Moorestown lacrosse among spring's top teams
Moorestown (Moorestown, N.J.)
The past decade has been kind to Moorestown. With a constant influx of talent, the Quakers have become one of the nation's premier lacrosse programs while winning nine consecutive New Jersey Tournament of Champions. They show no signs of slowing down this year, either. The 2009 team is led by senior midfielder Alyssa Ogle, a Duke recruit who had 58 goals and 25 assists as a junior, and senior goalkeeper Karli Tobin. The future is in good hands as well. Junior attacks Kelsey Miller and Katrina Martinelli, junior defenders Claire MacDougall and Jenna Dougherty, and sophomore goalie Bridget Bianco represent the next generation of Moorestown superstars.
Simi Valley (Simi Valley, Calif.)
If pitching indeed wins championships, the Pioneers should be in good shape. After a spectacular 30-1 season in 2008, coach Russ Michael's squad is primed to make another run at a Southern Section title this spring. It all starts in the circle. Junior Amanda Oliveto, who went 15-1 last year, is one of the state's best pitchers. Right behind her is sophomore Sophia Perez, who was called up from JV last season and is the program's next star. Throw in a No. 3 pitcher/first baseman who would be an ace on most squads (junior Kelli-Jo Killingsworth), and the Pioneers have a stacked rotation. Senior Brianna Stephan, who batted .398 last year, leads the way at the plate. This group is trying to erase the pain of last year's Division 1 finals loss, which ruined Simi Valley's chance for an undefeated season. The 2009 team may not go undefeated, but it plans on hoisting the trophy.
St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis, Mo.)
The Angels were ranked No. 2 in the preseason ESPN RISE FAB 50 after going 20-4 and reaching the Class 2 state title game in 2008. Led by senior back Maggie Baumann, St. Joseph's features one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the country. Baumann, a St. Louis recruit, has a history of shutting down the opponent's top scorer. St. Joseph's offense, meanwhile, is in the hands of senior Becky Handley, sophomore Lauren Flynn and junior Jaclyn Mastroianni, who combined to score 34 goals last season. Seniors Courtney Hurley, Tessa Daniels and Claire Hulcer also play pivotal roles.
Thompson Valley (Loveland, Colo.)
Track & Field
The Eagles won last year's Class 4A state championship less with balance and more with overwhelming depth in running events. Thompson Valley scored 59 of its 78 points in seven races: the 200, 400, 800, 1,600 and three relay events. Now seniors, Laura and Liz Tremblay were among the biggest contributors. Liz finished fourth in the 200 and third in the 400, while Laura won both the 800 and 1,600. The Eagles found scoring in other ways, too. Justine Boddy finished third in the high jump while thenfreshman Katie Lindenmuth finished fourth in the long jump. Thompson Valley edged the runner-up by 14 points last year and, more importantly, returns nearly every point-scorer this season.
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