If numbers are any indication of a good track and field team, OPRF should be in decent shape this season.

The squad has ballooned to a record number 115 members-with a few more to join up now that the basketball season has concluded-and head coach Sarah McCabe is excited about her team’s potential.

“We have a lot of depth this year, which will help us fill some open spots,” she said. “We also have quite a few experienced athletes returning to balance things out.”

McCabe didn’t have to look far when finding her distance runners this year. Most of the runners carry over from an impressive cross-country team. Returning state qualifiers include seniors Marianne Kirk (3,200 relay) and Alison Rack (1,600 run, 3,200 run, 3,200 relay). Newcomer Katherine Rack bolsters the already solid group. The freshman finished 10th in the Class AA state cross country meet in the fall. The distant runners have already showed their potential during an indoor meet against St. Ignatius last week. Katherine won the 800, while Kirk took second. Alison ran a lifetime best 5:26.9 in the 1600 to finish second.

OPRF’s sprint crew also has several returners in Brittney Jackson, Kaneice Pitts, Uche Anigbogu, and Bridget Hosley (hurdles).

Middle distance returners Shannon Egan and Kirsten Weismantle are also expected to provide a push for the Huskies.

Rachel Teitelbaum (pole vault), Rachel Waterford (high jump), Laqueisha Robinson (shot put), and Brittany Smith (discus) are expected to lead the field events. Against St. Ignatius, Waterford took first in the high jump (4-8) and the triple jump (30-3). She also won the 55 hurdles in 9.7 seconds.

“We’re off to a fine start. The indoor season is really only a warm-up to the outdoor season, but I can honestly say I like what I’m seeing early,” said McCabe. “We’re not particularly concerned about how well we do right now, just that we continue to develop and gain experience before the outdoor season.”

Hinsdale Central is expected to lead the West Suburban (Silver) Conference this season, with Lyons Township, York and OPRF more than likely vying for second place. Last year, the Huskies finished second in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

“Hinsdale Central is just returning too many great distance runners,” said McCabe, who knows a thing or two about the competition with her husband Mark being an assistant track coach at Hinsdale Central. “It’ll be tough to catch them.”

The Huskies host Oswego and Wheaton North Saturday (9 a.m.). The outdoor season begins April 3rd at Hinsdale Central.

Leiner, Geraghty back for OPRF boys

The OPRF boys should again be top heavy in the field events with Dan Leiner and Tom Geraghty expected to return to action in their respective events this season. Leiner, now a senior, qualified for state last season in the shotput event. Geraghty, who is currently nursing a sore back but is expected to be ready to go possibly by the West Suburban (Silver) Conference Indoor Meet, will try to improve on his sectional win in the pole vault last season.

Other field eventers with potential include Cory Elich, Khalil Draper-Kovarik, Steve Harper, Sid Kenyon and Joel McGregor.

With the loss of OPRF’s top state runner Todd Teren to graduation, senior Dan Polk is expected to lead OPRF in the running events. Polk qualified for state last season in the 1,600 and the 400-meter relays.

Patrick Geoghegan, a state qualifier in cross country, will take up distance running duties for the Huskies.

Third-year head coach Tim Hasso will also be relying on underclassmen Zack Howard, Corbin Whalum, Tarrance Brooks, Brandon Smith. Seniors

“The objective is to stay healthy throughout the indoor season, and then release the horses in the outdoor season,” said Hasso.

The Huskies have won their first three meets in the indoor season.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...