Team-by-team high school girls cross country preview - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

Team-by-team high school girls cross country preview - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

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Team-by-team high school girls cross country preview

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 11:00 pm

Cape-Atlantic League

Absegami

Coach: Janet Hitchings

2012 record: 1-8

Runners to watch: Seniors Tiffany Parra and Josephine Pang, as well as sophomore Diana Sanchez, are expected to have a good season.

Coach's comments: "This is one of those rebuilding years again. We have a young team, but they are fun to coach and they are really into it. ... I just want to see them improve from beginning to end."

Atlantic County Institute of Technology

Coach: Latiya White

2012 record: 5-5

Runners to watch: Sophomores Valaniece Martin and Ryley Gersham are returning.

Coach's comments:"I want to see the girls improve their times this year and get better. That is our goal, to get better every day."

Atlantic City

Coach: Colleen O'Donnell

2012 record: 5-5

Runners to watch: Promising runners are senior Taylor Hendri and juniors Molly Kinghorn, Alex Chavok and Hannah D'Amico.

Coach's comments: "They're still learning and getting faster, but they are working hard and should be contenders in the Cape-Atlantic League."

Buena Regional

Coach: Mike Falciani

2012 record: 10-0

Runners to watch: Seniors Gina Testa, Lisa Testa and Janessa Biombi, as well as sophomores Kristen Siegle and Geena Defoor. Siegle was a Press first-team All-Star last season. Lisa Testa was a Press second-team All-Star.

Coach's comments: "We want to repeat everything we did last year and do better in the bigger weekend races and sectionals."

Bridgeton

Coach: Amy Medina

Zamarah Corley leads the Bridgeton girls.

Cape May Tech

Coach: Gerard Chretien

2012 record: 7-3

Runners to watch: Starters include seniors Noelle Sittineri, Madison Devlin, Ashlynn Senico and Brianna Pizzutilla, as well as juniors Hannah Dietrich, Monica Powers, Alyssa Paluch and Emily Farschon and sophomore Amy Depietro.

Coach's comments: "With 12 returning runners from last year and six new runners to the team, we will be strong in numbers."

Cedar Creek

Coach: Sam Chelnik

2012 record: 7-3

Runners to watch: Seniors Brianna Mays and Jahniece Jaffie are among those returning this year. Promising newcomers include freshman Darcy McLoughlin and junior Megan Atkinson.

Coach's comments: "We're looking to improve on last year, it is going to be a difficult task, but we're hoping to do better."

Egg Harbor Township

Coach: Michael Caiazza

2012 record: 8-2

Runners to watch: Junior Morgan Shick is a promising runner for the season.

Coach's comments: "It's going to be a tough year for the girls. We lost a ton at graduation and only have one returner, plus we are down on numbers; but we are rebuilding pretty well and hoping to be around .500."

Hammonton

Coach: Michelle Wolosky

2012 record: 6-4

Runners to watch: Seniors Tabby MacKenzie and Valeria Pagano, as well as juniors Brianni Martinez, Samantha Berenati, Caitlin Cassidy, Natlie Cowan and Caroline Fitzpatrick have returned this year.

Coach's comments: "We are looking to have a winning record again this year, be ranked in the top 20 in South Jersey, and do well in the championship meets this season."

Holy Spirit

Coach: David Pfeifer

2012 record: 2-7

Runners to watch: The top runner this year is sophomore Sara Miller. There are also two new faces to the team, freshmen Shannon Boil and Kristy Goff.

Coach's comments: "We're very young. More than half of the team is freshmen."

Mainland Regional

Coach: Brian Smith

2012 record: 8-2

Runners to watch: Juniors Emma Bean, Jen Casale, Sarah Nagle, and seniors Jenn Rha and Sarah Camey, have returned for the season. Julie George, a new senior, is "pushing for No. 1 status early on."

Coach's comments: "I think the outlook for the team is bright and I feel we should compete for a county championship, and do well in the CAL."

Middle Township

Coach: Chuck Gehman

2012 record: 8-3

Runners to watch: Seniors Julianna Riggitano, Sarah Miller, Sydeney Wheeaton and Micaela Urquhart, as well as sophomore Meghan Thompson and freshman Gabby Stites.

Coach's comments: "We are looking to do our best to train and compete. Our goal is to work hard all season and improve with every race."

Millville

Coach: Bob Porch

2012 record: 5-3

Runners to watch: Sister seniors Victoria and Valerie Thaler return this season with senior Kaitlyn Dermen and sophomore Mackenzie Springsteadah. The team welcomes junior Amanda Smith and sophomore Rachell Armstead. Victoria Thaler was a Press second-team All-Star last season. Dermen was an honorable mention Press All-Star.

Coach's comments: "We should be competitive and hopefully improve from last year."

Oakcrest

Coach: Jennifer Knuth

2012 record: 3-6

Runners to watch: Seniors Jessica Fraone, Samantha Liepe and Alyssa Raymond along with juniors Taylor Phy and Aisha Muhammad and sophomores Jessica Liepe and Pamela Myers.

Coach's comments: "This season proves to be promising. ... Some of the runners are already running their season high (times) of last year."

Ocean City

Coach: Trish Henry

2012 record: 8-0

Runners to watch: Some promising runners include senior Bridget Flynn and juniors Devon Grisbaum, Rachel Stremme and Maddie Brady. Flynn and Grisbaum were first-team Press All-Stars last season. Stremme was an honorable mention selection.

Coach's comments: "We're just going to work hard in practice, take one race at a time and do our best each time we compete."

Pleasantville

Coach: Ashley Parker

2012 record: 0-9

Runners to watch: Senior Monique Mullings and junior Mya Alston make up the team for Pleasantville, but are expected to do well.

Coach's comments: "Their goal is just to run their fastest times - faster than last year. ... They can be one of the top runners in the conference and do well, even without a full team."

St. Joseph

Coach: Barry Jackson

2012 record: 0-5-3

Runners to watch: Seniors Alexia Horter and Dana Donahue are the only runners this season.

Coach's comments: "They're interested in running and they want to compete. They have their own goals: to compete in every meet, finish in the Top 10 in every meet, and possibly place in the state championship."

Vineland

Coach: Joel Heider

2012 record: 2-8

Runners to watch: Senior Jackie Askins, junior Kayla Jackson and sophomores Destiny Esquilin and Kayla Garcia have returned to run another season. Seniors Ta'shay Henderson and D'andra Pleasant are running their first season in their last year of high school.

Coach's comments: "It's a rebuilding year for us, but we have a solid foundation. ... I want to see them improve from the beginning to the end of the season."

Wildwood Catholic

Coach: Mike Sykes

2012 record: 9-1

Runners to watch: Promising runners are seniors Emily Johnson, Katie Wallace, Delaney Wallace and Mackenzie Scully. Johnson was a second-team Press All-Star in 2012.

Coach comments: "Our top three are doing OK, but we need to build some depth."

Lower Cape May Regional did not field a team this year due to a lack of participation. The Our Lady of Mercy Academy cross country coach could not be reached.

Shore Conference

Barnegat

Coach: Robert Klaslo

2012 record: N/A

Runners to watch: The only four runners on the team this year are seniors Andrea Alleyne and Korrine Arace, junior Ally Larkin and sophomore Erin O'Conner.

Coach's comments: "Our goal is just to get faster at each meet and we're going to be working through the season to compete."

Lacey Township

Coach: Chuck Edens

2012 record: 3-4

Runners to watch: Press Runner of the Year Danielle Leavitt returns for her senior season. She won her second straight South Jersey Group III title in 2012. Others to watch include senior Michelle Harland, juniors Erika Schoenberg and Jessica Dimler, and sophomore Jillian Costello.

Coach's comments: "We hope to improve in each event this 2013 season."

Pinelands Regional

Coach: Jason Capelli

2012 record: 2-5

Runners to watch: Juniors Lauren Zodl and Gillian Schriever, as well as Brielle Guyla, have shown improvements since last year. Freshman Emily Roth is a promising new addition to the team. Zodl was fifth in the South Jersey Group III race.

Coach's comments: "Our move from Group III to Group II puts us in a different division, and I feel like we can be a little more competitive there."

Southern Regional

Coach: Brian Zatorski

2012 record: 6-1

Runners to watch: The top five runners are seniors Jamie Difillipo and Melana Hammel, junior Julia Forsman, and sophomores Kaitlin Mooney and Abby Harris.

Coach's comments: "The team is young and inexperienced, but I think if we can stay healthy and continue to improve our fitness, we will be able to run with most teams in Ocean County and the state sectionals."

Tri-County

Cumberland Regional

Coach: Lawrence Hickman

2012 record: 2-3

Runners to watch: Seniors Tia Higbee and Jessica Strope, and junior Callan Mufley return this year. New faces are freshman Cynthia Garcie and junior Ashley Fackler.

Coach's comments: "I want to be competitive this year. We are just going to show up at every meet and give it our best."

Wildwood did not field a team this season due to a lack of participation.

Kate Drake

kdrake@pressofac.com

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