Howard County Girls XC Preview

Photo by Craig Amoss

Not only did the Howard girls dominate last year's cross country county championships, they did so with mostly underclassmen. Amanda Eliker and Sara Kindbom ran away from the field going 1-2, and Emily Gorny and Madison Radford also finished within the top ten. All four will be returning this fall (Kindbom as a junior, the rest as seniors) to try and defend their Howard County title. The Lions probably have even bigger aspirations this fall as well after finishing second at the state championships last season.

Howard County Girls Preview: By The Numbers

Photo by John Roemer

After battling an injury last season as a sophomore, River Hill's Faith Meininger returned to the track in the spring ready to go. She finished second at the 2A outdoor state championships in both the 1600 and the 3200, her fifth and sixth top-two state meet finishes in her career. Meininger also finished second at the county cross country championships as a freshman and will be back in the mix for the individual title this fall.

Photo by Brandon Miles

Kallista Liu was the top freshman at last year's county championships, placing 21st. Liu's three-mile time at the Howard County Championships was still the fastest among all freshman girls in Howard County. Along with fellow rising sophomore Megan Boyce, who placed 35th at the county championships and 15th at the 2A South regional meet, the Mustangs have two young runners who could help lead them back to the state meet as they move to 3A East this fall.

Photo by Craig Amoss

In the county's returning virtual meet, things get very tight from second through sixth place, with five teams separated by 12 points. Leading that group is the Glenelg girls - the Gladiators finished sixth at last year's meet, but return their top five runners who posted one of the tighter 1-5 splits (62 seconds) of the meet. They could possibly be even stronger than they appear on paper this fall as well, as freshman Milana Gurvich (who ran on the varsity squad at regionals and states) also clocked one of the top ten 1600 times among county freshmen in the spring.

Photo by Craig Amoss

The Centennial girls won last year's 3A East regional title, but in order to repeat as champions they will need to overcome the loss of four of their seven runners from that team, including their top two (Cora Blount and Alison Betler). Both Katerina Talanova and Michelle Weaver (the 3A East 3200 runner-up this spring) are among the top ten returning runners from last year's county championships - they are the only school aside from Howard with multiple runners on the list. The team's success on the track this spring also vaults them into second on the county returning composite rankings.

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