2015 End of Season Rank - 1st
2016 Preseason Rank based off 2015 times - 15th
2015 NCHSAA 4A State Meet finish - 3rd
Leesville Road ended their 2015 season on a rough note where they finished 3rd at the NCHSAA 4A State Meet. They narrowly missed the podium in a year where the girls 4A top 3 teams were really tight. They graduate a heavy class of 2016 and lose 4 out of their top 7 from last year. But they return top girl in NC, and most likely the US, in Nevada Mareno. Mareno decided to focus on running full time last year and dropped playing soccer and it really did wonders for her running career. She ran 16:36 last XC season and finished 2nd at Footlocker Nationals. Mareno took on a heavy load of new training and racing last fall, and I would expect her to postpone the early stages of her season and focus on national meets in early December.
Noor Hasan is the next best returner, but we saw her in one race during indoor track season. Not sure if that was due to injury or what, but she did race at the ASU Team Camp race last week and placed 5th in race. So she should be back in good form this season. Then there is Audrey Hemming who will be a junior this season. Hemming had a very solid end of 2015 where she ran 19:29 at the regional meet. Hemming doesn't run track so her fitness heading into this cross country season will be in question.
Similar to Hemming, Hannah Willard is another girl for the Pride that only runs cross country. She missed out on the top 7 last season due to the strength Leesville Road had last year. Willard returns as Leesville's #4 girl and will have high expectations this fall. Where Leesville will look for answers and someone to step up is their 5th girl. The current gap in the 4th to 5th runners PRs is over 1 minute and that could be a ton of places at the state meet. Girls who could fill that role are Hannah Comesky, who ran 5:55 on the track as a freshman, Leah Behrends and Abby Hemming. They also bring in newcomer Izzy Genereux, who was Leesville's 4th girl at ASU Team Camp and could be a surprise this fall. My only worry with Leesville is the large amount of girls that don't run year round. You have no indication of what kind of fitness they are in until the first races are underway. And once the season starts it's hard to make up for lost training time. They are a real wildcard for the up and coming season.