BOYERTOWN

Head coach: Steve Fegely, 7th year.

Last year's record: 7-2 overall.

Key runners: Seniors Emily Schumaker and Laura Simpson. Junior Renee Schumaker. Sophomores Gillian Kasitz and Adriana DeStefano. Freshmen Alli Drury and Amanda Murray.

Outlook: Team is always in hunt for the PAC-10 title, which they won several times in the past. Did lose some good runners, but Emily Schumaker, third in PAC-10 and state qualifier last year, has been a top contender and their front runner since her freshman year. Gillian Kasitz came on strong as a freshman last season, placing fourth at the championship meet. With Methacton's four-year PAC-10 undefeated Kara Steinke and a couple other contenders graduating, the league is now wide open on top. "Last season was a pack-run mentality for the league, with Owen J. Roberts finishing 5-6-7-8 and Perk Valley finishing 9-10-11-12 at the championships,' Fegely said. "The same thing may occur this season.


Advertisement

Having graduated over half of the varsity, our girls are going to have to step up to fill those spots. Returning is the strength and leadership of senior Emily Schumaker, who improved tremendously in her second trip to the PIAA-AAA state race, the exuberant youth of sophomore Gillian Kasitz, and the steady consistency of senior Laura Simpson. Beyond those three there are many questions to be answered about what the core of the team will look like. There is a youth movement this season, and experience will need to be gained quickly if we are to look to the top of the league again. If we can find a strong number four runner, the league should have another three-team battle again.'

DANIEL BOONE

Head coach: Russell Keith, 3rd year (11 years previously at Tulpehocken).

Last year's record: 14-1 overall, second in Berks Conference, fifth District 3-AAA.

Key runners: Seniors Abigail Snyder, Sophia Guglielmi and Steph Sievers. Juniors Jules Wanner, Rachel Eidson, Marissa Christiana and Emily Darrah. Sophomores Emily Scott, Hannah Moyer and Lauren Reightneour. Freshman Ashley Cimino.

Outlook: Lost some of their best in Emilee Durso, Alex Santora and Alex Hamill, but still have state qualifiers Abigail Snyder and Sophia Guglielmi. "We return our top two runners from last year in Snyder and Guglielmi, but graduated key members 3-5 in Santora, Hamill, and Durso,' Keith said. "Success this season will be based on the team's ability to have a strong pack and gain experience in big races with our new team members.'

HILL SCHOOL

Head coach: Dan McMains, 5th year.

Last year's record: 1-2, fifth in MAPL, 12th in PAISSA.

Key runners: Seniors Monica Redfern (co-captain), Kaila Jeter (co-captain) and Mary Kate McArdle. Newcomers: Ester Ochoa, Nataly Lautrup and Marissa Letizio.

Outlook: Suffered no major losses and have their top runner back in Monica Redfern, their best runner for last three seasons. "Having only lost one runner from last year's team, we look to be very much improved,' McMains said. "Combining several experienced runners entering their senior year with several young talents will make for a powerful combination. The team has worked very hard this summer to make this a fun and rewarding season. If we can stay healthy and develop our new runners, the team will be much improved and very competitive.'

METHACTON

Head coach: Steve Mahan, 32nd year.

Last year's record: 6-3 overall.Key runners: Seniors Jamie Motley and Alison Ukalovic. Juniors Abby Konkoly, Sarah Lebold, Deb Peifer, Brianna Landis and Roseann Harmon. Sophomore Ryan DeOrio. Freshman Anna Price.

Outlook: Suffered huge loss in Kara Steinke, who went undefeated in dual meets her entire high school career and was four-time defending PAC-10 champion and a four-year state qualifier, now running at Colorado State University. Also lost good runners in Kristen Sprayberry (Franklin & Marshall) and Kristen Unangst (Syracuse). Do have some very promising young runners. "This is year one of RWOKA: translation ' Running Without Kara Steinke,'' Mahan said. "This team has to learn how to race without Kara at the top spot. We have kiddingly said, ' We are small in number but mighty in spirit!' They are learning how to step out of their comfort zone, learning how to run with a small team with only 15 healthy runners. This will be a transition year and we hope the transition goes along smoothly.'

OWEN J. ROBERTS

Head coach: Dave Michael, 37th year.

Last year's record: 9-0 overall, two-time defending PAC-10 champions.

Key runners: Senior Maddie Matarazzo. Juniors Megan Bernotas and Andrea Shade. Sophomores Ally Brunton, Emily Hansell and Kelly Werth. Newcomers Alex Glasier, Maddie Frederick, Samantha Muntzer, Sam Garvey, Angela Feiser, Emily Flamino, Josie Funaro and Erica Hild.

Outlook: Went undefeated in dual season last year and captured their second straight PAC-10 title. Did lose some key runners including their top runner Jill Weston, along with Sarah Taylor, Natalie Burgos and Cathlyn Phillips. But team still has some excellent runners, including juniors Megan Bernotas and Andrea Shade. Team again has good numbers. "The girls are working hard to maintain their high finishes in the PAC-10,' Michael said. "We are anxious to see where we are fitness wise. The PAC-10 is always a competitive league. We plan to be in the mix with the top teams of Perk Valley, Boyertown and Spring-Ford. We have good numbers with 24 girls on our roster.'

PERKIOMEN VALLEY

Head coach: Ryan Sullivan, 14th year.

Last year's record: 8-1 overall.

Key runners: Seniors Morgan Faust and Kelsey White. Juniors Morgan Dickerman and Hannah Stolpe. Sophomores Annie Glodek, Michelle Daniels

Outlook: Were strong contenders for PAC-10 title last season, losing only one dual meet to undefeated Owen J. Roberts, who won championship. Suffered two big losses in Allie Bonsall and Mallory Snyder, but have a number of their top runners back. "Once again the girls team is young, but pretty deep,' Sullivan said. "Enjoyed productive summer of training, led by Annie Glodek. We return with nucleus of 2013 team in tact, and a talented jayvee squad from last year will need to improve and compete at varsity level. Early season races will really show if the young team has taken necessary steps forward to compete for the title. We are looking to qualify for Final Four and compete for the PAC-10 title.'

PHOENIXVILLE

Head coach: Justin Winters, 3rd year.

Last year's record: 1-8 overall.

Key runners: Seniors Bridget Walt, Fiona Halloran and Alyssa Andrews. Juniors Chloe Oustrich and Nicole Steplewski. Sophomores Kendall Beatty, Natalie Rubino, Kylie Crovetti and Cidy Nguyen.

Outlook: Lost no seniors and younger players now more used to the grind. Also picked up some very good sophomores, and numbers continue to deepen. "This is my first year coaching the girls team, so much of the season will be devoted to building a new culture and attitude, things that take some time,' Winters said. "With that said, we've gotten a number of new girls out for the team and combined with some returning runners from last year, we have a chance to turn some heads. If we can embrace the system and train well during the early part of the season, the girls will find success late in the season.'

POPE JOHN PAUL II

Head coach: Matt Kavanagh, 1st year.

Last year's record: 3-6 overall.Key runners: Junior Kelly Williamson.

Outlook: May not be deep in numbers, but have a good leader in Kelly Williamson and some promising freshmen. "With Williamson leading the way with a few freshmen I see potential in every runner,' Kavanagh said. "The numbers are small, but they all seem dedicated to running well this season.'

POTTSGROVE

Head coach: Larry Rechtin, 22nd year, Asst. coach Marilyn Eaton, 7th year.

Last year's record: 4-5 overall.

Key runners: Senior Ireland Nelson. Juniors Arianna Niemann, Dyani Hairston, Kerry Brennan and Marisa Driscoll. Sophomore Elese Christ. Freshmen Amia Slade and Angelica Piel

Outlook: Suffered no major losses, and their top runners, Hairston and Niemann, are only juniors now. Took a big step up in the league standings last year. "We graduated one contributor from 2013, return most of the team, and add a talented ninth-grader in Amia Slade,' Rechtin said. "Our goal is to come up with a winning dual meet record, but this will be a stiff challenge with only about 10 athletes on the squad. If we can dodge injuries, we can reach that goal. Niemann and Hairston will be counted on for leadership and experience. Christ has had a very strong summer of training and Brennan is back after a year off. We can pack in a very solid bunch with these five, but can they break up the larger schools' top three? That will be our challenge.'

POTTSTOWN

Head coach: Mary Ann Hill and Mark Agnew, 4th year.

Last year's record: 0-9 overall.

Key runners: Seniors Genesis Maradiago and Kiara Horsey. Juniors Mya Pope, Torry Dugan and Brittany Bosko. Sophomore Ashley Adams.

Outlook: Lost some seniors, but return much of their core. "The girls are all returning and will be looking to win some dual meets this year,' Hill said. "Methacton girls will continue their winning ways I am sure.'

SPRING-FORD

Head coach: Brian Sullivan, 4th year (27th year overall, previously longtime St. Pius X coach).

Last year's record: 5-4 overall.

Key runners: Seniors Samantha Christman, Kirsten Quinn, Anna Poet, Annalisa Nguyen and Rose Ferris. Junior Jenna Vledder. Sophomores Tori Hoffner, Bella Marchini, Laura McDermott and Erin McKenna. Freshmen Sydney Galster, Gabriella Bamford and Julia Vledder.

Outlook: Still have their best runner back in Samantha Christman, second only to Methacton standout Kara Steinke at PAC-10 Championships last year and are much deeper in numbers this season. "Girls bring back PAC-10 runner-up Samantha Christman and will be supported by a team that lost no one from graduation,' Sullivan said. "The coaching staff is looking for a good year from both teams and is excited about the start of the upcoming season.' The coaching staff now includes former Rams' standout Heather Giovagnoli, as well as former longtime Phoenixville coaches Jack Kraynak and former Phantoms girls cross country coach Matt Varady as volunteer assistants.

UPPER PERKIOMEN

Head coach: Todd Niemann, 12th year.

Last year's record: 2-7 overall.

Key runners: Seniors Rachel Landis and Shae Duka. Juniors Jaime Homan and Haley Martin. Sophomores Lauren Weeks, Taylor Ayers and Samantha Hannon. Freshmen Leanne Markhalter, Sara Adamkovic and Olivia Sefing.

Outlook: Team is led by Rachel Landis, who qualified for AA states last year. Team had no losses to graduation. "The girls are working hard and we hope to be better than last year,' Niemann said. "We may not have quantity but we certainly have quality and I'm looking forward to seeing the girls progress.'

— Compiled by Rosemarie Ross