Elkhart County area girls cross country talent is widespread, led by trio from Elkhart Memorial, Penn and Elkhart Christian

Penn’s Maddie Woods leads a team that could be among the state’s best girls cross country teams, but don’t count out Elkhart Memorial’s Brooke Moore or Elkhart Christian’s Kayla Casaletto.

Posted on Aug. 20, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

There is no shortage of talent among the area girls cross country teams this year, as several top runners return to battle for conference and tournament supremacy.

But one figure casts a big shadow just west of Elkhart, where Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer prepares for her senior season while reportedly nursing a a foot injury. She is expected to return to full-time competition late in the regular season.

Already a two-time national champion in two different events during her high school career, Rohrer missed the 2013 state cross country tournament with a foot injury, before returning in the spring to dominate the 3,200 at the state track track finals in June.

But that doesn’t mean the area’s best will back down.

Elkhart Memorial’s Brooke Moore and Penn’s Maddie Woods each reached state last season and look to be strong contenders again in 2014.

Woods won the Elkhart Regional and New Haven Semistate titles last fall, after missing the sectional recovering from a heart procedure. She eventually finished sixth at state.

Meanwhile, Moore won the Elkhart Sectional, before coming home second to Woods at the regional, fourth at semistate and 16th at state.

Elkhart Christian’s Kayla Casaletto just missed reaching state last season in both cross country and track, and the talented senior is hoping to reach the state level in both sports, starting this fall.

"She is very focused and has a very specific goal to reach,’’ ECA coach Peter Casaletto — also Kayla’s dad — said. “She’s running very well so far this year and I believe she’s ready for a good season.’’

Penn ranks as the top returning team, with Woods, Danielle Frank and Hannah Selis leading a Kingsmen squad that finished sixth at the state finals. New coach Josh Fletcher takes over the Penn program and inherits that talent.

Veteran Concord coach Dave Juday also returns a strong team that found its stride late in the year and qualified for semistate.

Senior Heather Johnson, and juniors Anna Niesen, Mackenzie  Porter and Vanessa Steiner are the top returnees for the Minutemen.



Coach: Benji Hurst (second season).

Assistant coaches: Krysten Parson.

2014 record: Incomplete team.

Returning letterwinners: Senior: Lena Yeakey. Sophomore: Hannah Yeakey.

Newcomers: Junior: Hyein Kwon. Sophomores: Abby Hochstetler, Jiwoo Wi. Freshman: Elizabeth Eby, Olivia Lapadet, Elaina Youngberg.

Opener: Thursday, Aug. 21 at Goshen Invitational



Coach: Dave Juday (17th season).

2014 record: 3-4 in Northern Lakes Conference; advanced team to semistate.

Returning letterwinners: Senior: Heather Johnson. Juniors: Anna Niesen, Vanesa Steiner, MacKenzie Porter.

Opener: Saturday, Aug. 23 at Elkhart Christian Invitational



Coach: Bekah Shenk (fourth season).

2014 record: 3-2.

Returning letterwinners: Seniors: Amanda Dibley, Sarahi Lopez, Alex Smith. Sophomores: Izzy Samuels, Stacy Dibley, Jordan Johnson, Samantha Shrider, Odette Kuehn.

Newcomers: Seniors:Liz Massaquoi, Bridget Shrider. Juniors: Mickayla Kline, Morgan Markel, Maria Nowicki, Makaya Young. Sophomores: Madeline Brandi, Olivia Haworth. Freshman: Xiomara Camacho, Daniela Garces, Maria Leon, Ebonie Mora, Estela Pedraza, Skiler Reveal, Emma Romero, Jasmine Sheppard. 

Opener:  Saturday Aug. 23 at NIC Stomp..



Coach: Peter Casaletto.

Assistant coaches: Britney Burdis

Upperclassmen: Seniors: Kayla Casaletto, Erika Baughman, Faith Traughtman. Junior: Sydney Newland.

Underclassmen: Sophomores: Musa Scott, Maddie Morehead. Freshman Lily Reynolds, Ariana Barben, Braydan Deardorff.

Next meet: Thursday, Aug. 21 at Goshen Invitational



Coach: Adam Homo.

Assistant coaches: Mitch Henderson, Barry Hines, Dana Homo.

2014 record: 6-3.

Returning letterwinners: Seniors: Brooke Moore, Allison Grover, Alisa Zoller. Junior: Hailey Moore. Sophomore: Melissa Luft. 

Newcomers: Seniors: Tonisha Maddox, Alexis Miller. Sophomores: Skylar Axsom, Ally Bailey, Alexia Broadway, Allison Davies, Lilly Dixon, Mary Soptich. Freshman: Katlyn Bell, Kayla Bell, Dinah Gilbert, Megan JArrett, Sarah Lusk, Nimith Patel, Maleah Todd. 

Opener: Thursday Aug. 21 at Elkhart Invitational



Coach: Kirt Hunsberger (ninth season).

Assistant coaches: Chris Howell.

Upperclassmen: Senior: Taylor Stidham. Juniors: Katie Kieper, Emily Miller, Maddison Miller, Kali Reese, Brooklyn Straw.

Underclassmen: Sophomores: Kenzie Bobeck, Karly Dallas, Calvin Howell, Cierra Lau, Winifred Sceniak, PErsis Wade. Freshman: Carlee Howell.

Opener: Tuesday, Aug. 25 at Goshen.



Coach: Mike Wynn  (22nd year).

Assistant coaches:  Chris Dubois and Tara Sparks. 

2014 record: 5-5.

Returning letterwinners:  Seniors: Ellie Hathaway, Adrienne Henke, Tricia Place, Beatriz Castillo, Jasmyn Brown, Bethany Pollock. Juniors: Annelise Wiebe, Nora Rangel. Sophomore: Ariana Perez-Diener. 

Opener: Thursday, Aug 25 at Goshen Invitational



Coach: Joe Linville (21st season).

Assistant coaches: Marty Moyer.

2014 record: 8-5.

Returning letterwinners: Juniors: Kelly Brooks, Hanah Gasper, Raelle Hurtekant, Rachel Miller. Sophomores: Felicity Bailey, Kaitlin Eckert, Ally Isenbarger, Cece Pendell, Caitlyn Wilkins, Katelyn Woods.

Newcomers: Junior: Arianna Maxie. Sophomore: Leah Fager. Freshman: Julie Burkholder, Taylor Mikel.

Opener: Thursday, Aug. 21 at Goshen Invitational



Coach: Ryan McClain

Assistant coaches: Andy Williams.

Upperclassmen: Seniors: Brianna Eggleston, Nikki Willey. Juniors: Morgan Blyly, Megan Campbell, Molly Campbell.

Underclassmen: Sophomores: Hanna Durbin, Kaitlyn Kilmer, Mariah King, McKenzie Love. Freshmen: Mackenzie Adams, Melissa Bailey, Molly Campbell, Rowann HAtfield, Jenna Miller, Jessica Miller, Jalyln Smith.

Opener: Friday, Aug. 22 at Niles.



Coach: Melissa Wyatt (sixth season).

Assistant coaches: Mark Mikel.

Returning letterwinners: Seniors: Jamie McBride, Miriah Slabaugh. Junior: Sarah Stump. Sophomore: Hanna Walter.

Newcomers: Senior: Regan Smith. Junior: McKayla Bedward. Sophomore: Anna Martinez. Freshmen: Erica Stutzman, Kate Jarvis, Sarah Schmidt.

Opener: Saturday, Aug. 23 at Elkhart Christian Invitational



Coach: Josh Fletcher (first year).

Assistant coaches: Angie Wilfert.

2014 record: Northern Indiana Conference, sectional, regional champions.

Returning letterwinners: Madison Woods, Danielle Frank, Hannah Selis, Lorena Dominguez, Nichiole Fuller, Sarah Hamilton, Emma Jankowski, Julie Nafe, Frankie Spring.

Newcomers: Alex Blosser, Gabrielle Gramza, Lauren Frank, Dani Spring, Jill Woods, Sybil Kurian.

Opener: Saturday, Aug. 23 at NIC Stomp



Coach: Doug Slabaugh (second year).

Assistant coaches: Staci Weisser, Jerid Stoffel, Dave Stookey.

2014 record: 7-3.

Returning letterwinners: Courtney Linnemeier, Molly Swartz, Delanie Bame, Elizabeth Zorn, Bailey Schroeder, Sarah Harden.

Newcomers: Aubrey Kuhn Yanelly Piziana, Keyanna Clevenger, Reagan Atwood, Kayla Hershberger, Autumn Yoder.

Opener: Saturday, Aug. 30 at Prairie Heights Invitational



Coach: Les Hively (eighth season).

Assistant coaches: Jon Cook.

Upperclassmen: Seniors: Kaitlyn Warren, Elaine Mullett. Juniors: Sierra Weaver, Hope Brandenberger, Jeannie Bontrager.

Underclassmen: Sophomore: Madison Burton. Freshman: Lydia Rang.

Opener: Thursday, Aug 21 at Goshen Invitational.


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