2018 girls cross country preseason Top 10 poll

For The Baltimore Sun

1. Severna Park

Coach: Josh Alcombright

Last season: Ranked No. 2

Postseason: Second in the state in Class 4A

Outlook: The Falcons always bring a strong group of runners, but the addition of Allysa Combs will make them tougher. She transferred from IAAM A Conference champion Archbishop Spalding, where she was the No. 2 runner.

2. Hereford

Coaches: John Roemer IV, Adam Hittner

Last season: Ranked No. 1

Postseason: Class 2A state champion

Outlook: The Bulls are known for their depth, so why should this year be different? Defending state champion Emily Konkus is back, and she’ll have a group of good runners right with her as the Bulls try to repeat once more.

3. C. Milton Wright

Coach: Donnie Mickey

Last season: Ranked No. 6

Postseason: Second in the state in Class 3A

Outlook: Haley Cummins is one of the best runners in the state, has won two state titles in Class 3A and should be even better this year. If the Mustangs can give her enough help, they will be dangerous.

4. River Hill

Coach: John Isberg

Last season: Ranked No. 4

Postseason: Second in the state in Class 2A

Outlook: The Hawks lost some good runners from last year, but Faith Meininger had a big freshman season that ended with a fifth-place finish at the states. She’ll carry River Hill a long way but will also have enough help to make the team a force in Howard County and Class 2A.

5. Dulaney

Coaches: Chad Boyle, Eric Benjamin

Last season: Ranked No. 8

Postseason: Eighth in the state in Class 4A

Outlook: The Lions have a number of good runners back, such as Marissa Dailey and Brooke Ruffin, that could help them do more this season. They should have some depth and be able to find success again.

6. Maryvale

Coach: Jason Miller

Last season: Not ranked

Postseason: Second in the IAAM A Conference championship

Outlook: The Lions will return plenty of good runners and have a shot at reclaiming the conference crown. Spalding lost its top two runners and won’t be as strong, so that could open the door for Maryvale to get back on top.

7. Broadneck

Coach: Brianna Bostic

Last season: Ranked No. 10

Postseason: Fifth in the state in Class 4A

Outlook: Anna Janke should lead the way as the Bruins have another good season. They could have the kind of depth that helps them do even better in the bigger races.

8. South River

Coach: Josh Carroll

Last season: Ranked No. 9

Postseason: Fourth in the state in Class 4A

Outlook: Bronwyn Patterson is coming off a great freshman season and will lead the Seahawks. However, South River has a number of other strong underclassmen who could make it a force later in the season.

9. Towson

Coach: Gil Stange

Last season: Not ranked

Postseason: Third in the state in Class 3A

Outlook: The Generals have lots of talent from last year’s third-place finishers in the state. In fact, most of their top runners return, which could give them a shot to find some real postseason success this fall.

10. Centennial

Coach: Kevin McCoy

Last season: Not ranked

Postseason: Fourth in the state in Class 3A

Outlook: The Eagles lost Kirsten Wikner (sixth in the state) but still have a number of good runners who helped them take fourth in the state. Centennial should be in the hunt once again this fall.

Other teams considered: Annapolis, Atholton, Bel Air, Patterson Mill, Winters Mill

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