Cardinal Gibbons put it all together when it mattered taking down Green Hope and Leesville road at the state meet to win the NCHSAA 4A Team Title in their first year. This year they'll look to repeat, but they lose two of their top 5. Sophie Ebihara had been an all-state runner in XC all four years at Cardinal Gibbons, so that'll be a substantial loss. But they return a really strong top 3 in Marissa Bishop, Annie Pierce, and Sloan Walter. Bishop shined at the state meet last fall and arguable her performance was the reason they won last fall. Bishop finished 3rd at the State Championships in her sophomore season and holds a PR of 18:17 from her freshman year. Bishop has been stronger on the XC course in previous seasons than she has on the track, but still ran 5:18 and 11:09 last season.
Annie Pierce will be the senior leader for Gibbons this season. She had a short track season only running a few meets, but clocked 11:16 in the 3200 matching her time from the XC season. Pierce was 22nd at the XC state meet last year and should contend for a top 10 spot this fall. She holds a 5K PR of 18:50. Sloan Walter had a huge freshman season for Gibbons and proved she is ready for a big XC season on the track. She ran 11:10 at the outdoor state meet where she finished 7th in the 3200 and also ran 5:18 for the 1600. She was 12th at the XC state meet last season and could be a contender for a top 5 spot this fall.
Caroline Todd and Katharine Priu return as a top 5 runner for Gibbons and hold PRs of 19:36 and 19:38 respectively. But it won't come easy for them as Gibbons showed a lot of depth and improvement with a lot of girls on the track. Three freshman Molly McGowan, Anna Guarino, and Angelica Rock had really strong track seasons and should be a factor in the top 7 this fall. McGowan was the most impressive out of the group with a 5:24 at regionals where she finished 5th. She was able to crack the top 7 at the end of the season running 20:36 at the conference meet. Guarino and Rock also had impressive track season running 5:36 and 5:39 respectively and have potential to have a really good XC season. It'll certainly take sub 20 to crack this top 5 this year for Gibbons, and they're so deep to where even that wouldn't secure a spot on the line at the end of the season.