Girls Top 25 Cross Country Countdown: #25 South View

Faith Roy

Key Returners

Kodi Payne

Samantha Brooks

Carlie Benefield

The Regional realignment was not kind to South View moving them from the 4A East into a strong 4A Mideast region.  Only 5 teams out of the region advance to the state championships.  Last year they took 9th, though seem to have been missing some of their top girls.  This year will be no different as they return as the #7 team in the region.  

Kodi Payne will return as the top girl and was an individual qualifier to the NCHSAA State Championships last fall.  Payne has a breakout season in 2017 where she went from being outside of the top 7 as a sophomore to the teams top runner as a junior.  Her PR dropped from 21:44 down to 19:16 where she took 12th at the 4A Mideast Regional.  On the track Payne ran 5:24.31 for the 1600m where she again was the fastest girl on her South View squad.

One of the things South View missed last year was Madeline Carkeet.  Carkeet holds a PR of 19:52 from her freshman season, but posted a season best of 21:48 last fall.  All indications say that Carkeet is back in good form after having her best track season yet.  Carkeet ran 5:33.81 this spring as well as 12:09.19 where she qualified for the outdoor state championships.  Having her back in top form is a huge addition for the Tigers.

Samantha Brooks and Carlie Benefield will also make up the Tigers top 4.  Brooks is their #2 returner with a 19:51.30 PR and Benefield #3 at 20:05.70.  The pair ran 5:35.80 and 5:55.41 respectively for the 1600m on the track.  Brooks seems ready to make a jump yet again in XC.  She has dropped significant time over each XC season going from 26:07 to 21:08 down to 19:51 a year ago.  Another big improvement will be huge for this team.  Rising senior Benefield got really strong towards the end of the season a year ago with her best two races being regionals and conference.  She didn't race much on the track, but I'd expect her to come on strong towards the end of the year once again.

Assuming their top 4 will be healthy this season, the Tigers will still be searching for a 5th man.  The most likely candidate is Nina Williams who ran 21:15 last year as a sophomore.  Williams is not a distance runner by nature as she holds a 400m PR of 1:01.15.  She will be South View's #5 returner.  Makayla Neely and Mikayla Massey are some names that could step up for the Tigers this fall and fill the hole.  

None of South View's current top runners have come in as stars.  It's been a gradual increase over their careers.  This leads me to think that they'll have some girls show up this fall that come out of summer training in good form.  Their home Jungle Run Invitational will be their first test this fall to see how the team is shaping up.