Watauga lose three members of their top five from last year, but have the depth to fill those gaps. In 2018 they rounded out the season ranked 16th and should have a slightly better squad this year.
Senior Sophia Ritter will be big for Watauga up front as the teams low stick. She returns off a huge junior year where she ran 18:33 to place 6th at the 3A State Championships and will give the team minimal points up front throughout the year. Ritter ran 5:11 for the 1600m and 11:24 in the 3200m to place 4th and 5th respectively at the outdoor state meet. Ritter should be in contention for a individual 3A State Championship this fall.
Their #2 returner is Sidra Miller who had a good freshman campaign running 20:31 to place 52nd at the cross country state meet. Miller ran 2:33 and 5:27 on the track and should continue to improve returning with a years experience under her belt. Rising senior Riley Fowler should compete with Miller as the teams #2 runner. Fowler ran 20:42 last year as well as 2:33 and 5:37 on the track. Watauga will need these two to be in the low 20s or better this fall.
Sophie Beach and Isabelle Broman-Fulks return as the teams 4th and 5th runners. They sport PRs of 20:47 and 21:27. Beach had a good freshman track season running 5:42 and 12:16. Rebecca Anderson will be a rising senior for the team as well and should be contesting for a top 5 spot this fall after showing great improvement on the track clocking 2:44 and 12:14.
Watauga will also bring in freshman Gwendolyn Anderson who ran a 5:57 1600m as an 8th grader and should fall into the Pioneers top 7 this fall. Lena Miller, Olivia McAnulty and Annie Veno are other names to keep an eye on for girls who can impact the teams top 7 this year.
The key for this team will be Ritter up front scoring low points, but more importantly a strong 2-5 pack. Last year the team had their 7th girl at 20:47. If they can get a good group in the low to mid 20s this year they'll be able to improve on last years 5th place 3A finish and defend their NCHSAA 3A West championship title.