Anne Arundel County

If there were no "field" in "track and field," Broadneck would be the no-brainer favorite to bring home its second straight county championship.

An overwhelming stable of distance runners and an improving set of middle-distance athletes have been the Bruins' trademark. But zero jumpers - horizontal or vertical - could hurt Broadneck's hopes.

Chesapeake has a plethora of performers in the field events and could keep up with the Bruins in the distance events. But the Cougars lack sprinters.

Sprinting has never been a problem for Meade. And don't fall asleep on Severna Park, which nearly caught Broadneck at the indoor county championships.

Baltimore City

Can anyone stop Western from winning its 15th consecutive city championship?

A number of teams will try to answer that question this spring. Mervo may come the closest as the Mustangs, who placed second at the indoor championship meet, wield talent in the sprints and relays.

Poly finished second to Western at last spring's championships, but slipped at the indoor version. Whether they can recover in a matter of months will be a difficult task.

But in the end, the only team that can hurt the Doves is, well, the Doves. A lack of training before the Class 4A-3A state indoor meet cost Western its first indoor crown.

Baltimore County

Dulaney coach Chad Boyle joked that being the underdog has its advantages.

The Lions fell in their bid to register eight straight indoor county championships. But Dulaney's depth - 50 girls tried out - and a chance to win six consecutive outdoor crowns could be just the motivation the team needs.

The Lions' primary competition should come from Milford Mill, which claimed its first indoor county title and two straight Class 3A-2A state indoor championships two months ago. But with five more events to compete in, the Millers' eight-athlete squad could be stretched thin.

Franklin surprised many observers during the indoor season.

Carroll County

Westminster won the county title last year, but the Owls could be pushed by North Carroll.

Trisha Repsher should be one of Westminster's top guns. The freshman won the 3,200 in the county meet plus the Central Maryland Conference title and the region crown before getting second in the state. Westminster also can score points in many ways in the field events. Aislinn Sowash will lead North Carroll.

The loss of indoor Performer of the Year Katie Hertsch is going to hurt Winters Mill, but the Hawks still have plenty of good young talent. South Carroll, Liberty and Francis Scott Key are inexperienced but have good performers in different spots.

Harford County

Though the county doesn't sanction indoor track as a varsity sport, C. Milton Wright competed in the Class 4A-3A Central regional championships and the state championships, taking second and seventh place, respectively.

That performance should carry over to the spring as the Mustangs will dominate the distance events, led by senior Morgan Little and sophomore Kelli Buck, the Class 4A-3A state two-mile champ.

Havre de Grace senior Britta Nelson could challenge Buck and Little. Fallston brings back Jeanette Saltsman, the county champ in the 110 high hurdles. Bel Air is in a rebuilding stage.

Howard County

Outdoor track and field has become synonymous with Long Reach.

The Lightning has racked up five straight county championships and five consecutive Class 3A state titles. An enviable corps of sprinters and jumpers have long defined Long Reach as the county's top program.

Mount Hebron is seeking to add an outdoor crown to the indoor championship it claimed two months ago. Whether the Vikings' cadre of distance runners can overcome a lack of jumpers remains to be seen.

Glenelg finished second at last year's county championships, but parlayed that experience into a Class 2A state title. The Gladiators likely will be a target this season.

Private schools

Bryn Mawr captured its second consecutive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship with just 15 athletes last spring. Imagine what the Mawrtians can achieve with 25 this year.

The added personnel gives Bryn Mawr more depth in the sprints and jumps, which could help overcome a thin group of throwers.

Mount de Sales has a wealth of talent in the hurdles and middle distance events. The Sailors will lean on a youthful squad that has just three seniors on its roster.

The rest of the pack is crowded. Teams like Notre Dame Prep, Seton Keough or Mercy could play a major role in determining the champion.

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