The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls track and field team already has six returning All-Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division performers in senior Remy Hilpp, juniors Bryce Pacourek, Ava Connerty, Quinn Kahle and Antonia O’Keefe and sophomore Maria Dalton.
Now the Bulldogs hope to challenge for their first conference title since 2009. Last season, the Bulldogs were third behind champion Rosary and Aurora Central Catholic.
“We are very excited about our team this year,” head coach Ian Robins said. “We are very deep in all events and are looking to take a jump into the invites and placing at conference. If some of our athletes can take that next step and build off strong off-season work, they should be in for a great season.”
Pacourek was the 2021 MSC Blue champion in the 800-meter run (2:33.28) and also is a threat in the 1,600 and 3,200.
Pacourek also can be a distance threat in the 1,600 (4th, 5:54.34) and 3,200, as evidenced by her qualifying individually for the IHSA Class 2A girls cross country state meet last November.
Dalton was second in the 3,200 (13:34.11), Connerty (100 high hurdles in 19.43), Hilpp (6-0 in pole vault), Kahle (4-4 in high jump) and O’Keefe (16.99m/55-9 in discus) all finished third.
Sophomore Lily Kocourek (800), juniors Mia Wagner (3,200), Sophia Richter (pole vault) and Beatrice Spidale (triple jump), O’Keefe (shot put), the 400 relay with junior Aja McKay and senior Ashley Vazquez, the 1,600 relay with Dalton, Wagner and Pacourek and the 3,200 relay with senior Emma Brassil, and Richter also had top-five finishes.
Other key contributors include junior Jenny Thomas, a triple jumper and pole vaulter who saw varsity action last season, and freshman Gianna Gelb, who joined Pacourek as a 2021 individual 2A girls cross country state qualifier.
RBHS boys eye state meet glory
The Riverside-Brookfield High School boys track and field team brings a strong state flavor into 2022.
Seniors Paul Proteau and James Dalton and sophomores Jack O’Brien and Hayden Marrs were 2021 IHSA Class 3A state qualifiers. Proteau and O’Brien also were part of the Bulldogs’ fifth-place IHSA Class 2A finish at the state cross country meet last November.
With a huge personal best at the state track finals, Proteau was 13th in the 1,600 (4:20.76) after a then-best 4:34.24 to win the Morton Sectional with the No. 30 sectional performance.
Dalton, Proteau and O’Brien also were part of the 1,600 relay at state (21st, 3:36.82) and Dalton, O’Brien and Marrs return from the state-qualifying 3,200 relay (24th, 8:25.71).
At state cross country, Proteau once again delivered a personal-best 3.0-mile performance to finish third for top-25, all-state honors. O’Brien (30th), Marrs (139th) and junior William Kallas (142nd) were the No. 3, 4 and 5 team finishers. Proteau will continue running at NCAA Division III Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Dalton nearly was an individual state track qualifier as well in 2021, taking fourth at sectionals (400 in 52.70). Junior William Smithing (44.24 in 300 intermediate hurdles), who was 0.65 seconds from second place, and sophomore Muhammad Salem (2.74m/9-0 in pole vault) also were fourth at sectionals.
The Bulldogs also captured the MSC Blue title 128-116 over Elmwood Park, their first conference title since 2017. Event champions were Dalton (400 in 52.62), Proteau (1,600 in 4:42.99), O’Brien (3,200 in 10:24.37), the 800 relay with Salem and senior Matt Agnew (1:38.05), the 1,600 relay with O’Brien, Proteau and Dalton (3:37.16) and the 3,200 relay with Dalton, Marrs and Proteau (8:31.63).