Invitationals: Interstate Classic (Clear Spring), South Carroll, Bull Run, Georgetown Prep.
Boys to watch: Seniors Lee Moore, Nathan Tatum and Jeremy Starr.
Girls to watch: Senior Lanie Swanhardt, sophomore Julianna Boswell and freshman Julia Nardone.
What you need to know: The Gladiator boys have a void at the head of their lineup — it will be hard to replace Robby Creese, two-time cross country Runner of the Year, who is now running in college. But Creese's absence may make Glenelg a more balanced team. The boys' squad is "committed," said coach Steve Ruckert, who adds that a top 5 county finish would be good.
The Glenelg girls are "mentally tough," according to Ruckert. If the team can come up with a strong No. 5 runner, they will be very competitive.
There are 65 runners betwen the two teams.
Invitationals: none mentioned.
Boys to watch: Senior Sean Kwon; junior Cole Rosenberg.
Girls to watch: Senior Nicole Dawson.
What you need to know: With 19 boys and seven girls, Hammond is thin on numbers. "It's always tough with a small team," said coach Jim Gross. Many of the runners are new or relatively new to running.
Rosenberg, a transfer from Virginia should help the boys' side, and Dawson, one of the top girls in the county a year ago, is coming off a good summer of training.
Invitationals: Liberty, South Carroll, Bull Run and Georgetown Prep.
Boys to watch: Seniors James Oslund, Steven Eastman, Ben Blasko and Kirtan Patel; junior Danny Rau, sophomore Luke Filar and freshmen Ray Smith, Nolan Dunnigan and Phillip Adejumo.
Girls to watch: Senior Hollie Adejumo; junior Caroline Haden.
What you need to know: The Howard boys' team is 50 members strong and had a great freshman turnout. Smith is pushing Rau as to who will be the top Lion runner. Coach Nathan Ferrell says his team is young and under experienced but has some great potential. "I expect us to build on last year's season and finish with a better record," he said.
The Howard girls are also young. "We are a young team that is learning how to race together," said coach Matthew Stump of his 33-runner squad. "We have a lot of youth and determination. I think this will be a strong season for our girls if they stay healthy. I expect to be competitive in every race."
Invitationals: Bobcat, South Carroll, Bull Run, Gunpowder and Scorpion Crawl.