Cross Country Summer Camps!

The DGS Girls Cross Country Summer Camps will begin in 2 weeks! There are two different camps that will be going on. Runners of all levels of experience are welcome to participate in either camp.

The High School camp (grades 9-12) will begin on Monday, June 15th and run through the end of July. Camp will run from 7:00-9:15am on Mondays through Thursdays. The girls will meet outside of Exit 6 at DGS each day. The girls will also meet at on Fridays at Waterfall Glen for a longer run and again on Saturdays at rotating locations throughout Downers Grove and Woodridge.

The Jr. High camp (grades 6-8) will run for only 3 weeks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays starting on Tue, June 16. Camp will run from 8:00-9:00am each of those days and the girls will meet outside of Exit 6 at DGS.

Anyone who is going to participate in either one of the summer camps must register online HERE.

Track & Field Awards Night

The Track & Field Awards Night was held last night at DGS. It was an opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments of our athletes and our amazing 2015 season.

In addition to all of the athletes receiving their participation awards, several special awards were given out. There were 3 different Most Improved Awards. Coach Kukulski presented Hailey Rodden (Fr) with the most improved field events award. Coach E presented Soren Umali (So) with the most improved sprinter award, and Coach Plunkett presented Katie Stapleton (So) with the most improved distance runner award. Anna Soriano (Sr) earned the Sportsmanship award as presented by Coach Pinnick, and Coach E gave the Most Valuable Athlete award to our state champion, Michaela Hackbarth (Jr).

Four of our seniors will be continuing their track careers at the collegiate level. Abby Kargol will be running at the University of Minnesota. Amanda Thate will be running at Kansas State University. Grand Valley State will be getting the services of Mary Beine, And Alayna Connolly will be running at Augustana College.

It was an emotional evening as we not only said goodbye to our graduating seniors, but also had to say goodbye to Coach E. She will be moving to Arizona next fall to continue her own hurdle training and attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

The team captains and parent volunteers did a great job creating a festive atmosphere by cooking and providing good food and decorating the cafetorium. Thanks to all of them for their efforts in making last night a memorable evening.


State Finals Recap

On Saturday, DGS competed in 3 finals events at the IHSA State Championship meet. The top 9 finishers in each event earn All-State honors.

Senior, Abby Kargol, started the day off in the fast heat of the 3200m run. Unfortunately, Abby did not have her best race and ended up in a disappointing 21st place with a time of 11:16.58. Abby finishes her DGS career as one of the most accomplished distance runners in school history. She set both the indoor and outdoor school records in the 3200m run this season to go along with her All-State 5th place finish in last year’s state meet. Abby will continue her running at the University of Minnesota next year!

Junior, Michaela Hackbarth, toed the line for the 800m run trying to improve on last year’s 2nd place finish. The defending state champion among others stood in her way, but Michaela was able to run a fantastic race and finish the season as State Champion! She becomes the 6th state champion in DGS girls track history. Michaela was able to overcome an early season injury to prevail with a time of 2:11.24 that was both a PR and the fastest time in Illinois this season. She will look to defend her state title next year and make a run at the state record in the 800m (2:07.05).

The 4x400m relay team stepped on to the track in lane 9 as the 8th seed out of 9 finalists. The quartet of Lauren Wong (Jr), Rachel Petro (Sr), Mary Beine (Sr), and Michaela Hackbarth was able to improve on their position despite running slightly slower than they did in prelims. The time of 3:59.64 allowed the Mustangs to finish in 5th place and earn All-State honors.

As a result of these races, Downers Grove South scored 15 points and finished in 18th place overall.

State Meet Prelim Recap

DGS competed well in the prelims last Friday at the IHSA State Championship meet. The goal for each event was to qualify on to the Saturday finals. The field events and distance events take 12 to the finals, The sprint events take 9 to the finals.

Maddie Manganiello (Fr) started us off in the long jump with a leap of 15-2.5 to finish 25th out of 29 qualifiers. While Maddie did not advance to Saturday’s finals, she gained valuable experience to draw upon over the next 3 years. She finished as the best freshman long jumper in school history.

The 4x100m relay team of Nicole Muccianti (So), Soren Umali (So), Rachel Petro (Sr), and Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker (Jr) ran a season best time of 48.70 on Friday to finish 13th out of the 34 qualifiers. They did not advance (missing by .13 seconds), but were still able to run their best race of the year when it counted most.

Both Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker and Soren Umali competed next in the 100m hurdles. Soren ran a season best time of 15.17 to finish 15th out of the 26 qualifiers. Shaliyah ran 15.03 to finish 10th and narrowly miss finals by .01 seconds. We expect to see both of them in the finals next season!

Michaela Hackbarth (Jr) punched her ticket to the Saturday finals by winning her heat of the 800m run with a time of 2:15.97. She was able to run a relaxed pace and conserve energy for her 3 other races of the weekend.

In the 300m hurdles, Soren Umali ran 46.72 to finish 21st out of 34 state qualifiers. Katie Stapleton (So) made her state meet debut in the 1600m with a time of 5:21.03 that netted her 37th place out of the 43 qualifiers. Both of these talented sophomores gained valuable state meet experience that will allow them to improve their positions next year.

The final qualifying event of the day was the 4x400m relay. The team of Lauren Wong (Jr), Rachel Petro, Mary Beine (Sr), and Michaela Hackbarth ran a season best time of 3:56.63 to qualify for the Saturday finals.

At the end of Friday, the Mustangs were left with 3 entries in the finals. Abby Kargol in the 3200m run, Michaela Hackbarth in the 800m run, and the 4x400m relay team.

State Meet Week!

The DGS girls track & field team will travel to the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston this weekend (May 22-23) to compete in the Illinois State Championship Meet. Prelims in most events will take place on Friday afternoon and finals will be Saturday afternoon. The Mustangs will be well represented in multiple events as a result of qualifying in last week’s IHSA Sectional meet.

On Friday, Maddie Manganiello (Fr) will compete in the long jump. Maddie’s sectional jump of 17-2 was the 23rd best sectional jump out of 29 qualifiers. She will be jumping at 12:00pm on Friday. Maddie will need to have one of the 12 best jumps on Friday in order to advance to Saturday’s finals.

The 4x100m relay team of Nicole Muccianti (So), Soren Umali (So), Rachel Petro (Sr), and Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker (Jr) will step on to the big blue oval to compete at 1:30pm on Friday. The speedy quartet qualified with the 22nd best time (49.15) out of 32 qualifiers. They will need to have one of the 9 fastest times on Friday in order to advance to Saturday’s finals.

Both Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker (Jr) and Soren Umali (So) will quickly return to the track for the 100m hurdle prelims at 2:00pm. Shaliyah’s sectional winning time of 15.18 leaves her with the 15th seed in the field of 26 qualifiers. Soren’s runner-up time of 15.26 places her 20th among the qualifiers. Both girls look to improve upon their seeds in order to be one of the top 9 that make Saturday’s final.

At 2:20pm, Michaela Hackbarth (Jr) will compete in the 800m run prelims. Michaela is an experienced state meet athlete, earning all-state honors in both 2013 (4x200m relay) and 2014 (800m run) and she will be trying to improve upon last year’s 2nd place finish in the 800m. Michaela is in a good position to do that after her sectional winning time of 2:11.27 leaves her with the fastest time among the 32 state qualifiers. It won’t be an easy task given that last year’s champion (Lauren Van Vlierbergen) is still in the field of competition, but we feel that Michaela is ready to move past LVV. Michaela will need to have one of the top 12 prelim times on Friday in order to advance to Saturday’s final.

Soren Umali (So) will return to the track for a 3rd time on Friday to compete in the 300m hurdle prelims at 3:10pm. She won the sectional meet with a time of 46.09 that gave her the 13th best sectional time out of 34 qualifiers. Soren will need to move up into the top 9 in order to advance to Saturday’s final.

One of the most competitive events at the state meet will be the 1600m run with 47 state qualifiers. Katie Stapleton (So) earned her way to state with her 2nd place finish at sectionals in 5:16.65. That time seeds her 40th in the extremely large field. Katie will need to run one of the 12 fastest times on Friday at 3:20pm in order to qualify on to the Saturday finals.

The 4x400m relay will be the final race on Friday at 4:00pm. The Mustang quartet of Lauren Wong (Jr), Rachel Petro (Sr), Mary Beine (Sr), and Michaela Hackbarth (Jr) will be looking to improve upon their sectional winning time of 3:58.07. The sectional time seeds DGS 7th out of the 36 qualifying relay teams. The top 9 relay times from Friday’s prelim races will advance to Saturday’s final.

Abby Kargol (Sr) is the only Mustang with a guaranteed position in the Saturday finals. Abby will be competing in the 3200m run which does not conduct prelim races. Her sectional time of 11:01.22 places her 10th among the 32 state qualifiers. Abby will be looking for a similar result as last year where she entered the state meet with the 12th fastest time and finished in 5th place earning all-state honors. This year, Abby’s season-best time of 10:45.53 ranks 5th among her competition in Saturday’s race.

State Meet History: Over the years, Downers Grove South has produced 28 individual all-state athletes including 5 state champions. Tina Stec won both the 800m run and 1600m run in 1990. Current DGS head track coach, Egle Staisiunaite, won the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles in 2007. And current Michigan State stand out, Tori Franklin, won the triple jump in 2010. DGS has also produced 10 all-state relay teams including two 2nd place relays (4x800m in 1988 and 4×400 in 2011). As a team, DGS has finished in the top 5 in the state three times (3rd in 1990, 5th in 2007, 5th in 2011). Hopefully this year’s team will be able to add to the legacy!

2015 Sectional Team Champions!

The DGS girls track & field team won the IHSA Sectional meet in convincing fashion last night at Downers Grove North. The Mustangs scored 104 pts to easily outdistance runner-up Hinsdale Central’s 74 pts in the 15-team meet. This is the 2nd straight Sectional victory for the DGS and our 3rd in the last 5 years.

The team qualified 8 individual events and 2 relay teams to next week’s IHSA State Meet held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. This marks the most entries DGS has brought to State since the 2007 season when we qualified 11 events (including Coach E in both hurdle races).

Freshman, Maddie Manganiello, was the lone field event qualifier. She finished 2nd in the long jump with a leap of 17-2 to secure her entry in next week’s state championship meet.

The 4x800m relay team  placed 3rd in the first running event final of the evening. The quartet of Maggie Seitz-Jr, Mary Beine-Sr, Lizbeth Alcantara-Jr, and Gillian Thomas-Fr did not advance to next week’s state meet, but ran several PR’s and scored valuable team points with their 3rd place finish.

The 4x100m relay team (Nicole Muccianti-So, Soren Umali-So, Rachel Petro-Sr, Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker-Jr) placed 4th overall. But their time of 49.15, was under the state qualifying mark of 49.44 to qualify them for another race next week at state.

Senior, Abby Kargol took 2nd place in the 3200m run with 11:01.22 to punch her ticket to state. She will be looking to improve on her 5th place finish at last year’s state finals. Our biggest heartbreak also occurred in the 3200m race when senior, Amanda Thate, missed the state qualifying mark (11:16.04) by fractions of a second with her 11:16.18 finish. Amanda concludes her high school career as one of the most accomplished distance runners in DGS school history.

The parade of Mustang qualifiers continued on in the next track event as Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker and Soren Umali returned to the track and finished 1-2 in the 100m hurdles. Shaliyah ran 15.18 and Soren ran 15.26 and they both qualified for State. Sophomore, Nicole Muccianti, represented DGS in the 100m dash finals and added to our winning team total with her 5th place finish.

Junior, Michaela Hackbarth nervously paced the infield before her 800m race, but she showed no signs of that as she stepped onto the track and ran one of the best races of her life. Michaela bested some very good competition to win the 2-lap race in 2:11.27. That time was not only a new DGS school record, but is currently the fastest 800m time in the state! Michaela will return to state next week trying to improve on her 2nd place finish from last year.

The 4x200m relay team ran a season-best time of 1:46.27 to finish 4th, but came up short of the 1:45.74 qualifying standard. Nicole Muccianti, Sonja Renowden-So, Rachel Petro, and Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker all ran well to score more valuable team points.

With only the 4x200m event in between, Michaela Hackbarth returned to the track to contest the 400m dash. Michaela continued to amaze, as she ran another PR of 57.74 to finish 2nd and qualify for the state meet in a 2nd event.

The Mustangs kept on rolling as Soren Umali and junior, Lauren Wong stepped on the track for the 300m hurdle race. Soren’s time of 46.09 of good for 1st place and a ticket to state. Lauren ran a great race to finish 3rd overall, but her time of 47.76 fell just short of the 46.94 qualifying mark.

Sophomore, Katie Stapleton, was seeded 5th in the field of 1600m runners. The race started quickly but turned into a tactical affair halfway through. It became obvious that the qualifying mark was not in danger, so only the first two finishers would be moving on to State. Katie powered down the final straight-away, out-kicking her 2 closest competitors to finish in 2nd place and qualify for State with a PR time of 5:16.65.

In the final race of the night, the 4x400m relay team was looking to make a statement. The talented quartet of Lauren Wong, Rachel Petro, Mary Beine, and Michaela Hackbarth had run well, but had not quite run a complete race during the outdoor portion of the season. They certainly didn’t disappoint as they ran a season best time of 3:58.07 to take first place and put an exclamation point on the overall team victory.

The coaches are extremely proud of all of the girls and the efforts they put into last night’s meet and the season as a whole. Good luck to all of the state qualifiers!

Sectional Meet Today!

The DGS girls track & field team travels to Downers Grove North HS this afternoon to compete against 14 other schools in the IHSA Sectional meet. The top 2 finishers in each event, plus anyone who meets the state qualifying standard will advance to next week’s state championship meet. The Mustangs are hopeful in several events to qualify on to State. Field events begin at 4:30pm, Running event prelims begin at 5:30pm, and finals begin at 6:30pm. Look for Twitter updates with meet results.

WSC Gold Conference Champs!

The Mustangs dominated the outdoor conference championship meet, winning both the Frosh/Soph and Varsity levels by wide margins. On the varsity level, DGS scored 178 pts to runner-up Morton’s total of 110 pts. This victory marked the 11th straight season that DGS has won the conference title. On the F/S level, Morton was favored to win according to the entries and seed times. Our younger Mustangs raised their game and turned a close meet into a rout by the end. DGS scored 197 pts to Morton’s 168.

The field events started things off well for DGS. On Wednesday, DGS hosted the pole vault competition vs. Morton. On the varsity level, DGS took 3rd and 4th places (Patricia Barcenas and Abby Zochowski). In the F/S competition, Lauren Ackermann took 1st and Izzy Taylor took 3rd.

The remainder of the meet took place at Hinsdale South on Thursday. In the high jump, Kiera James and Maddie Manganiello placed 1st and 3rd for the varsity. Bella Kelly and Hailey Rodden placed 1st and 2nd for the F/S. Asia Branch placed 5th in the F/S discus and Tiara Golliday-Murry placed 5th in the F/S shot put. In the F/S triple jump, Alessandra Lane and Lauren Ackermann placed 3rd and 4th. The long jump competition went well on both levels as Maddie Manganiello won the varsity and Vanessa Patino won the F/S. Kiera James added points by placing 5th on the varsity and Shalyn Martinek placed 3rd for the F/S.

Dominance in the distance events was par for the course on Thursday. On the F/S level, Natalie Olsen and Riya Bhasin took 1st and 3rd in the 3200m. Gillian Thomas and Kara Petersen took 1st and 2nd in the 800m. And Alyssa Taglia and Mary Eterno placed 1st and 3rd in the 1600m. For the varsity, Abby Kargol and Katie Stapleton placed 1-2 in the 3200m. Michaela Hackbarth and Maggie Seitz placed 1st and 6th in the 800m. And Amanda Thate and Abby Kargol placed 1-2 in the 1600m.

Sprints and hurdles also scored plenty of varsity points. Nicole Muccianti placed 2nd in the varsity 100m dash while Ariana Finley placed 6th. In the 200m, Muccianti and Finley placed 3rd and 5th. Michaela Hackbarth won the varsity 400m followed by Rachel Petro in 3rd. Soren Umali doubled up in the hurdles, winning both the 100m hurdles and the 300m hurdles. Lauren Wong placed 5th and 2nd in same races.

The F/S 100m dash found Izzy Taylor in 2nd and Ishante Reed in 5th. Alexus Allen took 1st in both the 200m and 400m dashes. Izzy Taylor also finished 2nd in the 400m. Shalyn Martinek won the F/S 100m hurdle race and came back to finish 5th in the 300m hurdles. Sarah Ansah placed 4th in the 100m hurdles.

On the track, relay action was fast and furious. The varsity 4x800m relay team (Maggie Seitz, Jill Boyle, Anna Soriano, and Lizbeth Alcantara) placed 2nd. The F/S 4x800m relay team (Johanna Skibbe, Lily Skrapka, Gabby Senne, and Amber McCauley) placed 3rd. The varsity 4x100m relay team also placed 2nd (Lauren Wong, Maddie Manganiello, Rachel Petro, Soren Umali). The F/S version of the same relay took home 1st place (Abby Davenport, Lauren Ackermann, Vanessa Patino, and Alexus Allen). The varsity 4x200m relay was 4th overall (Nicole Muccianti, Ariana Finley, Lizbeth Alcantara, and Mary Beine). The F/S 4x200m relay team took 1st (Lauren Ackermann, Alexus Allen, Vanessa Patino, and Ishante Reed). Both levels of the 4x400m relay accentuated the DGS team championships with victories in the meets final event. The F/S team of Nicole Koeplin, Gillian Thomas, Kara Petersen, and Izzy Taylor took home 1st place honors. The varsity team of Lauren Wong, Rachel Petro, Mary Beine, and Michaela Hackbarth set a new conference record on the way to their 1st place effort.

Overall, it was a great night to be a Mustang!


Conference Week!

2015 Outdoor Conference Week is here! The Mustangs will toe the line with the rest of the West Suburban Conference Gold Division this week in an attempt to win their 11th straight varsity conference title. Competition begins on Wednesday at 4:30pm as pole vaulters from DGS and Morton will square off at the DGS stadium. None of the other 5 Gold Division schools compete in the pole vault or even have pole vault facilities, so a separate competition is always scheduled. On Thursday, the remainder of the 18 track & field events will be contested starting at 4:30pm at Hinsdale South HS. Prelims will go off at 5:30pm, followed by finals at 6:00pm.