Central Catholic Knights
Head coach: Mike DeBoy (second season)
2013 results: Did not field complete team
Returning Letterwinner: Kristy Chelius (Sr.)
Top newcomers: Brooklyn Basham (Sr.), Sydney Sterrett (So.)
Outlook: The Knights are short on numbers, but DeBoy says the girls who are out are working very hard and showing improvement daily.
Faith Christian Eagles
Head coach: Don Obert (second season)
2013 results: Did not field complete team
Returning letterwinners: Micayla Zeger (sr.)
Top newcomers: None
Head coach: Mike Phillips (eighth season)
2013 results: Second at City/County, Second at Harrison Sectional, Fourth at Harrison Regional, 13th at New Prairie Semistate
Returning letterwinners: Unavailable
Outlook: Olivia Johnson finished 10th at semistate, while Erin Dark and Gabby Coffing recorded top 15 finishes at sectional.
Lafayette Jeff Bronchos
Head coach: David Howell (12th season)
2013 results: 10th in Hoosier Crossroads Conference, Sixth at Harrison Sectional
Returning letterwinners: Madison McCoy (sr.), Ashley Mikulaj (jr.), Nicole Ramirez (jr.), Madison Spring (jr.), Cecily Cavanaugh (soph.), Sara Hipsher, Suzie Harmon (soph.)
Top newcomers: Whitney Kinser
Outlook: The youngest team Howell has ever fielded is now a year older and building off the momentum of running their best times at the end of the 2013 season. Howell says he will not be surprised to see the Bronchos earn a New Prairie Semistate berth and finish well in the North Central Conference.
Head coach: Chris Pfledderer (first season
2013 results: 8th in Hoosier Crossroads Conference, 4th at Harrison Sectional, 6th at Harrison Regional
Returning letterwinners: Paige Scherzinger, Emily Cunningham (sr.), Shay Newkirk (jr.), Kourtney Brooke (sr.)
Top newcomer: Katelynn Hanback
Outlook: The Mavericks are an interesting mix of experienced and novice runners. Pfledderer hopes McCutcheon can capitalize on that by developing a strong base for the tournament season.
Head coach: Steve Lewark (16th season)
2013 results: Won Harrison 7-way, Western Invitational, City/County, Ben Davis Invitational, New Prairie Invitational (Class AA), Hoosier Conference, Harrison Sectional and Regional, New Prairie Semistate; Fourth at state.
Returning letterwinners: Rachel Bales (sr., 18:38 top time, All-Hoosier Conference, All-Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semistate, All-State), Delaney Barber (sr., 18:35, All-Hoosier Conference, All-Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semistate), Kathryn Bullock (sr., 21:13), Annie Covington (sr., 20:32), Susan Hubbard (sr., 19:33, All-Conference, All-Sectional, All-Regional), Kristen Johnson (jr., 18:17, All-Conference, All-Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semistate, All-State), Lauren Johnson (jr., 18:17, All-Conference, All-Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semistate, All-State), Claudia Li (jr., 21:08)
Top newcomers: Abby Hummels, Victoria Parker, Raphaela Tchani, Olivia Schaeffer
Outlook: Ranked third in indianarunner.com and hoosierxc.com’s preseason polls, the Red Devils could improve on last year’s state finish. Top-ranked Carmel and West Lafayette are the only teams in the state with a chance to finish in the top five and on the podium for the fifth consecutive year.
Around the area
Semistate qualifier Carly Stoll leads a deep and experienced Attica pack. Seniors Ashley Brindle and Savanna Shackelford, as well as juniors Jessica DeSutter and Shay Day, were regional qualifers and helped the Red Ramblers finish third at regional. The top five will be pushed to their semistate goal by seniors Emily Jones and Mayzie Spragg, and junior Bailey Filipiak.
Even though the roster is comprised mostly of freshmen and sophomores, Benton Central expects to be better. Veterans Elizabeth Atha and Xerena Tompkins are joined by newcomers Cara Hasser, Isabel Weise, Mollie Flook and Hayley Musser. Hasser, a freshman, is also playing soccer this fall, and Musser – also a freshman — is a veteran of half-marathons.
Sami Smith, Kelly Fox and Katelyn Ellis return for a Clinton Central squad that captured the county championship and earned a semistate berth.
Sophomore Rosie Tolley seeks her second consecutive regional berth this season for Clinton Prairie. Senior Emily Sabens hopes to join her.
Semistate qualifer Kaylee Arthur returns for a Frankfort team that has no seniors but still believes a top three Sagamore Conference finish and a third consecutive regional berth are possible. Returning letterwinners Elizabeth Warwick and Catherine Haynes are joined by newcomers Connie Tovar and Jozlynn Eimen.
North Montgomery finally broke through with its first county championship in 2013, and the Chargers could build on that with the return of regional qualifiers Hana Heide, Haly Heide and Courtney Clarke, plus sophomores Madison Pinkard and Katie Melvin.
The core group that led North White to its first regional berth returns, as does school record holder Ally Scott, who didn’t run last season. Sophomore Ruth Murcia and seniors Darian Eccles, Erika Plata and Sandy Amador now take aim on the Vikings’ first semistate berth. Freshman Nichole Eccles has a chance to crack the top three.
New Prairie Semistate qualifiers Riley Hickman and Leallison Korniak lead a Rensselaer pack that is shooting for a Rensselaer Sectional championship and a New Prairie team semistate berth. The Bombers have a deep squad that includes returning letter winners Morgan Garrity, Ashley Oliver, Valerie Edleman, Emily Britt and Kylie Nugent.
Tri-County returns three of its top runners from last season’s regional qualifying team, senior Larissa Bahler and juniors Emily Ewen and Morgan Rodehan. Senior Kaitlin Waibel will be joined by freshmen Kenzie Bahler and Madison Bullington.
West Central may not have enough runners to defend its Bi-County, Tri-County and North Newton Invitational titles this season, but the Trojans have quality with a foursome led by sectional champion and state qualifier Mickayla Wenzel. All-Midwest Conference runner Ariel Barlow and Mckenzie Kopka are joined by Adriana Barlow.