Girls All-Classes Pre-Season Rankings

There is a long season still ahead of us, but if these two teams finish it up battling for the 4A title, it will be an exciting season.

 

NCRunners is counting down the top 25 girls cross country teams in the state, from all classifications, in preparation for the start of the fall season.  The top 2 girls teams will be revealed on August 1st, which is the official first day of practice.  For a more detailed explanation of how these rankings were developed, see this article.

 

#1: Green Hope

Having won four straight state titles, Green Hope now has the daunting task of trying to defend a championship without a single member of the team that started the streak remaining.  They have plenty of talent returning nonetheless, with emerging star Kristen Lospinoso leading a top 5 that have all run under 19:20.  That returning top 5 is good enough to win a 4A title, but Green Hope has a new weapon: former Athens Drive runner Elly Henes slots in at #2 for the Falcons after moving into the Green Hope district.  That also helps with the only apparent weakness on this team, which is depth beyond the top 7.  More help could come from the return of Savannah Lipps, who struggled with injuries in 2012 but ran 11:37 during the spring, helping the Falcons to the #2 spot in the team-scored 3200 rankings.  Add in her 2011 PR of 19:02, along with Henes, and then you have a top 7 separated by 42 seconds.  That's enough to give Green Hope a slight edge as the 4A favorite at this point, although they are far from a lock to earn their fifth championship.

  Green Hope (NC)  
  1) Kristen Lospinoso   18:34.38 16
  2) Kayla Hall   18:54.28 29
  3) Theresa Enright   19:04.00 36
  4) Katie Tomasi   19:11.27 40
  5) Julia Zwierzynski   19:16.71 43
  Average Time: 19:00.13 Total Time: 1:35:00.64 1-5 Split: 42.33
  6) Julia England   20:29.24 161
  7) Hannah Groover   20:31.71 167

 

#2: Providence

If any team is going to dethrone the 4-time defending 4A girls champions, it is this one.  The talent is there, with the entire returning top 7 at 20 minutes or faster, including 3 sub-18:40 runners.  Providence graded out 3rd in the team-scored 3200 rankings this spring (second in the winter), reflecting tremendous seasons from their potent top 3 (Bianca Bishop 11:03/5:13, Grace Sullivan 5:11/11:46, Kayla Glova 11:20).  Amelia Lennard and Meghan Glova also showed improvement during outdoor track, and this school's large population usually provides a talented freshman or two.  If this team stays healthy, and depth among the 4-7 runners improve, the Panthers are a legitimate title contender.

  Providence (NC)  
  1) Bianca Bishop   18:06.08 6
  2) Grace Sullivan   18:32.49 15
  3) Kayla Glova   18:36.61 17
  4) Amelia Lennard   19:32.61 57
  5) Helen Griffith   19:37.00 60
  Average Time: 18:52.96 Total Time: 1:34:24.79 1-5 Split: 1:30.92
  6) Maggie Sullivan   19:51.00 80
  7) Meghan Glova   20:00.00 100

 

#3: Cardinal Gibbons

This front three is as good as just about any team you can find, in North Carolina or elsewhere.  That gets even more impressive if you consider that Rachel Bartolomeo was prevented from improving last fall by a series of injuries; she had clocked a fantastic 11:08 for 3200 the previous spring.  Of course, Mary Grace Doggett and Sophie Ebihara established themselves as the premier front-running duo in the state last year, which continued through track season.  Both girls ran 5:11 and under 10:50 during a relatively restrained spring with minimal racing, and Doggett added a 17:45 for 5000.  The big concern with the Crusaders is that they lost the middle of last years' team, the 4-6 runners having graduated (and taking a lot of leadership and spirit with them).  That means depth is a concern, at least until Cardinal Gibbons can cultivate some new young talent (and you know it's going to happen, based on this program's excellent history).  On the other hand, if Amanda Wiggenhorn can translate her outdoor track success (11:40 for 3200) to the course, and if Bartolomeo is healthy, then look out: this could be the best team in the state.  It's those "if's" that keep Cardinal Gibbons in 3rd for right now.

  Cardinal Gibbons (NC)  
  1) Mary Grace Doggett   17:56.50 4
  2) Sophie Ebihara   18:06.80 8
  3) Rachel Bartolomeo   18:47.01 23
  4) Laura Hart   19:47.18 74
  5) Amanda Wiggenhorn   19:58.02 97
  Average Time: 18:55.10 Total Time: 1:34:35.51 1-5 Split: 2:01.52
  6) Kitty Gibbons   20:54.70 222
  7) Maddie Smith   21:13.70 249

 

#4: T.C. Roberson

Returning 5 sub-20 runners including the state's #13 returning individual, Lily Anderson, T.C. Roberson is looking to continue its long-standing tradition of success.  This school ranks third among all the girls' programs in the state since NCRunners first hit the scene, and you don't have that level of consistency without strong summer training.  The Rams also had several individuals that posted outstanding times during outdoor track, including Anderson (5:18/11:01/17:54), Anastasia Soule (5:21/2:20), Casey Greenwalt (2:17/5:30), and Lauren Hartmann (5:26/11:47).  TCR returns a 6th runner that should break 20 minutes as well, which provides some insurance in the event of injury or simply a bad race here or there.  In fact, from 2-6 this team is only separated by 34 seconds.  This is a balanced team, with firepower up front and a deep pack as well, and this Rams squad will be tough to beat this fall.

  T.C. Roberson (NC)  
  1) Lily Anderson   18:24.07 12
  2) Casey Greenwalt   19:45.00 69
  3) Anastasia Soule   19:47.06 72
  4) Rachel Koon   19:51.34 81
  5) Lauren Hartmann   19:55.41 89
  Average Time: 19:32.58 Total Time: 1:37:42.88 1-5 Split: 1:31.34
  6) Elena Link   20:19.78 138
  7) Nicole Salgado   21:28.00 294

 

#5: Millbrook

Quietly, Millbrook had a very good season last year, finishing 9th in the 4A state meet with a young squad.  That experience should pay off this fall, when the Wildcats have an excellent chance to put their returning top 5 under 20 minutes (and very well might get 6).  Emily Pettis is developing into a strong #1 runner, folowing her sub-19 5K with an 11:33 during outdoor track.  Rachel Navarro, the only  top-5 returner who didn't break 20 last fall, had a strong spring as well, and should be improved this fall.  Depth is the only concern, but it is a small one, as the fall-off is between their 6th and 7th runner.  With a good summer, the Wildcats belong in the top 5 in the 4A state meet.

  Millbrook (NC)  
  1) Emily Pettis   18:53.80 28
  2) Ashley Starnes   19:02.51 34
  3) Parker Burns   19:40.44 65
  4) Carolyn Rapp   19:47.18 73
  5) Rachel Navarro   20:08.61 113
  Average Time: 19:30.51 Total Time: 1:37:32.54 1-5 Split: 1:14.81
  6) Kaylie Hinckley   20:20.41 143
  7) Jennifer Haines   21:24.00 282

 

#6: Marvin Ridge

Considering only their returning runners from last fall, this team is impressive.  They have a budding front-runner in Melanie Hussey, and they are only the second team in the rankings so far to return at least four sub-20 girls (and the first that also has a sub-19 athlete).  Add in the fact that Alden Kessenich (5:24) and Nicole Renwick (11:56) both had some impressive results in the spring, and this is a formidable opponent already.  Then, consider their two newcomers, rising freshmen Alexa King and Alexia Noch, who just ran 5:17 and 5:30 for full miles as 8th-graders.  King ran 18:31 for the 5K last fall, while Noch has run 15:33 for 4000 meters (on pace for roughly 19:30 for 5K).  That gives the Mavericks potentially 7 sub-20 runners, and makes them a serious threat to win the 3A team title this fall.

  Marvin Ridge (NC)  
  1) Melanie Hussey   18:54.31 30
  2) Nicole Renwick   19:24.06 47
  3) Kylie Hennessey   19:55.00 88
  4) Alden Kessenich   19:56.60 91
  5) Ruby Lauman   20:14.13 128
  Average Time: 19:40.82 Total Time: 1:38:24.10 1-5 Split: 1:19.82
  6) Kaitlyn Brown   20:48.33 205
  7) Hannah Durand   21:25.13 287

 

#7: Myers Park

I have a suspicion that most people wouldn't list this team as one of the 5 best girls' programs in our state over the past 7 years, but they come in at #5.  That kind of consistent success comes from a solid base of athletes, good coaching, and a tradition of hard work.  This year's Mustang squad will depend on the second-best pack in the state (only Reagan has a tighter 1-5 split than Myers Park's :39).  Depth behind the front 5 is a problem, although Olga Shokurova could close the gap based on her 12:14 3200 this spring.  Mary Prouty had a fantastic outdoor season, and Abby Watkins also posted some impressive times.  All signs point to another strong Mustang team this year, one that can aim for the top 5 in the 4A state meet. 

  Myers Park (NC)  
  1) Mary Prouty   19:14.00 42
  2) Meg Greene   19:39.22 64
  3) Madeline Frank   19:41.07 67
  4) Abby Watkins   19:52.43 84
  5) Julia King   19:53.00 85
  Average Time: 19:39.94 Total Time: 1:38:19.72 1-5 Split: 39.00
  6) Olga Shokurova   20:45.00 195
  7) Anna Albright   21:16.00 256

 

#8: A.C. Reynolds

NCRunners has been watching this team get better for the last two years, and with their move to 3A this fall that progress should come to its peak.  Larissa Wood is the senior leader of this Rockets team that is otherwise very young, though Anna Vess proved that she can handle co-leader duties on the course.  A.C. Reynolds has as much firepower up front as just about anybody, but definitely has some depth issues to overcome.  After two straight years that have brought productive freshman classes, can they get a third to finish the deal?  Will one of their returning depth runners, someone like Samantha Boeshore, step up and become a 20-minute #5?  The potential for the Rockets is enormous: dethroning the defending 3A champions might be a bit too much to ask, but there is no question this is a top-3 team in their state meet if everything comes together.  One more bonus point: 5 of the team's top 7 runners ran their best at either the regional or state meet last year, indicating that this is a team that rises to the occasion.

  A.C. Reynolds (NC)  
  1) Anna Vess   18:07.16 9
  2) Larissa Wood   18:08.27 10
  3) Emma Himelein-Wachowiak   18:56.00 31
  4) Kenzie Himelein-Wachowiak   20:08.00 112
  5) Samantha Boeshore   21:23.00 278
  Average Time: 19:20.49 Total Time: 1:36:42.43 1-5 Split: 3:15.84
  6) Christen Ray   21:26.00 289
  7) Julia Briden   22:23.00 440

 

#9: Mount Tabor

We're giving credit to this program for its proven ability to develop solid new runners, because the returning squad here has some depth problems.  They have a tremendous weapon up front in Kayla Montgomery, who continued to improve through winter and spring track, clocking 5:13 and 10:47.  Returning #3 Vanessa Bateson ran 18:35 as a freshman; if she even breaks 19 this season, the Spartans will be tough up front.  The signs of team-wide improvement were already showing during outdoor season, as Rhiannon Farney ran 11:46 for 3200, and the duo of Amanda Becker and Bateson both ran under 2:20 for the 800.  Mount Tabor has the 4th-best overall girls' record over the last 7 years, which indicates that they continually develop talent through their summer program, and you can expect that trend to continue.

  Mount Tabor (NC)  
  1) Kayla Montgomery   17:55.00 3
  2) Kataryna ONeil   19:33.35 59
  3) Vanessa Bateson   19:57.02 96
  4) Rhiannon Farney   20:21.51 145
  5) Morgan Mcbride   20:57.00 227
  Average Time: 19:44.78 Total Time: 1:38:43.88 1-5 Split: 3:02.00
  6) Susie Oliver   21:21.00 271
  7) Mary Alexander   21:43.45 343

 

#10: Reagan

There are two possibilities for the 2013 Reagan girls team: either the Raiders' recent trend of developing a top-flight front-runner out of nowhere will continue, or they will rely on a tight pack of returning runners (including a mere :17 split from #1 - #4).  Either option has the potential to lead to a strong team, especially since the returning runners showed improvement through the winter and spring seasons.  Somewhat overshadowed by the Reagan boys, this school actually boasts the #16 girls program over the past 7 years, and has a very strong summer training tradition that pays off pretty much every fall season.  Keep an eye on Erin Jameson, who ran 12:18 indoors and then 5:23 in the spring, both of which would indicate a 30-45 second improvement in the 5K.  Also, Emmie Costen transferred from Reynolds to Reagan before the spring season, and she will solidify the front 5, although this team still needs to cultivate depth.

  Reagan, Ronald W (NC)  
  1) Monica Medrano   19:57.00 95
  2) Brittney Brinson   19:57.16 97
  3) Dayna Creasy   20:04.56 110
  4) Erin Jameson   20:14.34 131
  5) Hannah Lee   20:52.00 211
  Average Time: 20:13.01 Total Time: 1:41:05.06 1-5 Split: 55.00
  6) Julia Beauchamp   22:21.00 435
  7) Ashlyn Steelman   22:46.00 487

 

#11: Jack Britt

Add another individual to the list of names people should know, if they keep up with the sport, but may not know (unless they've raced against her, then they certainly know).  Lavinia Cotto is for real: she's the 16th-best returner, all-classes, and 8th-best in 4A.  The only downside is that she doesn't run track, so it's hard to tell if she has improved.  Kate Sanborn did run during the outdoor season, and she was impressive, clocking 5:15 and 11:54.   Despite that firepower up front, the Buccaneers' success will be determined by the solid lineup behind them.  To have a chance to crack the top 10, Jack Britt will have to have the 5-7 runners improve; Megan Jarrell is the best candidate, as she put up some solid track times.  Did I mention that their entire top 7 from 2012 will be back for 2014, as well?  One final note on this team: usually you would question the times, as they come from the land of flat (and sometimes short) courses, but four of their 7 returners (including Cotto) had their best time at the 4A State Meet.  Remember that fact if this group is healthy come November...

  Jack Britt (NC)  
  1) Lavinia Cotto   18:31.69 14
  2) Kate Sanborn   19:32.00 57
  3) Tess Brookes   20:03.80 107
  4) Tatum Brookes   20:16.53 135
  5) Megan Jarrell   20:46.00 199
  Average Time: 19:50.00 Total Time: 1:39:10.02 1-5 Split: 2:14.31
  6) Megan Conroy   20:47.74 204
  7) Madison Brookes   21:16.00 258

 

#12: Ravenscroft

Even without a certain national-caliber runner, this team won the NCISAA 3A state title two years ago, and finished a close second last year.  The Ravens had a relatively young team last fall, and they return a very solid group for the 2013 season.  Maddy Ringenbach is the #2 returning individual in her classification, giving Ravenscroft a low-scoring front-runner, and the team has good depth.  Mary Grady Bell and Lizzy Micyus posted quality times during track season (along with an excellent spring from Ringenbach, who is on the verge of becoming a star).  The Ravens don't really have a weak spot, and will enter the season as one of three nearly-equal co-favorites for the team championship.

  Ravenscroft School (NC)  
  1) Maddy Ringenbach   18:37.60 19
  2) Chloe Mikles   19:17.40 45
  3) Claire Fuscoe   20:11.37 124
  4) Halle Lutz   20:29.07 161
  5) Mary Grady Bell   20:37.29 180
  Average Time: 19:50.55 Total Time: 1:39:12.73 1-5 Split: 1:59.69
  6) Virginia Douglas   21:10.47 245
  7) Lizzy Micyus   21:20.00 268

 

#13: Broughton

The database ranks the returning Caps squad 16th, which is the product of graduating three of last fall's top 5 runners.  There are a lot of factors that indicate they will be better than that, however.  First, they have the defending 4A state champion, Megan Sullivan, up front, which means they are basically scoring 4 girls against most teams' 5.  They also have good depth behind their top 5, although there is a troubling gap from #3 - #4 that needs to be closed somewhat.  Track results were strong, as well, with Broughton scoring 9th place in the team 3200 rankings from the spring, putting 4 girls under 12:40 not including Sullivan (who didn't run the 3200 this spring).  The list of significantly improved runners includes Hollis Hatfield, Kerian Celeste, and Emma Verdi, who went from 21:36 last fall to 12:35 during the outdoor season.  If the Caps have a good summer of training, don't be surprised to find them in the top 5 at the 4A meet and in the top 10 all-classes.

  Broughton  
  1) Megan Sullivan   17:48.03 2
  2) Ayla Gizlice   19:53.70 108
  3) Alison Berger   19:55.86 112
  4) Hollis Hatfield   20:56.51 296
  5) Augusta Brook   20:59.10 302
  Average Time: 19:54.64 -- Total Time: 1:39:33.20 -- 1-5 Split: 3:11.07
  6) Kerian Celeste   21:14.20 342
  7) Isabel Perry   21:16.00 351

 

#14: Leesville Road

If there is any program that will be made or broken by summer training, it is this one.  There is tremendous potential here if the 2-6 runners can shift forward by about 30 seconds each.  Hopefully, the presence of 4 seniors in the top 7 will add a sense of urgency to the Pride's training.  Taylor Hemming is a budding star, having run sub-19 in her freshman season and backing that up with some solid track times.  Sarah Bigelow and Sydney Winchel also showed strong signs of improvement during the spring, but it is the success or failure of the depth runners that will determine where Leesville Road finishes the season.  This squad could make it well into the top 10 in the 4A state meet, or could fail to advance at all out of the tough 4A Mideast.

  Leesville Road  
  1) Taylor Hemming   18:58.54 37
  2) Sarah Bigelow   20:09.84 150
  3) Sydney Winchel   20:25.54 196
  4) Megan McGuire   20:30.90 213
  5) Morgan Barnes   20:40.81 242
  Average Time: 20:09.13 -- Total Time: 1:40:45.63 -- 1-5 Split: 1:42.27
  6) Jordan Mareno   20:51.16 273
  7) Laura Lisowe   21:35.85 446

 

#15: Chapel Hill

This program took some serious hits during the offseason, starting with the graduation of Tristin Van Ord and Alexa Young, and continuing with the retirement of Coach Ron Olsen.  Talent and tradition don't disappear when a coach leaves, however, and the returning runners already know what needs to be done to keep the Tigers in the conversation.  This is a prime opportunity for one or two of the returning 4-7 runners, who are all very close to each other time-wise, to step up and run with the solid top three.  And there are positive signs: for a school that focuses more on cross country than track, Chapel Hill had some good spring results.  Marija Crook ran 5:22/12:10, and Shannon Mumper posted a 12:07.  The best thing?  There's only one senior in the returning top 7, so it doesn't all have to come together this year for the Tigers.

  Chapel Hill  
  1) Marija Crook   19:29.00 67
  2) Regan Roeber   19:48.00 94
  3) Shannon Mumper   19:49.96 95
  4) Rosie Kerwin   20:44.00 251
  5) Elise Matera   21:01.00 306
  Average Time: 20:10.39 -- Total Time: 1:40:51.96 -- 1-5 Split: 1:32.00
  6) Natalie Bulik-Sullivan   21:27.00 403
  7) Milly Ames   21:32.00 42

 

#16: Cary Academy

The defending NCISAA 3A champions can be a little deceiving in the pre-season, as this team never seems to show its full strength until the state meet comes around.  The Chargers return a very strong front 5, but have a serious depth issue behind that, which could haunt them in the case of an injury.  Cary Academy won last year with a very tight pack (:42 1-5 split at the state meet), and if that is a training emphasis for them it will help to draw the back of their top 7 closer.  Up front, Emma Astrike-Davis finished 10th in the state meet last fall, and she had a very strong outdoor season (5:21 and 11:22).  Sarah Hamon had a great spring, and Morgan Goetz (sister of departed #1 Hannah) ran 12:08 in her first running season; if she joins up for cross country it could be a big boost to her team.  Their classification is a toss-up coming into the season, with 3 schools in position to contend for a title, and you can bet the Chargers will have their eyes on that goal all season.

  Cary Academy  
  1) Emma Astrike-davis   19:34.99 72
  2) Spencer Rossa   19:46.93 89
  3) Ashley Miller   19:52.23 103
  4) Sarah Hamon   20:29.00 207
  5) Cami Goray   21:00.90 304
  Average Time: 20:08.81 -- Total Time: 1:40:44.05 -- 1-5 Split: 1:25.91
  6) Sydney Rubin   23:04.50 820
  7) Alex Ramirez   24:37.20 1190

 

#17: Grimsley

I'm sure a lot of our knowledgeable fans will be questioning this placement, as the returning Grimsley runners would seem to deserve a much higher ranking.  Unfortunately, Gaby Maudiere has moved back to California, where she ran during her freshman year.  Even without her, the Whirlies still return 5 girls who average just under 20 minutes, which gives them a good chance to advance out of the 4A Midwest and could put them on the verge of the top 10 in the 4A state meet.  Tori Churchill returns as the #1 runner, and Blair Ramsey had an outstanding winter and spring track season, which could herald significant improvement this fall.  Grimsley needs to develop depth now more than ever, so hopefully their successes over the past school year have attracted more participants.  The improvements of Sydney Gilstrap (5:33) and Mary Katherine Gwynn (12:45) could actually leave the Whirlies better than they were last year, even with the loss of such a strong runner.

  Grimsley  
  1) Tori Churchill   18:17.00 11
  2) Gaby Maudiere   18:39.36 20
  3) Blair Ramsey   18:47.00 23
  4) Sydney Gilstrap   20:10.30 153
  5) Megan Brannigan   20:25.34 195
  Average Time: 19:15.80 -- Total Time: 1:36:19.00 -- 1-5 Split: 2:08.34
  6) Gabby Pysher   21:29.48 413
  7) Mary Katherine Gwynn   22:27.94 669

 

#18: Pinecrest

The loss of last year's top runner, Jennie Cunningham, definitely hurts the Patriots.  However, it leaves behind a different kind of team, one that will depend on pack cohesion to succeed.  That pack goes 6-deep, and the split is tight (particularly between their 2-6 runners).  As an added indicator, very few teams showed as much depth during winter and spring track season as Pinecrest: they finished in the top 6 in the state for the winter and spring 3200 team rankings.  Based on those track results, it looks like Mulloy Manning is going to challenge Jaleigh Jensen for the #1 spot, which gives the Patriots a valuable safeguard against the inevitable off-day from one or the other.  One more bonus: this is a senior-heavy team with a ton of experience, and if those seniors are committed over the summer this squad could be top-10 in the 4A state meet.

  Pinecrest  
  1) Jaleigh Jensen   19:37.93 74
  2) Mulloy Manning   20:05.41 136
  3) Zia Matti   20:31.92 216
  4) Sarah Klug   20:40.85 242
  5) Katie Hayes   20:52.10 276
  Average Time: 20:21.64 -- Total Time: 1:41:48.21 -- 1-5 Split: 1:14.17
  6) Rachel Von Cannon   20:53.00 282
  7) Jordan Edmondson   21:33.84 434

 

#19: Providence Day

The positives are very strong for this team: returning #1 Emma Brown had an excellent spring season, and the team as a whole ranked 5th in the state in team 3200 scoring.  At first glance, the major obstacle would appear to be depth, as there is a big gap between the Chargers' 4th and 5th returners.  Look a little deeper, though, and you can find several girls from the outdoor track team that were not in last fall's top 7, but have the potential to boost the cross country squad.  Niki Plaus ran 5:21 for the 1600, and Providence Day has a trio of youngsters that ran between 12:31 and 12:41 for the 3200 in Sarah Richman, Samanthan Huffman (recognize that name?), and rising 8th-grader Clare Landis (she could compete for the varsity under NCISAA rules, but Providence Day, like all CISAA schools, does not put 7th- or 8th-graders on the high school team).  Plaus is running cross country for certain, and if even one of the other three pans out as a top-7 runner this team could end up being 6-deep in sub-20 runners.  If so, the Chargers will end the season much higher than this ranking; for now, though, it's simply too hard to project where those newcomers might fit in.

  Providence Day School  
  1) Emma Brown   19:12.00 47
  2) Heather Graci   19:52.00 101
  3) Grace Clements   20:11.00 155
  4) Mary Rebecca Allison   20:27.00 202
  5) Stephanie Burt   21:30.00 415
  Average Time: 20:14.40 -- Total Time: 1:41:12.00 -- 1-5 Split: 2:18.00
  6) Cj Miles   21:41.00 465
  7) Kimmy Baudhuin   21:51.30 501

 

#20: West Carteret

The good news: the Patriots return Blake Dodge, who struggled through a nagging injury last fall and should be back to top form, threatening the 18-minute mark.  Interestingly, even without the 2011 3A state champ, her teammates still cracked the top 10, which is a big sign of the overall improvement they've has made in the last two years.  The bad news: Katie Cease has graduated, and West Carteret has a depth problem that could derail a promising season if any of the top 5 get injured.  More good news: several of the returning squad showed significant improvement during the spring season, from Madeline Fischer's 5:36 to Samantha Schleiker and Emma Gomez running solid mid-12's in the 3200.  If healthy, this team is top-5 caliber in a strong 3A classification, and could sneak into the top 3.  Did I mention they have the state's best closer as their #1 runner?

  West Carteret  
  1) Blake Dodge   19:39.00 76
  2) Samantha Schleiker   20:05.92 137
  3) Kristen Wagner   20:34.50 223
  4) Madeline Fisher   20:39.23 237
  5) Emma Gomez   20:43.12 248
  Average Time: 20:20.35 -- Total Time: 1:41:41.77 -- 1-5 Split: 1:04.12
  6) Sierra Milosh   22:49.29 760
  7) Mckayla Webb   24:42.68 1202

 

#21: Jay M. Robinson

This has been a program on a steady rise over the last three years: 11th in the 3A state meet in 2010, 9th in 2011, and 5th last fall.  Based on returning talent, the Bulldogs are on target for something in the 4th - 7th range this fall, with front-runner Natalie Andrejchak in the conversation for individual title contenders.  Depth could be a bit of a problem if the top 5 girls don't stay healthy, though, and any of the top 3 would be especially tough to replace.  Robinson's girls need a strong summer to prove that they haven't reached their ceiling already.

  Robinson, Jay M  
  1) Natalie Andrejchak   18:26.79 13
  2) Brooke Johns   20:10.29 151
  3) Ashleigh Andrejchak   20:14.00 161
  4) Lauren Hughes   20:50.48 270
  5) Addy Keck   21:18.50 358
  Average Time: 20:12.01 -- Total Time: 1:41:00.06 -- 1-5 Split: 2:51.71
  6) Kirsten Blackburn   21:33.72 433
  7) Megan Miller   22:49.03 759

 

#22: Charlotte Latin

One of the stronger programs in the state over the past six or seven years, this team has been hit hard by graduation.  There is still talent, though, and good depth (especially considering the size of the school).  The one weakness in the returning team appears to be the large gap between their fourth and fifth runners; if one of the Hawks' depth runners can step up to fill that spot, they will be contenders in the NCISAA 3A division.  That improvement will have to come over the summer: although Latin's top three showed good development during track season, there wasn't much from the rest of the returning top 7.

Charlotte Latin  
  1) Kiera Dowell   19:41.00 80
  2) Katie Mcdowell   19:55.00 108
  3) Tricia Murphy   20:18.00 172
  4) Avery Reischer   20:25.04 193
  5) Emma Cooley   21:31.00 419
  Average Time: 20:22.01 -- Total Time: 1:41:50.04 -- 1-5 Split: 1:50.00
  6) Jayne Anne Imbrog   21:37.00 450
  7) Addy Collett   21:47.00 488

 

#23: Weddington

Lately, Weddington has been able to manufacture solid teams on both the boys and girls side, even when it seems like graduation will drop them down a peg or two.  That seems to be the product of a strong summer program, as their development during the winter and spring doesn't really jump out at you.  Morgan Garrett could be the latest in a string of good #1 runners for the Warriors if she has bounced back from a bit of a rough spring season.  This team has real depth, too, in that there is always someone else right behind each runner, which helps to take the pressure off and allows for more consistent team performances, even as individuals have good or bad days.  If these girls buy in over the summer, expect Weddington to continue their string of state meet appearances.

Weddington High School  
  1) Morgan Garrett   18:58.69 37
  2) Natalie Warner   20:18.00 173
  3) Allison Long   20:44.00 249
  4) Brianna Kapheim   20:53.00 280
  5) Sophie Van Dyne   20:57.00 298
  Average Time: 20:22.14 -- Total Time: 1:41:50.69 -- 1-5 Split: 1:58.31
  6) Amanda Brook   21:15.00 342
  7) Sophie Van Dyne   21:25.67 396

 

#24: Apex

Though the Apex girls lack the recent history of their counterparts on the boys' team, they have always been solid, and this year's squad has shown signs of significant improvement through the winter and spring seasons.  They have a tremendous training group among their front five, who are were separated by only 46 seconds (a pack that close is rare among teams outside the top 10).  If those girls bought in and are pushing each other all summer, shifting that pack forward by about 30 seconds, the Apex girls have great potential.  With two seniors among the returning top 6, this team has a good chance to make the state meet this year, but might not peak until 2014.

  Apex  
  1) Cara Gaudioso   20:10.40 153
  2) Amber Blanton   20:13.00 158
  3) Elie Rivera   20:35.81 225
  4) Elora Galluzzo   20:56.00 293
  5) Samantha Malone   20:57.00 296
  Average Time: 20:34.44 -- Total Time: 1:42:52.21 -- 1-5 Split: 46.60
  6) Natalia Ghan   21:16.50 352
  7) Hannah Ferguson   21:20.00 363

 

#25: Watauga

The Pioneers have one of the longest and deepest traditions in our sport, but they face several obstacles this fall.  The graduation of their top three runners (and four of their top 7) from last fall will hurt, as will the loss of Coach David Honea (although he was only a part of the very strong staff at Watauga).  The culture of hard work will remain long after them, though, and that is what always gives this team the hope of making the state meet.  Depth appears to be a bit of a problem, although a good summer can help counteract that.  The rising junior class appears to be strong, and that means it may not be long before we see the two-tone blue and white in the top 10 again.

  Watauga  
  1) Kathleen Mansure   19:25.00 61
  2) Lynde Wangler   19:50.00 95
  3) Celia Jackson   20:25.00 192
  4) Shelby Hickernell   20:48.00 265
  5) Lily Weeks   21:06.00 315
  Average Time: 20:18.80 -- Total Time: 1:41:34.00 -- 1-5 Split: 1:41.00
  6) Taylor Woolridge   21:34.90 441
  7) Sidney Wiswell   22:43.00 729
 

 

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