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Century

Coach: Brian Haines, 1st year

2016 county meet finish: 2nd

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First meet: Sept. 2 at Seahawk Invitational

Key losses: Trever Hebert, Nathan Lang, Justin Marlatt, Sean Renahan

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Key returners: Zach Fenton, Jacob Havins, Matt Huber, Theo Johnson, Jacob Spera

Outlook: The Knights closed out their season placing five runners in the top 15 at last year's Class 2A state meet, good for second place behind rival Liberty. Of those five, four are returning — Times first-team all-countians Fenton, Spera, and Johnson, and Huber. Expect Century to contend at all of the championship meets this fall.

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Juan Cortez, 4th year

2016 county meet finish: 6th

First meet: Sept. 2 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Justin Bowman, Jered Holland, Evan Ruhl, Ben Snell

Key returners: Mason Conaway, Tanner Miller, Hayden Ritz, Jacob Watson

Outlook: The Eagles will have another young team this year and Cortez said via email he's working to rebuild his numbers with 11 boys and no seniors. Look for freshmen and sphomores to carry the weight of the team this season. "It's truly a young team but junior Jacob Watson will lead us," Cortez said via email. "I'm excited for the overall growth through the season."

Liberty

Coaches: Dan Jones, 28th year; Pete Lester, 7th year

2016 county meet finish: 1st

First meet: Sept. 2 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Andrew Miner, Nick Tilson, Connor Stewart

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Key returners: Jake Beaumier, Hayden Hertz, John Lemaster, Darren Rodoff, Daniel Saxon

Outlook: Replacing Tilson, the reigning Times Country Runner of the Year, and fellow former team captain Miner won't be easy to replace, but the two-time reigning 2A state champs are determined to combine their veteran talent with incoming runners to carry on the Lions' success. "We will be relying heavily on those veterans to provide guidance and help pull along some of the new talent we have added to our roster as the season progresses," Lester said via email.

Manchester Valley

Coach: Jim MacDonald, 2nd year

2016 county meet finish: No team finish

First meet: Sept. 6 at Westminster

Key losses: Zach Brancome, Matt McGuire, Carson Miller

Key returners: Ian Chapman, Joel Galford, Andrew Jackson, Raul Ortega, Bryce Schilling

Outlook: The Mavericks should be locked in with six of their top seven runners returning this year that includes Jackson, a senior who hit a PR with a 19th-place finish at last year's 3A West meet (17:42.21)."We look to build on last year's foundation and return six of the seven runners who finished the season as the top varsity runners," MacDonald said via email.

South Carroll

Coach: Jeff McConville, 3rd year

2016 county meet finish: 5th

First meet: Sept. 2 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Remy Mezebish

Key returners: Chris Scalzi, Jason Cave, Benjamin Lausch

Outlook: The Cavaliers finished fifth at last year's county meet and seventh at the state meet. Top runners Scalzi, Cave, and Lausch should return to keep the Cavs competitive across the board this season. Scalzi weas SC's top runner at the 2016 county meet (12th place), and Cave, a junior, took that spot at the 2A West meet with a 15th-place run.

Westminster

Coaches: Ryan Dulaney, 9th year; Jim Beacham, 7th year

2016 county meet finish: 3rd

First meet: Sept. 2 at Seahawk Invitational

Key losses: Ollie Budd, Sam DiPietro

Key returners: Brandon Arbaugh, Kyle Cotoia, Charlie Ferguson, Austin Foote, Noah Griffin, Shane Wagner

Outlook: Returning contenders Griffin and Arbaugh should continue their success at the top this season. The duo finished 10th and 11th at last year's county meet to help the Owls take third place. "The boys team should be very strong this year," DuLaney said via email. "With only a couple of seniors last year, this team has plenty of experience to do well."

Winters Mill

Coach: Dan Replogle, 11th year

2016 county meet finish: 4th

First meet: Sept. 2 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Devon Caples, Evan Powell

Key returners: Max Angell, Brandon Bitz, Tad DiDio, Jack Frantz, Sean Gore, Pieter Heyn, Will Penney

Outlook: The Falcons lost Caples, their top finisher and a first-team all-countian, to graduation last year. But they return Gore, who placed ninth at last year's county meet. Expect a few newcomers just starting their running careers to turn heads this year. "We have a small core of returning runners whose improvement will determine how successful our season will be," Replogle said via email. "They have been practicing really well which gives me great optimism going into our first meet."

mwoodward@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7893

twitter.com/mwoodwardCCT

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