2017 DGS Girls Track Season Preview

Eight months ago, the DGS Girls Track & Field team was completing one of the best seasons in school history. The 2016 team finished 5th in the state of Illinois, only 1 point out of 3rd place. Senior superstars, Michaela Hackbarth and Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker were setting school records and earning all-state honors in multiple events to help the Mustang cause. Hackbarth was state champion in the 800m run and 5th in the 400m dash. Dixon-Tucker took 2nd in the 100m hurdles and 4th in the 100m dash. Both athletes have graduated and taken their talents to the collegiate level. Hackbarth is competing at the University of Missouri, while Dixon-Tucker is competing at Meridian Community College in Mississippi.

The 2017 Mustang track team will be without last year’s co-MVP’s, but the cupboard is not bare. Several athletes return to make their own history and lead this year’s team. Four DGS athletes return that qualified and competed in last year’s state championship meet. Maddie Manganiello (Jr) set the DGS long jump school record last season with a leap of 19′ 6″. Maddie will be one of the top jumpers in the state this year and will be threat to bring home all-state honors. Katie Stapleton (Sr) returns in the 3200m run, qualifying for last year’s state meet. Katie holds the DGS indoor 3200m school record (11:02) and hopes to improve on that time both indoors and outdoors during her final season. Seniors, Nicole Muccianti and Soren Umali, also return from state meet action. Nicole was a state qualifier in the 100m dash and the 4x100m relay and returns as the top DGS sprinter. Soren joined Nicole as a member of the state 4x100m relay team and is also our top hurdler. Soren hopes to return to her form from 2 years ago when she qualified for state in both the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles. Nicole and Soren were somewhat overshadowed by Dixon-Tucker in the sprint/hurdle events last season, but now they have the opportunity to establish themselves among the state’s best.

Other top returning athletes include Sonja Renowden (Sr) and Becky Versaskas (So),  Sonja is a sprinter and stand-out long jumper. Sonja just missed qualifying for state in the long jump by 1/2 inch last year and along with Maddie, gives DGS a great 1-2 punch. Becky is a talented distance runner who narrowly missed out of state qualifying in the 800m run last season. She is very capable of running anything from the 400m dash up to the 3200m run and doing it very well. Both Sonja and Becky return highly motivated and ready improve upon the 2016 season.

Sprinter, Alexus Allen (Jr), joins distance runners Melissa Weidner (So), Kelley Hackbarth (Jr), Kara Petersen (Sr), Gillian Thomas (Jr), and Olivia Duax (So) as athletes that scored at last year’s IHSA sectional meet and that should contribute to the DGS varsity again this season. Newcomers, Erin Reidy (Fr) and Brenna Cohoon (Fr) both played big roles in the DGS 4th place State Cross Country finish this fall and both are expected to excel in various distance events.

The Mustangs open the 2017 season on Saturday (Feb.11) at Hinsdale Central in a 6-team meet (vs. Naperville North, Proviso East, Queen of Peace, & Westinghouse). The full season schedule can be found on the Schedule/Results page. Team goals include winning indoor and outdoor WSC Gold conference titles for the 13th straight season and placing well in the state series. Good luck to all of the girls as they embark on this new season!