Girls Top 25 Cross Country Countdown: #24 Marvin Ridge

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#24 Marvin Ridge

Returning NCHSAA 3A Database Team Ranking: 6th

Returning NCHSAA 3A West Database Team Ranking: 2nd 

2016 NCHSAA 3A State Championship Finish: 5th

2016 NCHSAA 3A Midwest Regional Finish: 3rd

Key Losses

Jennae Jacob

Key Returners

Kaitlyn Cole

Lindsay Harrison

Anna Utesch

Emily Bowman

Team Rankings

Coming into the 2016 XC season Marvin Ridge lost a lot graduating a large amount of their 2015 top 5 and had their previous top girl move to Florida.  They still ended the season at 5th place in the NCHSAA 3A State Championship.  This year the database has them ranked as the 25th in the returning rankings, and though they do have some question marks as to who will be in the top 5 they have a ton of potential.  They certainly take a big hit with Jennae Jacob graduating who was their frontrunner last season and took 6th at the NCHSAA State Championships.  

The Mavericks' top two returners for this season are Kaitlyn Cole and Lindsay Harrison.  Cole had a great freshman year last season running a PR of 20:12.24 and taking 29th at the state championships.  Cole continued her success on the track running 5:38 for the 1600 and 12:01.38 for 3200.  Harrison had a great start to her sophomore season running 20:37 in August, but the success didn't continue throughout the season to what seems to be an injury as we did not see her on the track at all.  Harrison will be a massive question mark for Marvin heading into the season, but is a very talented XC runner if she can get back into form after a long hiatus.

Rising sophomore Sarah Cuddy did not run cross country last season, though she did in middle school and if she does this year she would most certainly impact their top 5.  Cuddy clocked 5:33.57 for the 1600 this outdoor season qualifying for the regional meet where she took 7th place.  Cuddy is the top returning 1600 runner at Marvin Ridge and would be a massive asset to the cross country team this fall and could even contend as their #1 girl.  Anna Utesch, also a rising sophomore, got down to 5:37 in the 1600 and was 47th at the NCHSAA 3A XC State Championships last fall.  Utesch made great strides over her freshman season cutting her time down by over a minute over the season.  

Emily Bowman, Kaylee Spencer, and Delaney Caulder were all low 21 minute girls last season and will be asked for a lot more this fall and hopeful to impact the top 5.  They also have Katie Ropers, a rising senior, who ran 2:20.05 for 800 meters and Elyse Wood, rising junior, who ran 2:23.93 for 800.  Neither of these have ran cross country before, and are 400/800 girls, but maybe after having a breakout cross country season we could see them on the XC course looking to contribute.  From the middle school XC program they'll bring up Brynn Hennessey, younger sister of former Marvin star Kylie Hennessey who was their top girl over 3K running 11:36, and could impact the top 5 immediately.  Marvin Ridge will come into the 2016 season without that one star runner that has been able to lead the team to success in recent year.  But the Mavericks have so many girls that are young and have tons of room for improvement on the cross country course.  If you look through their team at the state meet from last year a majority of their girls ran a PR.  So there are no doubts in my mind that Coach Starr will have these girls as a top team in 3A this cross country season.  To me it's just a waiting game almost of when and what girls will have a breakthrough this year.