#25 Ardrey Kell
2016 NCHSAA 4A State Championship Finish: 14th
2016 NCHSAA 4A West Regional Finish: 4th
Ardrey Kell girls advanced to the NCHSAA 4A State Championship last season out of the 4A West Region and only lose top runner Shelby Foreman from that squad. Losing Foreman is a big hit as Foreman was awesome for the Knights on the track last fall. They'll be led by Lexie David who is there top returner at 20:02.37 and finished 52nd at the NCHSAA 4A State Championships last fall. They also return Emma Wiese who should be right up with David as they should be AK's 1-2 presence. Wiese ran 12:03.38 on the track for 3200 meters, the top mark on the team.
Katie Gibbons is also a sub 21 returner for Ardrey Kell with a PR of 20:57 last year and is their third overall returner. We didn't see much out of Gibbons on the track this fall as she only ran 5 races, three of them being 800s. So Gibbons fitness will be up in the air as she heads into her junior cross country season. Jessica Brady is AK's #4 returner from the 2016 season and set a new outdoor PR in the 3200 of 12:27 putting a focus on the 3200 throughout the season. Brady has a XC PR of 21:10 that she set last season, but she will be one of the many girls that could break out for the Knights this fall.
Josie Jordan will be heading into her senior season, and holds by far the best 5K PR on this team as she ran 18:35 her freshman year. Jordan only raced four times last XC season with a seasons best time of 22:31. He races were very spaced out with only one race every month, which makes me believe she wasn't healthy. She took 7th at the NCHSAA 4A West Region and looks to be back running healthy. While it'll be certainly tough to get down to her PR form it'll still be huge for Ardrey Kell to have Jordan back in the mix of their top 5 each week.
The success for Ardrey Kell this season will depend on how much their 4th and 5th runners, which will be pretty up in the air heading into the season. Including Jordan, they'll have plenty of girls with potential to break into the top 5 this season in juniors Kailyn Lowder and Lexie Winters. Lowder only raced twice during the outdoor season and Winters only runs cross country. Both girls were 21:11 XC runners last season and having them return in good form will be crucial for the success of this historically great Ardrey Kell program this fall.