#8 West Forsyth
2016 NCHSAA 4A State Championship Finish: 10th
2016 NCHSAA 4A Midwest Finish: 3rd
I could be extremely high on West Forsyth this season, or I could be spot on. But it looks like a stellar freshman class is going to bring West Forsyth to the next level this XC season. West Forsyth already returns a strong top 5 that ranks #18 in NC according to our database. Kiley Holmes is their top returner after running 19:23 last fall. Holmes ran 5:29 indoors and 5:32 outdoors this season to go along with a 11:50 3200 PR. Last year was a big year for Holmes as she was very consistently under 20 minutes placing 13th in the Midwest region and 40th at the State Championship. Holmes and teammate Kathryn Anderson will be leading a mix of veterans and youngsters this season, but I think she's going to lead them to their best season yet.
Anderson is just as strong as Holmes, if not better ending the season as their top girl at the State Championship running 19:44 for 34th place. She's been on the varsity squad the last three seasons and every year has taken a step forward. Her outdoor track season indicates that she's ready to take yet another step forward this fall after running 11:29 for 3200 and 5:25. Anderson holds a PR of 19:32 from last fall and I think she's fully capable of running under 19 minutes this fall. Over the last three years she has improved form 21:26 to 20:24 to 19:32. Anderson's outdoor 3200 PR is 30 seconds faster than she ran at the end of the 2016 XC season. If Anderson has a breakout yet again this season West Forsyth are going to be very tough to beat.
The Titan's will also return Meghan Coats, a rising junior heading into her second XC season with a PR of 20:58. Coats didn't run much on the track last season, but showed a lot of progression over the course of the 2016 XC season. She started out the season running 23 minutes and chopped over 2 minutes off that initial mark. Jessica Fern is another rising senior that's primed for a breakout in XC. She clocked 21:05 last fall, but on the track she dropped 27 seconds off her 1600 PR. Fern ran 5:33 in the 1600 taking 8th in the Midwest region. I think Fern is ready to make the jump to compete with her senior teammates in Anderson and Holmes up front and should be under 20 minutes this fall if her track times translate to the XC course. Zavera Basrai also took a big step forward on the track running 2:28 and 5:41. Basrai holds a PR in XC of 21:21 from her freshman year and a best of 21:40 from last year. I'd think she'd be in for a big junior year, but we'll have to wait and see. Lexie Miller also returns with a XC PR of 21:02 and was in he top 5 last season.
The Titans bring in three strong freshman that could influence the top 7 this season in Bailey Reutinger, Eliza Broce and Kendall Phillips. Each were in their top 5 that beat Chapel Hill at App State Team Camp Race #2 a few weeks back. Reutinger looks to be a star coming in as the WSFCS XC Champion and 800/1600 Champ on the track. She holds PRs of 5:27 and 2:30. She took down Jodi Tolarchyk (VA) at the App State Camp race. She's run 5:09, 11:09 and 17:49 leading me to believe Reutinger is going to be the real deal this fall and likely the Titan's #1 girl. Eliza Broce comes into West Forsyth with PRs of 2:36 and 5:39. She also ran 21:15 at NXN Southeast last fall off middle school training. I think she is very capable of breaking into the top 5 this season. With a big improvement from their returning stars on the track and a loaded freshman class the Titans are going to be real deal. If this team isn't on your radar they should be, as we could be seeing the Green and White on the podium this November.