This was a tough choice. I switched the top four schools on this list multiple times and can see this season end with any of them atop NCISAA. The #4 team on our Pre-Season XC NCISAA Countdown is Carolina Day School!
The defending NCISAA 3A State Champions had four runners in the top six, and all seven in the top twenty at last season's State Meet. They do, however, graduate 3/7 including their 3-4 runners. Returning are rising freshmen Abby Smith and junior Erin Hovendon who placed 2nd and 3rd respectively at the State Meet. Smith, the defending Carolinas Athletic Association XC champ, is looking to take down defending state champion Ryann Aycock (Cary Christian) this season. Lia Sprouse and Katie Rudins will be battling each other for the new 3-4 spots on this squad. The key to a successful championship sequel will be in their new likely 5th runner, Erin Weaver. Weaver, a sophomore now, is ready to take the next steps towards the front pack. Without a track season, we have not seen a lot of these athletes since the state meet or Foot Locker South last season, so their improvement could be sky high! Look for Carolina Day to defend their state title and make me look bad at putting them #4 to start the season.
|1||Carolina Day School (NC)||50|
|1) Abby Smith||19:28.20||2|
|2) Erin Hovendon||19:39.20||3|
|3) Katie Rudins||20:29.90||11|
|4) Lia Sprouse||20:33.80||12|
|5) Erin Weaver||21:46.20||22|
|Average Time: 20:23.46 Total Time: 1:41:57.30 1-5 Split: 2:18.00|
|6) Sara Grace Dalton||23:00.85||40|
|7) Helena Marmolejos||24:02.30||55|