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Anne Arundel County

Severna Park has historically dominated the county, and only time will tell if that history will change this season.

The girls team has won 14 of the past 16 county titles and returns five runners from a squad that placed sixth at the Class 3A state meet last year.

Broadneck, second in the county last season, and Chesapeake, third, each return five runners.

The boys' race is a little more clouded. Severna Park has grabbed three of the past four county crowns, but has been depleted by graduation.

Broadneck returns three of its top seven runners. Although Chesapeake placed fifth in the county, the Cougars may be the dark-horse candidate.

Baltimore City

The Western girls team has become synonymous with winning city titles. The Doves have captured eight of them in a row.

Poly could make things interesting, but don't expect Western -- which graduated just one runner from its top seven -- to falter in its march toward a ninth title.

One streak that will end is Deborah Green's mark of four consecutive individual championships. Green graduated from Northern last spring.

On the boys side, Mervo graduated four runners from its top seven, but the Mustangs boast the reigning city champion in junior Brandon Lynch.

If Mervo falls, look for City or Poly -- two teams that seemingly reload every season -- to fill the gap.

Baltimore County

Graduation hit Dulaney hard. The Lions lost their top two boys and girls runners from teams that were in the top two at the Class 3A state meet.

But Dulaney's depth on both sides should mark a return to tradition. The girls have clinched 11 consecutive county titles -- the longest active streak in the metro area -- while the boys have won two straight.

The Towson girls also lost their top two performers, yet they could still be the Lions' toughest obstacle.

On the boys' side, Loch Raven, which placed second, welcomes back six of its top seven runners.

Towson graduated its top three runners, but can call up successors from its county-winning JV squad.

Carroll County

No team bore the brunt of graduation harder than the North Carroll girls.

Two years removed from capturing the Class 3A state title and a year from winning their third straight county crown, the Panthers may find themselves in the middle of the pack.

Westminster, with four of its six top runners returning, and Century, with defending county champion Rachel Hawes, will battle for the top spot.

The boys' race is a classic example of quality vs. quantity. South Carroll welcomes back the county's two fastest runners in Dan Reedy and Philip Diven.

But Westminster returns six of its top seven runners from a team that has claimed the county title 17 times in 18 seasons.

Harford County

Nothing is a certainty, but the C. Milton Wright boys team comes pretty close.

A year after setting a Class 4A state record for the lowest points total (20), the Mustangs welcome back five of their top seven runners and figure to claim their 15th county title in 16 years.

The C. Milton Wright girls haven't exactly been slouches either, grabbing the past three county crowns. The Mustangs graduated just two runners from last season's team.

Bel Air and Fallston will do their best to test the C. Milton Wright boys squad. The Fallston girls will hound the Mustangs on their end, too.

The sleeper of the county may be North Harford.

Howard County

Where River Hill once owned the county, Mount Hebron is looking to start a tradition of its own.

In sweeping the boys and girls championships last season, the Vikings broke River Hill's three-year winning streak.

Returning five of its top seven boys and four of its top seven girls, Mount Hebron appears poised to repeat. Also, Jessica Galindo, the team's former No. 1 runner who battled injuries last year, is back.

The Glenelg girls, second last season at the county meet, will keep the pressure on Mount Hebron.

The boys' race is a crowded affair. River Hill, Glenelg and Centennial each return five runners. Glenelg is the defending Class 2A state champion.

Private schools

Mount St. Joseph could win its first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title in its 25-year history, but Archbishop Spalding and defending champion McDonogh will do their best to keep the hex alive.

Reigning B Conference titlist St. Mary's and Glenelg Country will battle it out for the championship.

Bryn Mawr has the talent to capture its third Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown in four seasons. Mount de Sales and Maryvale stand in the way.

With two-time champion Glenelg Country moving up to the A Conference, the B Conference crown is up for grabs between St. John's at Prospect Hall and the Institute of Notre Dame.

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