Loyola coach, Jose Albornoz huddles with his team before a meet in 2013. Loyola will begin this season ranked No. 1 in The Baltimore Sun's boys cross country poll.
Loyola coach, Jose Albornoz huddles with his team before a meet in 2013. Loyola will begin this season ranked No. 1 in The Baltimore Sun's boys cross country poll. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun)

Compiled after consulting with Baltimore Sun staff and area coaches.

1. Loyola

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Last season: Ranked No. 4

Postseason: Won MIAA A Conference title

Outlook: The Dons won their sixth straight conference title last fall and, despite losing their top runner, should be the favorites again. They're loaded with talent like Frankie Legambi, Kenny Rowe and Kevin Wegner, and will be tough to beat.

2. Severna Park

Last season: Ranked No. 1

Postseason: Won Class 4A state title

Outlook: The Falcons won a third straight state title last year with ease. Although they lost some seniors from last year, they'll have enough to be a force once again. Severna Park's already been running well in preseason work.

3. Dulaney

Last season: Ranked No. 3

Postseason: Finished second in Class 4A state meet

Outlook: Eric Walz will lead a deep Lions' team that hopes to make a good run at the state title. Whether they have enough depth could be the biggest question for them this fall.

4. River Hill

Last season: Ranked No. 2

Postseason: Won Class 3A state title

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Outlook: The Hawks won the state title with an impressive performance but lost their top runner. Still, Trent Rose should lead a strong team that will be right up there again.

5. Atholton

Last season: Ranked No. 7

Postseason: Finished second in Class 3A state meet

Outlook: The Raiders should be tough once again. Daniel Smolyak is one of the area's top runners, and Atholton will bring a good group of runners to each meet this season.

6. Liberty

Last season: Ranked No. 5

Postseason: Finished second in Class 2A state meet

Outlook: With top runner Nick Tilson returning, the Lions will certainly be strong again. Coach Dan Jones is optimistic about his team and thinks they'll have a good team that's competitive.

7. Mount Hebron

Last season: Ranked No. 8

Postseason: Finished 3rd in Class 3A state meet

Outlook: Jake Edmondson should give the Vikings a big boost at the top. They've got a bunch of good younger runners below him, and if they can step up, Mount Hebron should do well.

8. Hereford

Last season: Ranked No. 9

Postseason: Finished 3rd in Class 2A state meet

Outlook: The Bulls always have a lot of depth. They'll need that this year because they lost some of their top runners from last year's third-place team. Having the state meet at home always helps them, though.

9. Broadneck

Last season: Ranked No. 10

Postseason: Finished 9th in Class 4A state meet

Outlook: The Bruins run in the tough Anne Arundel County races during the season, which always preps them for the postseason. This year, like many other teams, they'll need less-tested runners to come through.

10. South Carroll

Last season: Unranked

Postseason: Finished 5th in Class 2A state meet

Outlook: The Cavaliers lost some key runners from last year, but top gun Brian Cave (10th in state last year) will anchor them. The question here is how much the younger guys can pitch in.

11. Bel Air

Last season: Unranked

Postseason: Finished 7th in Class 3A state meet

Outlook: The Bobcats lost a bunch of good seniors from last year's team. But they've got lots of talent still there, and if everyone else runs well, Bel Air should make some noise.

12. Howard

Last season: Unranked

Postseason: Finished 11th in Class 4A state meet

Outlook: The Lions have a bunch of young runners who would could be primed for a big season. If they come together, Howard could have a lot of fun this year.

13. Calvert Hall

Last season: Unranked

Postseason: Finished 3rd in MIAA A Conference meet

Outlook: The Cardinals bring a bunch of good underclassmen to the table this year. In the MIAA, the door to move up might be open a bit, and if these guys can run well, Calvert Hall could improve.

14. Fallston

Last season: Unranked

Postseason: Finished 8th in Class 2A state meet

Outlook: Fallston ran well in last year's postseason, topping it off with the good effort in the state meet. But the Cougars need more people to pitch in this year as they lost some key seniors.

15. McDonogh

Last season: Ranked No. 6

Postseason: Finished 2nd in MIAA A Conference meet

Outlook: The Eagles return Dalton Hengst, one of the area's top runners and underclassmen, but aren't as deep as last year. They'll need others to pitch in and support Hengst to find success.

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