairie Conference indoor track and field championship at Lewis University in Romeoville.

Plainfield South

Coach: Jason Crowe

Top returners: Jacob Aguilar, jr. (shot put); Jose Cygan, sr. (discus); Dylan Maloney, jr. (distances); David Obadein, jr. (sprints); Sebastian Thomas, sr. (high jump, relays); Camyn Viger, sr. (distances); Anthony Vilcek, jr. (sprints)

Key newcomers: Alex Batsaia, fr. (distances); Dylan Buturusis, fr. (distances); Austin Cory, so. (distances)

Worth noting: With so many returnees, South is looking to grab a second straight sectional title and be well represented in Charleston at the end of the season.

Providence Catholic

Coach: Mark Coglianese

Top returners: Carson Burris, sr. (sprints); Jaxon Foster, jr. (sprints); Luke Leverett, jr. (sprints); Matthew Velasquez, jr. (pole vault)

Key newcomers: Xavier Coleman, so. (sprints, hurdles, triple jump); Bryce Vlasak, fr. (sprints, jumps)

Worth noting: Leverett i are as young a team as there is in the area and can only grow with experience.


Coach: Andrea Shroba

Top returners: Dominic Alaimo, so. (pole vault); Jayden Bustos, so. (distances); Colton Waldvogel, so. (distances)

Key newcomers: Damien Andrade, fr. (sprints); Michael Burke, fr. (sprints); Tanner Gullquist, fr. (hurdles, jumps)

Worth noting: The Comets are as young a team as there is in the area, and can only grow with experience.


Coach: Scott Harper

Top returners: Shawm Alexander, so. (jumps); Azariah Henry Bolls, sr. (sprints); Francisco Figueroa, jr. (throws); Raphael Gyau, sr. (sprints); Ethan Hurley, sr. (distances); Logan Shelton, sr. (sprints); Marc Thomas, jr. (throws); Tyler Unverzagt, sr. (distances)

Key newcomers: Antijuan Jones, fr. (sprints); Troy Rotunno, fr. (jumps)

Worth noting: Harper sees a good year for Romeoville if the relays come together and the underclassmen follow the lead of the seniors.


Coach: Terry Maxwell

Top returners: Alex Bogner, sr. (shot put); Sam Churchill, sr. (pole vault); Ryan Flynn, jr. (sprints); A.J. Keedy, sr. (sprints); Matt Stach, so. (sprints, jumps); Carter Thomas, sr. (discus)

Key newcomers: Jaxson Finch, so. (distances); Zeb Maxwell, so. (discus)

Worth noting: With six returning 1A state qualifiers, the Fighting Irish hope to make a strong showing in late May.


Coach: Stephanie Stickel

Top returners: Cody Prindiville, sr. (distances); Reid Waldon, jr. (jumps)

Key newcomers: Alex Lawson, so., (sprints); Billy Moore, so. (sprints, jumps); Sam Payne, so. (throws)

Worth noting: Outside of Prindiville, the Wildcats are young.