Linde's performances in victories at the Carroll County, Monocacy Valley Athletic League, regional and Class 2A state championships were impressive enough, but they stand out even more considering what she had to come back from.
The sophomore, who had made a name for herself with strong performances during the big meets in outdoor track last spring, struggled in early October with hamstring problems that forced her to drop out of two races in a week, including the Bull Run at Hereford.
But those were the only two meets she missed.
Every race Linde finished this season, she won. The only runner to beat her was Mount Hebron's Becky Yep, who won the two races when Linde dropped out.
Linde's victory in the state race was a major reason the Knights gave top-ranked River Hill a scare that day. River Hill won the state title, but the Hawks beat the Knights by only one point.
GIRLS FIRST TEAM
Baird continues to develop into a top distance runner. The sophomore came up big in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship race, finishing second to John Carroll's Elizabeth Tauber.
Baird's run helped McDonogh take third. She ran consistently in the IAAM league meets throughout the season and should have a few good battles with Tauber again next year.
The senior ran well in the biggest meets. Borisko finished third at the Howard County championships and did even better the following week, winning the Class 3A East regional championship.
Borisko then helped Howard finish fifth at the state meet.
The senior battled through midseason injuries to bounce back for a strong finish and help the Hawks capture a second straight Class 2A state title. Harman pulled off a dramatic victory in the Howard County championship, using a strong late kick to overtake leader Becky Yep of Mount Hebron for the win. The Hawks won that race, as well.
The junior was solid in invitationals and big meets. She won the Knights Invitational in September in impressive fashion.
Later, Lee scored a 28-second victory in the Anne Arundel County championships to help South River surprise Severna Park for the title. Lee did it again during the Class 4A East regional meet, as the Seahawks beat the Falcons for the title. She then finished 13th in the tough Class 4A state meet, which was the highlight of a down day for South River.
She led the way as Towson won the Class 3A state title. The senior helped the Generals gain some early-season momentum, as her third-place finish contributed to the team's win at the Barnhart Invitational.
Pillion kept running well in the big meets. She won the Baltimore County championship, helping carry Towson to the team title. She also came in first the following week at the Class 3A North regional meet, but Hereford beat the Generals for the title. Pillion helped Towson bounce back in the state meet, taking third as the Generals routed Hereford to win the championship.
C. Milton Wright
She helped the Mustangs win a second straight Class 4A state championship. The junior ran No. 1 for C.M. Wright all season and helped the Mustangs overcome the loss of key runners from last season's state title team.
Coach Donnie Mickey wanted the team to peak in time for the postseason runs, and it did just that, especially Rafferty. She won the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference title meet to help her team prevail. Rafferty's fifth-place finish at the Class 4A North regional meet paved the way for another Mustangs championship. Then, in the state meet, her ninth-place effort led C.M. Wright to another title.
C. Milton Wright
The senior combined with Shannon Rafferty to help the Mustangs run to another Class 4A state title.
Scripa came up big at the end of the season, finishing third at the UCBAC title meet and then beating Rafferty at regionals with her second-place effort. After that, Scripa took 12th at the state meet, helping the Mustangs to a 34-point victory.
The sophomore impressed last season, as the Patriots took second in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title meet. Coach Rob Torres predicted that Tauber would be something special this year - and he was right.
Tauber led the Patriots to a surprising second-place finish at this year's IAAM title meet. She easily won the A Conference race, beating McDonogh's Jo Baird by 22 seconds. Tauber came back after that to win at the state private schools meet a week later.
Her breakthrough season can be summed up with what happened during the team's final three races. Yep led for much of the way in the Howard County championship before River Hill's Katie Harman sneaked up and made a late move to pass her and win. Things changed after that, however.
Yep took command in the Class 2A South regional race the next week and scored a convincing victory of nearly 26 seconds over Harman. The following week, the junior finished second in the Class 2A race. She beat Harman by 26 seconds there.
COACH OF THE YEAR
C. Milton Wright
C. Milton Wright doesn't have the easiest draw when it comes to cross country. The Mustangs, from Harford County, must constantly battle bigger schools from Montgomery County and other areas.
The Mustangs, who surprised some last season with their one-point victory in the Class 4A state meet, left no doubt this season despite losing their top runner from that team. Mickey guided the Mustangs to a 34-point victory.