Last season: No. 1
Postseason: IAAM Conference champion
Outlook: They lost some key performers to graduation and may not be quite as strong as recent years. Still, led by Lakin Hatcher and Sidney Hayes, the Eagles should be a deep team and the one to beat in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland this winter.
Last season: No. 2
Postseason: Class 2A state champion
Outlook: Like McDonogh, the Lions lost some top performers from their team that won a state championship last winter. However, they also have the depth, led by Erin Patrice and Sarah Rinehart, that should make them a force in Class 2A again this season.
Last season: No. 3
Postseason: Class 3A state champion
Outlook: The Bulls again are loaded with performers for distance and relay events, which sets them on the right path to repeat as state champions. Hereford features a talented lineup, including Sarah Ashwood, who won the state championship in the 1,600 meters last winter, and Erin Causey.
4. Old Mill
Last season: No. 5
Postseason: 5th in the Class 4A state meet
Outlook: The Patriots are going to feature athletes who can score points in a variety of events. For Old Mill, the big question is who can stand out this season, especially in the Class 4A, which features several strong schools from Montgomery County.
Last season: Unranked
Postseason: Tied for 12th in the Class 4A state meet
Outlook: In the fall, the Bruins finished in third place in the Class 4A cross country state championship. If they can use that strength in distance running, led by Ellie Smith, and perform well in relays, they could have a strong indoor campaign.
6. Severna Park
Last season: No. 7
Postseason: 10th in the Class 4A state meet
Outlook: The Falcons again will have depth in the distance races and relays this season, but it remains to be seen if they will have enough to compete in the big meets.
7. Mount Hebron
Last season: No. 6
Postseason: Tied for 3rd in the Class 3A state meet
Outlook: Although the Vikings will be missing a few of their best performers from last season's squad, Rachel Yep should help them to continue their success. If some of the younger runners can step up, the team should enjoy the winter.
Last season: No. 8
Postseason: 11th in the Class 4A state meet
Outlook: Like the other teams in Anne Arundel County ranked above them, the Cougars will score points from different spots this season. The question is whether they'll have enough depth to be successful throughout the year.
9. Milford Mill
Last season: No. 4
Postseason: 2nd in the Class 3A state meet
Outlook: The Millers lost top scorers Racquel Moses and Mykael Dixon to graduation, and they might need some time for the lineup to come together. Still, like normal, they'll be strong in sprints and relays.
Last season: Unranked
Postseason: Tied for 15th in the Class 4A state meet
Outlook: Distance running should be Dulaney's strong point. Isabel Griffith is expected to anchor that group. If the Lions keep scoring in that area, points in relays will also come for them.
Others considered: Archbishop Spalding (unranked), Northwestern (No. 9), Oakland Mills (unranked), Western Tech (unranked)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun