Track: Joliet West up to speed quickly
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media April 26, 2012 6:28PM
Bacari Ivy, Joliet West track
Updated: May 28, 2012 9:05AM
If April is any indication, the 2-year-old Joliet West girls track and field program is growing up fast and healthy.
The talent and increasing depth was evident April 14, when Joliet West finished first at its own eight-team invitational that included Deerfield and Crete-Monee. The Tigers won four events, took second in five others and had seven third places.
“To build a program from scratch, I think we’ve come a long way,” coach Tisha Alvarez said. “I’ve got a great staff that helps with distance and sprinters and jumps. We have talent in all the main areas, so that’s really good.”
Hurdler Raven Moore, who has recovered from last season’s dislocated elbow, and first-year sprinter Bacari Ivy have been two of the top performers.
The team has grown to 80 athletes, including a large group of freshmen and sophomores who should help solidify the program’s future. Here are a few other athletes expected to make an impact:
Sophomores Shaniqua Brown and Martionna Johnson, along with freshmen Jonaia Warren and Jayda Jones, will be key to the sprints and relays. A healthy Teonia Blackmon also will make a difference.
LaTarrya White and Bryanna Nance (triple jump, long jump), versatile Hailey Salazar (400, 800, pole vault), middle distance runner Franny Alejo and distance runners Sarah Schalk and Guadalupe Diaz have strong potential.
In the throws, Alvarez’s specialty, watch for Chrissy Lisberdos and Tranece Lindsay in the discus and Kashianna Brown in the shot put.
With help from assistant coaches Al Pagnusat, Sally Pagnusat and Annie Monninger, Alvarez is counting on a bright future for Joliet West.
“Next year and the year after, the Tigers are going to be back up there,’’ Alvarez said. “It’s going to be really exciting to see.’’
North Central College’s women’s team, the defending College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin champion, reloaded with a freshman class of 28 that includes five individuals from local schools. Mandy Coglianese (Providence), Taylor Esch and Katelyn Zumpf (Lincoln-Way East), Erin Fitzgerald (Plainfield South) and Monique Lincoln (Plainfield North) are on the Cardinals roster.
“We have a very big freshman class,” women’s coach Kari Kluckhohn said. “We graduated a huge class last year. It was a major initiative to go after a very team-oriented, larger freshman class.”
Junior Lisa Sharp (Plainfield South) and sophomore Britney Kravish (Lincoln-Way East) are other local athletes on the team.
On the calendar
Here’s a look at boys sectional assignments:
Minooka, Plainfield South, Plainfield North and Joliet West, the top local teams at last year’s Class 3A state meet, will be at the Naperville North Sectional on May 17. The 16-team field also includes Joliet Central, Plainfield Central and Plainfield East.
Lincoln-Way East and Lincoln-Way Central will compete at the May 17 Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional that also includes Thornton, Crete-Monee, Thornridge and Thornwood. The latter four schools combined to win six state titles last year, three by Thornton.
Also in Class 3A, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Lockport and Lemont will be among the 16 teams May 17 at the Lockport Sectional.
In Class 2A, Morris and Coal City are at the May 18 Ottawa Sectional, while Joliet Catholic, Lincoln-Way West, Providence and Peotone will be at a site yet to be announced by the IHSA.