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Boys track athletes to watch

Mike Bianchina, Geneva, Sr.
The Vikings have rallied around this distance standout, who broke his leg during state series competition last season and recovered in time to compete in the cross country postseason.

Brandon Bishop, Kaneland, Jr.
Part of Kaneland’s state medal-winning relays in the 2A 4x100-meter and 4x200 last season, Bishop and the Knights are primed to deliver a fifth straight sectional crown.

Brandon Cottier, Kaneland, Sr.
With Bishop, Dylan Nauert and recent graduate Sean Carter, Cottier was one of four Kaneland multiple state medalists last spring.

Nate Dyer, Kaneland, Jr.
Emerging football talent finished third at sectionals in the shot put and discus, qualifying for state in both events. Development should help Knights’ push to climb into top 10 in 2A team race.

Johnathan Harrell, Aurora Christian, Jr.
Usual anchor of Eagles’ 4x400 suffered a fall at school shortly before 1A state meet last season and had to watch as the Eagles teamed to win a title in Charleston.

Marquise Jenkins, Batavia, Sr.
Winona State (Minn.) football recruit cultivated his defensive line speed during track in past springs. Now he’s eager to put on some sprinting shows for the road.

Zach Kirby, St. Charles North, Sr.
North Central College-bound sprinter turned in a strong start in indoors, finishing third in 3A as part of North’s 4x400 relay and in the individual 400 at Prep Top Times.

Grant Loess, St. Charles North, Sr.
North expects big things from Loess in the sprints as well as the long jump and triple jump as the team aims for conference and state series success.

Kyle McNeil, Geneva, Sr.
Defending Upstate Eight Conference River Division champ in the discus and shot put earned a berth to the 3A state meet in the discus as a junior.

Danny Newman, St. Charles East, Sr.
Saints will rely on Newman and a number of his classmates as new leaders. He has the chops after running with East’s sixth-place, 3A 4x400 team last spring.

Matt O’Connor, Burlington Central, Jr.
One of several returnees from last season’s standout group of relays, O’Connor is the lone athlete back from the Rockets’ 4x800 state champion in 2A.

Jake Ruddy, Marmion, Sr.
Cadets coach Dan Thorpe is optimistic the returning 3A long jump state qualifier will be back for sectionals after he broke both arms during a recent fall playing basketball.


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