Nate Schreiber is in an enviable position.
The longtime Waterford High School girls cross country coach again has a talent-laden team with quite a one-two punch in senior Jayda Obluck and junior Kelsey Radobicky, Obluck was the All-Racine County Athlete of the Year last season while Radobicky won the same honor as a freshman in 2017,
Meanwhile, Case could be making a substantial improvement under second-year coach Mike De Witt, the former longtime UW-Parkside women’s coach who has 45 years of coaching experience.
Here are capsule previews for each of the county teams:
HEAD COACH: Mike De Witt, second season (45th year of coaching cross country).
LAST YEAR: Fifth in SEC, 12th at WIAA Division 1 Kenosha Bradford Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Sophie Young, Stephanie Narciso, Emily Nelson. Juniors — Kaitlyn Francis, Charlatte Shelby, Makayla Herness, Ruby Zogg. Sophomore — Laney Moore.
OUTLOOK: De Witt expects considerable improvement this season. “Everyone returns and the new members are good additions after being scoring members of last spring’s track team,” De Witt said. “The 2018 team defeated about 33% of the schools competed against. We should be close to 75% this fall.
There are 25 members on the team, more than double of the 12 who competed last season. De Witt said key additions are sophomores Audrey Amaya, Joanna Caro and Roselyn Pacheco.
HEAD COACH: Jon Hay, 16th season.
LAST YEAR: Seventh in SEC; ninth at Bradford Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Vadeline Paniagua-Ortiz, Olivia Pitrof. Juniors — Araya Cannalte, Lizzy Hanstedt, Miranda Svacina. Sophomore — Josie Weisensel.
OUTLOOK: Pitrof, who finished 163rd at the state meet, leads a talented group. She was also first-team All-SEC and first-team All-County selection who had a season-best time of 20:42. Svacina had a season-best time of 21:46.
“Our team will once again be led by Olivia Pitrof, who is looking to have a good senior season,” Hay said. “Lizzy Hanstedt, Miranda Svacina and Josie Weisensel have all looked good in practice and I expect them all to contribute this year. I’m encouraged by the girls work ethic and attitudes each day.
HEAD COACH: Brent Paeth, first season.
LAST YEAR: Did not have a full team.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Heaven Hartsfield, Mariah Davis. Junior — Lainie Sanders.
OUTLOOK: “We’re hoping to get a full team by conference,” said Glenn Schultz, Park’s previous head coach who is still involved in the program. “Hartsfield will be our top runner to start the season. Sanders and Davis give us a solid top three.”
Metro Classic Conference Catholic Central Lady Toppers
HEAD COACH: Rick Koceja, third season.
LAST YEAR: Third in MCC, sixth in WIAA Division 3 Lake Country Lutheran Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Sophomores — Morgan Ramsey, Bernadette Frisch, Kaleigh Lynch, Summer Peterson.
OUTLOOK: The return of a young group of experienced runners should make the season, “an exciting adventure,” Koceja said. “Ramsey returns as an All-Conference runner and newcomers who should help include Emma Antlfinger, Zoe Sassano, Elsie Kmecak and Eva Lynch.”
Racine Lutheran Crusaders
HEAD COACH: Paul Tuskowski, third season.
LAST YEAR: 13th at Lake Country Lutheran Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Sofia Luxem, Brittney Harrison. Sophomore — Lauren Gaither.
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OUTLOOK: Leading the way is Luxem, who placed 83rd in the Lake Country Lutheran Sectional with a time of 28:10. “We will build on last year’s success and hope to improve with the addition of several new athletes,” Tuskowski said. “The team has seen strong improvements in practice and competition across the team already this season.”
The Prairie School
HEAD COACH: Jim Larsen, 21st season.
LAST YEAR: Seventh at Lake Country Lutheran Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Senior — Kaja Baran. Juniors — Sydney Peterson, Caroline Ulrich.
OUTLOOK: The Hawks have a strong nucleus in Ulrich, who was 31st at the sectional (23:23) and Peterson, who was 38th (23:45). And four freshmen will fortify this team all the more.
“One of the freshmen, Brie Luchun Ledvina, has some running experience as she ran all through middle school,” Prairie assistant coach Kathleen Rooney said. “Our junior and senior girls are excited about working as a team with the new freshmen.”
St. Catherine’s Angels
HEAD COACH: Tom Scheller, 41st season.
LAST YEAR: Tied for eighth in MCC; tied for 12th at WIAA Division 2 Whitewater Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Juniors — Jazmin Muro, Olivia Rincon, Alivia York.
OUTLOOK: As was the case last season, the Angels will be an incomplete team. “We have only our returning letterwinners running at this point, so we look to be incomplete again this year,” Scheller said. “Olivia Rincon was our lead runner last year and looks like she will be again. Jazmin Muro looks much improved.”
Southern Lakes Conference Burlington Demons
HEAD COACH: Matt Nie, third season.
LAST YEAR: Seventh in SLC; 12th at WIAA Division 1 Mukwonago Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Senior — Meghan Harris, Kate Harris. Junior — Celia Inthamavong. Sophomore — Marlee Nichols.
OUTLOOK: Nichols was Burlington’s top sectional finisher, placing 65th in 22:45 as a freshman. There are other talented younger runners in Harris, who was 74th (23:40) and Inthamavong, who was 76th (23:42). Freshman Ella Clapp could be a big addition, Nie said.
OUTLOOK: “We’re looking for great things from a larger girls team in the years to come,” Nie said.
Union Grove Broncos
HEAD COACH: Mike Mikula, 25th season.
LAST YEAR: Fifth in SLC; 11th at Mukwonago Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Senior — Riley Calouette. Juniors — Shannon Mulligan, Karly Martinez, Hannah Gehrke, Mady Lorey.
OUTLOOK: The Broncos feature plenty of experience with all six of the sectional finishers returning. Calouette was 47th in 21:49, followed by Mulligan in 60th (22:32), Martinez in 63rd (22:34), Gehrke in 72nd (23:33), Lorey in 75th (23.40) and Hickey in 77th (24:01).
“The team has some good goals for this season,” Mikula said. “With that being said, we have our work cut out for us. The Southern Lakes Conference always brags some good talent.”
HEAD COACH: Nate Schreiber, 19th year.
LAST YEAR: Won Southern Lakes Conference Meet; fifth at Mukwonago Sectional.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Jayda Obluck, Katelyn Puetz, Katie Rohner, Julia Schroeder, Ryann Mullins. Juniors — Kelsey Radobicky, Alexie Strasser. Sophomore — Nicole Yoss.
OUTLOOK: Obluck was the All-Racine County Athlete of the Year last year after placing 43rd at the WIAA Division 1 State Meet in 19:43.9. Radobicky, the county’s 2017 Athlete of the Year, was 51st (19:49.3). Younger athletes who should help include freshmen Lucy Younk, Kyra Schuerman and Mikayla Datka and sophomore Hannah Schroeder.
“We have about 10 girls who will be positioning for the remaining five varsity spots,” Schreiber said. “Although it is always a difficult feat to win back to back conference championships, that certainly is one of our primary goals for 2019. If we remain healthy and continue to progress throughout the season, another goal includes competing for a state meet berth in the Arrowhead Sectional.”