There will be a certain familiarity about the Harford County high school girls cross country scene this fall, with five returning All-County selections heading an experienced corps of runners.
It could be a recurring theme, too, as some of those expected to be in contention are underclassmen.
The holdovers are seniors Amy Altman of C. Milton Wright; Michelle Apland of Bel Air; and Candy Credito of Fallston; junior Jen Englehart of C. Milton Wright, last fall's county Runner of the Year; and sophomore Erin Chlumsky of Fallston.
C. Milton Wright, boasting strength and depth, should dominate team competition, with Bel Air and Fallston the likely closest pursuers.
With four experienced seniors, John Carroll is another possible contender, although it might not be able to make a dent among the top three.
Wright, coached by Barbara Johnson, placed second among teams at the Howard Invitational, and third at the Westminster meet, with Englehart, Altman and freshman Kelly Coogan as the team's first three runners.
Greg Thompson, who switched coaching positions from Joppatowne boys to Fallston girls, has a solid base with 10 returnees on a squad of 18. Newcomers include Irene Cronk, Lisa Henninger and Megan Svela.
At Bel Air, coach Alan Dean expects to complement Apland and experienced senior Jennifer Lippincott with senior Chrissie Anderson, sophomore Lauren Hefer and freshman Meredith Eyler.
The team finished fifth among nearly 20 schools at the Howard race, the best it has finished in the annual event.
Senior Katie Lannon is the most experienced of the John Carroll contingent, as she finished in the top 10 of every race but the county meet last year.
Coach Bernie Mullin also has seniors Jennifer Williams, Carrie Dannenfelser and Annie Donnelly and two new juniors, Stephanie Sutton and Kate Cochran.
Several other teams have solid individuals, but little or no depth.
Sophomore Megan McNew is providing excitement at North Harford, as her progress might be measured from a 14th in the Spiked Shoe development race a year ago to a 12th in the varsity race earlier this month. Coach Dave Starnes has predominantly freshmen and sophomores, with only junior Cara Johnson the only senior-junior in the top five.
Elsewhere, Erin Fitzgerald returns for a senior year at Harford Tech, where her mother, Becky, is the coach, and where Erin will have sophomore Christy McKinnon, who already has lopped two minutes off her best time of last year, for company, along with some freshmen.
Senior Laura Bourque, back for her final season, and sophomore Allyn Padua are Edgewood's only runners, although coach Don Todaro is hopeful of getting a couple more.
The same is true at Joppatowne and Aberdeen.
Joppatowne coach Cindy Ordes has three runners, with freshman Beth Hadrys, backed by some age-group experience, the top one, followed by sophomores Ann Csizny and Kaity Wolski.
Coach Donna Lewis, who had a one-runner Aberdeen team last year in All-County choice Christy Moon, is in that situation again, although her current runner, Virginia Anderson, is an inexperienced freshman. Anderson might get help, though, because last week three more freshmen came out. Now, there is the possibility of another one joining them tomorrow.
At Havre de Grace, coach Scott Rundle has three runners with no experience, sophomore twins Susan and Sarah Whatley, and freshman Lisa Romanelli.