Dragons coach Christina Powers returns for her second season at Lakeside with a young roster.
The Dragons have 23 underclassmen with four returning letter winners in sophomores Carli Watt, Alexis Benedict, Abby Licate and Megan Abrams.
Powers feels that based off her first season, the program is headed in the right direction.
“We still have a young team this year with a lot of new talent to pull from and our experience in distance will be beneficial,” she said. “Last year’s foundation will be used to build upon this year and we hope to see great improvement from last year.”
Also returning for Lakeside are seniors Kristen Berus, Jennifer Schwentker and juniors Katie Allan, Aaliyah Allgood and Karen Barrientos.
The Dragons finished third at the county meet last year and Powers would like to see her team improve upon that finish.
She also looks to contend in the PAC, as well.
“We hope to improve our standing in the conference this year,” she said. “We would also like to improve upon our third place finish in the county.
“In order to do this we need to work as a team, train well and remain healthy throughout the year.”
Back for her fourth season with the Blue Streaks, coach Kelly Chandler is excited about the growth of her program.
“Our team has over doubled in size since last year,” she said. “We’re working on building depth and filling quality relays. We’ll have individual standouts in most running events.”
Back for Madison are seniors Annette Brickman (distance), Katarina Funk (distance), Erin Hord (distance) and juniors Julie Gavorski (throws), Sarah Iannini (distance) as well as sophomores Chanel Crawford (sprints), Rachel Baird (middle distance), Sydney Ball (distance), Ashley Duthie (middle distance-long jump).
Field events will be key for Chandler.
“Our weakness lies in our field events,” she said. “We have many talented freshmen working to fill our gaps to make us a more well-rounded team. 40 of our 50 athletes are freshmen and sophomores, so we are a very young team.”
Crawford returns as a regional qualifier and three upper classmen in distance events ran well during cross country season.
“We have our returning regional qualifier (as a freshmen) Chanel Crawford and our distance team is still on a runner’s high from qualifying to regionals in cross country,” she said. “(The) throwers will be a very talented young group as well.”
As far as the PAC is concerned, Chandler hopes for a top finish this season.
“Our team goal is top three (and) I think this is very attainable,” she said. “Chanel Crawford, our throwers, distance team and freshmen surprises will score well at the PAC.
“I’ve certainly never had a more motivated and hardworking group of girls.”