2018 Girls Cross Country Preview Capsules
Runners take off in the girls' varisty race during the Crossfire Invitational at Liberty High School in Eldersburg Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Coach: Meghan Myers, 1st year

2017 county meet finish: 4th


First meet: Sept. 1 at Seahawk Invitational

Key losses: Colby Brodsky, Natalie Poulton

Key returners: Leah Fenton, senior; Elise Greenwald, sophomore; Kara Lang, senior; Jessica McCelland, senior; Julia Noll, junior; Chloe Sobchak, senior

Outlook: Look for the Knights to utilize their depth to fill the holes left behind from Brodsky and Poulton, two first team all-countians in 2017. Myers and Tony Griner are coaching the girls and boys squads this season. “Confidence and strength will be their building blocks,” Griner said via email. “Their belief in each other will be their inspiration.”

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Ryan Taylor, 1st year

2017 county meet finish: 6th

First meet: Sept. 1 at Brunswick Invitational

Key loss: Kallista Matthews

Key returners: Lakota Comeau, senior; Maria Leppo, sophomore

Outlook: The Eagles have a new coach this season and are poised for a position showing with the return of two of their top finishers from 2017 in Comeau and Leppo. “We’ve got a great group of hardworking girls and my hope is that we can shock some of the other teams in the county this season,” Taylor said via email.


Coaches: Dan Jones (29th year); Pete Lester (8th year)

2017 county meet finish: 1st

First meet: Sept. 1 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Greta Huber, Maeve Lyons, Heidi Rinehart


Key returners: Lilly Rainey, senior; Sammie Spargo, junior; Jenna Zietowski, junior

Outlook: The Lions graduated 16 seniors from last year’s county championship winning squad that included first team all-countians Lyons and Rinehart. Spargo, and Zietowski finished 12th and 14th at last year’s county meet and return to help the Lions contend. The team looks to remain competitive, despite having one of the smallest rosters in recent memory, Lester said via email.

Manchester Valley

Coach: Nancy Hayes, 3rd year

2017 county meet finish: 7th

First meet: Sept. 11 vs. South Carroll and Westminster

Key losses: None

Key returners: Ellie Boswell, senior; Allison Rhoads, senior; Emily Herrold, senior; Molly Smith, junior

Outlook: Credit the Mavericks’ offseason training and fresh talent as a benefit for what’s to come this season. Herrold, a junior, was one of the Mavs’ top finishers last season and newcomers Rubie Goffena and Fenna Hott should contribute as well. “The lady Mavericks completed a rigorous and successful preseason preparing them for a challenging and competitive schedule this season,” Hayes said via email.

South Carroll

COACH: Ryan Scanlon, 1st year

2017 county meet finsh: 3rd

First meet: Sept. 1 at Brunswick Invitational

Key loss: Jamie Anderson

Key returners: Danielle Firlie, sophomore; Ansleigh Myers, sophomore; Izzy Pribulick, sophomore; Maddie Rathmann, sophomore; Grace Siehler, sophomore; Dani Spencer, sophomore; Hallie Thomas, junior; Kate Yokay, sophomore

OUTLOOK: The Cavaliers will be young this season, and their core comes from the sophomore class. Siehler, a first team all-countian in 2017, is one of the team’s top returners. “The team has battled quite a few injuries in the month of August, but hopes to regain full strength as they head into the fall,” Scanlon said via email.


Coaches: Jim Beacham (7th year); Ryan DuLaney (7th year)

2017 county meet finish: 5th

First meet: Sept. 1 at Seahawk Invitational

Key losses: Shannon Gibbons, Chrissy Smith

Key returners: Kate Ejk, sophomore; Kristina Kemp, junior; Alannah Kernan, sophomore; Paige Miranda, sophomore; Erin McGrath, senior; Emma Nerenberg, sophomore; Cora Richardson, junior; Julia Wawryznski, senior

Outlook: The Owls return most of its varsity from last season that includes top finishers McGrath and Wawryznski. McGrath placed 10th at last year’s county meet, third at the 3A West meet and 30th at the state meet. “We have a lot more depth this year, which should help improve the team,” DuLaney said via email.

Winters Mill

Coach: Ben Brown, 7th year

2017 county meet finish: 2nd

First meet: Sept. 1 at Brunswick Invitational

Key losses: Casey Jillson, Annie Kartalia

Key returners: Dellaney Georgiana, senior; Kathryn Hopkins, sophomore; Makenzie Hopkins, sophomore

Outlook: The Falcons return their “triplet group” that includes reigning Times Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year Makenzie Hopkins. “They’ve worked extremely hard this summer, come back in great shape, and have the determination to be better,” Brown said via email. “They will be followed by some fresh faces and a veteran or two to round out the Top 7.”