1. Mervo

Last season: ranked No. 2

Despite winning 11 of the last 12 Baltimore City titles, the Mustangs haven't won a Class 4A state championship since they ended the 1997 season with their third straight crown. With sprinters and distance runners in the fold, this could be the year Mervo ends the dry spell.

2. Annapolis

Last season: ranked No. 7

The Panthers boast several notable performers in nearly every event. After a runner-up finish in the Class 3A-2A state indoor meet, the addition of All-Anne Arundel County basketball player Joshua Johnson provides more firepower in the discus throw and jumps.

3. Mount St. Joseph

Last season: ranked No. 4

Balance in nearly every facet of the sport has been the key for the Gaels. Long known as a distance power, Mount St. Joseph has nurtured its sprint and field events and is on pace to collect its third straight Maryland Private Schools state title.

4. Archbishop Curley

Last season: unranked

The Friars are enjoying a resurgence that produced success in the cross country and indoor track seasons. Blessed with talent in field and distance events, Archbishop Curley is trying to develop a cadre of sprinters to boost its chances.

5. Mount Hebron

Last season: unranked

The Vikings had never picked up a Howard County title in track until this past winter. Picking up four athletes from the county championship-winning basketball team gives Mount Hebron much-needed depth and a shot at its first outdoor crown.

6. Southern-AA

Last season: No. 6

Last year was a campaign of firsts for the Bulldogs, who collected their first Anne Arundel County, Class 2A South region and state titles. Southern boasts firepower in the sprints and hurdles.

7. Gilman

Last season: ranked No. 3

The Greyhounds relied on their sprinters and jumpers to wrest the reigning MIAA championship from Mount St. Joseph. Whether that formula can yield similar returns this spring could depend on the maturation of Gilman's youthful athletes.

8. Woodlawn

Last season: unranked

The Warriors, who have claimed six consecutive Baltimore County championships, will rely on a mix of experience and youth. Lack of depth in the distance events could hurt.

9. Oakland Mills

Last season: No. 1

The Scorpions struggled during the indoor season, missing out on a bid to win five straight Class 2A-1A state crowns. But the outdoor campaign offers more sprints for a program that has captured four of the last five and 10 of the last 14 Class 1A state titles.

10. Loch Raven

Last season: unranked

If Loch Raven can find athletes in the field events to produce points, the team may be able to improve on last year's second-place outing at the Class 1A state meet.

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