1. Mount Saint Joseph
Last season: No. 2
Postseason: MIAA A Conference champion
Outlook: The Gaels are two-time MIAA A Conference champions and they captured the Maryland/DC Private School title race, as well. Five Gaels finished in the top 15 at the private school title race, and seniors Hunter Petrik, Gabe Antone and Andrew Brinker will lead the pack this season.
Last season: No. 3
Postseason: Class 4A state champion
Outlook: The Lions won their fourth straight Baltimore County title and 4A North Region title last season. Eleven Lions finished in the top 20 en route to capturing a second consecutive 4A state title.
3. River Hill
Last season: No. 1
Postseason: Class 3A state champion
Outlook: The Hawks captured a third straight 3A state title last fall, dominating the field in the process. Four athletes placed in the top 20 and the Hawks aim to continue their streak this season, despite losing more than half of their state contenders to graduation.
4. Severna Park
Last season: No. 4
Postseason: Second in Class 4A state meet
Outlook: The Falcons won the Anne Arundel County title last season and followed that victory with another first-place finish at the 4A East Region meet. Expect to see another battle with rival Dulaney this season, as the Falcons were 4A state runners-up to the Lions by just one point last year.
Last season: No. 9
Postseason: Class 2A state champion
Outlook: The two-time reigning 2A state champion Lions lost Carroll County Times Cross Country Runner of the Year Nick Tilson, who finished third in last year’s state meet. The Lions return two top-10 state meet contenders, Daniel Saxon and John Lemaster, to lead the quest for a three-peat.
Last season: Not ranked
Postseason: Second in Class 2A state meet
Outlook: The Knights had a successful 2016 season and topped it off with a second-place finish at the 2A state meet. Jacob Spera, Theo Johnson, Matt Huber and Zach Fenton, four of the Knights’ top contenders from last year, are back this season.
7. South River
Last season: No 6
Postseason: Third in Class 4A state meet
Outlook: The Seahawks will likely have a very different lineup this season, led by returners Sam Keeny and Adam Allen. The team took second place at the Anne Arundel County championship meet and the 4A East Region meet last year.
8. Oakland Mills
Last season: No. 10
Postseason: Fourth in Class 2A state meet
Outlook: The Scorpions capped off their championship season with fourth- and third-place finishes at the Howard County title meet and 2A West Region meet. They lost Joey Navarro, who finished seventh in the 2A state meet, to graduation but return an experienced group.
Last season: No. 9
Postseason: Third in MIAA A Conference meet
Outlook: The Eagles return Dalton Hengst, one of the state’s best distance runners. Hengst is the two-time reigning champion of the MIAA A Conference and Maryland/DC Private School meets. McDonogh lost top-tier contender Lucas Wright to graduation but is poised to make a positive showing this season.
Last season: No. 5
Postseason: Eighth in Class 4A state meet
Outlook: The Lions return a strong core of juniors and seniors, led by senior Nick Deamer, who finished fifth at the 4A state meet last year. They came up short in a few big meets last fall, but coach Zack Dickerson is optimistic in his group to work hard and focus this season.
Others considered: Broadneck, Loyola Blakefield, Patterson Mill, Towson