Six individuals to watch
Carolyn Donaldson, jr., Rock Island: The sprinter, along with Camryn Comodore, were part of the Rocks' fifth-place 400 relay team at Class 3A state. Donaldson also took third in the 100 (12.81) and fourth in the 200 (26.50) in the Western Big Six.
Erika Furbeck, jr., Geneseo: She placed second in long jump at Class 2A state meet last year (19 feet) and ninth in the 100 meters.
Chloe Lindeman, so., Fulton: Took second in the Class A state shot put with a throw of 43-03.75 last year as a freshman.
Kiah O’Neal, so., Alleman: She returns to defend her Western Big Six title (5-5) while also seeking a return trip to state.
Azlynn Sherrod-Butler, jr., United Township: The hurdler took second in the Big Six (15.68) for second straight year and was seventh in 3A sectional (16.73). “She has really stepped up her game,” coach Damon Bautista said.
Kylie Wymer, sr., Rock Island: Placed fourth in the shot put (35-0) and second in the discus (113-2) at the Big Six meet a year ago.
Three teams to watch
Rock Island: Rocks have won three straight Western Big Six titles and a fourth is expected. Camryn Comodore and Carolyn Donaldson return in sprints and relays along with Mollee Murphy, another state qualifier in the pole vault. The Rocks also add Jade Ford, a transfer, who took second in the 800 at the Big Six meet last year plus sophomore Dulce Perez returns in the 3,200 after a strong cross country season.
Moline: With sophomore Megan Pittington back after qualifying for three events at state a year ago, Moline is worth keeping an eye on. Despite key losses, Moline coach Joel Bohnsack sees stronger and greatly improved athletes from 10 key returnees plus a freshman class he likes a lot.
Mercer County: Caitlyn Hoffman, a junior, and Kenzie Baker, a senior, are back from the Golden Eagles’ second-place Class 1A state 400 and 800 relay teams. Both will also run 100 and 200 and Hoffman may run the 400, too. Other key personnel for coach Lara Swanson's team: Alyssa Hess, a junior middle distance runner; Josie Finch, a junior in shot and discus; Kari Coulter, a junior long jumper; and Brook Ziegenhorn, a triple jumper and pole vaulter.
Saturday -- Shipley Invite at Moline at Browning Field.
April 15 — Rock Island Invite at Rock Island Public Schools Stadium
May 5 — Western Big Six meet at Soule Bowl.
May 11-12 — IHSA Sectionals
May 18-20 -- IHSA State meet at Eastern Illinois University
— Jim Meenan