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Century

Coaches: Dyron Johnson, 1st year; Chris Mead, 1st year

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First meet: Friday at Terry Baker Invite (HCC)

Key losses: Megan Callan, Kylie Davis, Maddie Hart, Kiley Hurst, Hannah Warther

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Key returners: Avery Arena, senior distance; Caroline Bresnahan, junior mid-distance; Lisi Hurst, junior mid-distance; Natalie Poulton, junior distance; Maddie Reeser, senior throws; Emma Yockman, sophomore mid-distance.

Outlook: Century's sprints take a hit with the loss of Callan, Davis (out with a knee injury), and Warther, and Kiley Hurst in the distance events. Mead said via email Poulton is set to pick up where she left off in cross country this fall. "We will be looking for a strong group of returning runners to lead the team," Mead said.

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Juan Cortez, 4th year

First meet: Saturday at UMES HS Invite

Key loss: Jordan Bigham

Key returners: Summer Burton, junior; Cindy Chibayere, sophomore; Lakota Comeau, sophomore; Sarah Pernell, junior; Emma Taggart, sophomore.

Outlook: Key's numbers doubled this winter, from eight to 16, and Cortez said via email several Eagles will be striving to excel in multiple events. Freshman Carmen Miller looks to be competitive in sprints and Shelby Holland, another freshman, in distance. "We are going to be very balanced this winter," Cortez said via email.

Liberty

Coaches: Mary Bulakites, 1st year; Amanda Milewski, 2nd year

First meet: Friday at Terry Baker Invite (HCC)

Key losses: Cassie Arndt, Colleen Joy, Nicole Starego, Emma Tilson, Evelyn Zietowski

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Key returners: Lauren Kudrich, senior; Maeve Lyons, junior distance; Heidi Rinehart, junior distance.

Outlook: Lyons and Rinehart each earned Times first-team all-county honors last winter, but they both missed Liberty's cross country fall season with injuries. But the Lions lost Zietkowski to graduation after she took third in the 500 at states and also earned first-team status.

Manchester Valley

Coach: Jim MacDonald, 1st year

First meet: Friday at Terry Baker Invite (HCC)

Key losses: Emily Cheatwood, Samantha Chenoweth, Kayla Geho, Katie Krebs

Key returners: Linsday Chenoweth, senior sprints; Jeri Garland, sophomore distance; Lyndsay Marks, sophomore sprints.

Outlook: The Mavericks have good numbers thanks to several athletes coming over from North Carroll, including seniors Mackenzie Poist, Veronica Schilling, and Lauren Weitzel (sprints). Krebs and Geho leave a hole in Man Valley's lineup based on their scoring prowess in throws. Krebs won the 1A shot put state title last winter.

South Carroll

Coach: Bill Gerhold, 3rd year

First meet: Friday at Terry Baker Invite (HCC)

Key losses: Summer Bingaman, Erin Langille

Key returners: Jamie Anderson, junior mid-distance; Malayna Fowler, senior shot put; Megan O'Neill, sophomore mid-distance; Sydney Ruckel, senior distance; Allison Zolkiewicz, junior mid-distance.

Outlook: The Cavaliers bring back three state champions from last winter, led by the reigning Times Athlete of the Year in Zolkiewicz. She earned a gold medal in the 500 dash at the 2A state meet a season ago and ran a leg on SC's winning 4x800 relay team (Anderson and O'Neill did too).

Westminster

Coach: Desmond Wars, 1st year

First meet: Saturday at UM-Eastern Shore HS Invite

Key losses: Kamilla Haldorsen, Shannon Kirk, Kaylee Ryan, Jess Shuchcardt

Key returners: Lilli DeJordy, sophomore; Kaileigh Harrison, junior; Olivia Herman, junior; Rachel Rogalski, junior; Jilly Wagner, senior.

Outlook: Expectations are high for the Owls, who return the bulk of their roste. Harrison commands the sprint events, and last year ran relays with Rogalski. Herman chips in and also did jumps last winter, and Wagner is coming off a first-team all-county cross country season.

Winters Mill

Coach: Rob Pennington, 2nd year

First meet: Friday at Terry Baker Invite (HCC)

Key loss: Katie Clemons

Key returners: Emma Kartalia, senior distance; Helon Raines, senior shot put; Caroline Wilcox, senior distance.

Outlook: The Falcons's roster doesn't crack 20 athletes, but they do have some talent. Kartalia and Wilcox are coming off successful cross country campaigns, with Kartalia earning Times Runner of the Year. Raines returns after placing sixth in the shot at the 2A West meet.

—Compiled by Pat Stoetzer



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