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Century

Coaches: Chris Mead, 1st year; Mindy Grosh, 1st year

2018 county meet finish: Third

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First meet: Sept. 7 at Spiked Shoe Invitational

Key losses: Zachary Fenton, Jacob Havins, Theo Johnson, Hogan Mower, Nick Simon

Key returners: Tyler Dregely, Hayden Hebert, Ryan Lustig, Jonah Zabik

Outlook: Mead returns after coaching the Knights from 2010-2017 and the team finished third at counties under Tony Griner last fall. Fenton, a 2018 Times first-team all-countian, graduated, and Mead said the team looks to rebuild after significant losses. “Even so, they haven’t set the bar any lower for themselves and will utilize new leadership and incoming talent to reach their goals,” Mead said via email.

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Gary Shelton, 1st year

2018 county meet finish: Seventh

First meet: Sept. 7 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Tanner Miller, Sam Leppo, Jacob Watson

Key returners: Joe Loy, Hayden Ritz

Outlook: The Eagles will have a new coach this season, along with a number of new athletes who have not run cross country before. The team is small — made up of 50% freshmen, one junior, and three seniors, and Shelton said via email he anticipates “a total of eight members are getting prepared to take on the larger teams and show that determination is Key to success."

Liberty

Coaches: Dan Jones, 30th year; Pete Lester, 9th year

2018 county meet finish: First

First meet: Sept. 7 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Daniel Saxon, Kyle Hinton

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Key returners: Jake Beaumier, Woodrow Kashima, Jake Lucas, Connor Stewart

Outlook: The Lions have dominated the county, region, and state in recent years, and the team won its fourth straight state championship in 2018. Saxon, the two-time reigning Boys Cross County Runner of the Year, graduated, but the team returns four athletes that finished in the top 12 in the county last fall. “Our goal will be to continue improving each day so that we can defend all of our 2018 titles,” Lester said via email.

Manchester Valley

Coach: Jim MacDonald, 4th year

2018 county meet finish: Sixth

First meet: Sept. 11 vs. Century and Westminster

Key losses: Bryce Shilling

Key returners: Sean Bradley, Gabe Szybalski, Mason Weston

Outlook: The Mavericks return five of their top seven varsity runners from last season after graduating Schilling, who finished 40th at last year’s county meet. Szybalski and Weston were the Mavericks’ top finishers at counties and the duo placed 28th and 29th. “[Our] goal is to improve in county and regional placement,” MacDonald said via email.

South Carroll

Coach: Jeff McConville, 5th year

2018 county meet finish: Second

First meet: Sept. 7 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Jason Cave, Patrick Tunkel

Key returners: Brendan Cave, John Kettula, Ben Lausch

Outlook: Four South Carroll athletes finished in the top 15 at last year’s county meet and the Cavaliers took second to Liberty. Now graduated is first-team all-countian Jason Cave who led the group, but returning is fellow first-teamer John Kettula, who finished sixth at counties. “We’re excited for the upcoming season and are working hard to move up in the state rankings this year,” McConville said via email.

Westminster

Coaches: Jim Beacham, 10th year; Ryan DuLaney, 11th year

2018 county meet finish: Fifth

First meet: Sept. 7 at Seahawk Invitational

Key losses: Jay Boggs, Wyatt Cox, Charlie Ferguson, Austin Foote, Kyle Fronheiser, Danny Gillcrist, Andrew Howery, JP Neubert

Key returners: Justin Condon, Anders Madsen, Wyatt Vanlandingham

Outlook: The Owls graduated their top seven varsity athletes that includes Charlie Ferguson, a first-team all-countian who finished fourth at the county meet, second at the 3A West meet, and fourth at states in 2018. Look for this to be a rebuilding season for this year’s Owls. “We have some young talent that we are hoping to develop into a competitive team by the end of the season,” DuLaney said via email.

Winters Mill

Coach: Dan Replogle, 13th year

2018 county meet finish: Fourth

First meet: Sept. 7 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Max Angell, Brandon Bitz, Jack Frantz

Key returners: Tad DiDio, Shane Moxley, Cameron Selmer, Kunal Shah, Zak Staley

Outlook: Frantz, a first-team all-countian in 2018, finished third at the county meet, and graduated last year. The Falcons bring back five varsity athletes from last fall that should help field a competitive team once again. “Our team has shown great enthusiasm and a solid work ethic throughout our summer training,” Replogle said via email.

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