Photo by Mike Piotrowski
Preseason Power Rankings Daily Schedule
Sunday, August 25th - Tuesday, September 3rd: Girls 1-10 (one a day)
Wednesday, September 4th: Boys Classification/Private School (top 15 each)
Thursday, September 5th: Girls Classification/Private School (top 15 each)
Our 2019 preseason XC power rankings continue with the top ten girls teams. These rankings are subjective and based on last year's performances (season bests, plus performances at big meets like conferences and states), track performances, program depth and reputation (how certain programs stay strong year after year).
We will rank the top 50 boys and girls teams heading into the season, then provide weekly top 25 ranking updates!
Top seven returners are based on last year's 5K or three mile season bests. Other runners to watch include those with standout track performances (relative to the rest of the team), unless those runners have run multiple track seasons without running cross country - we don't want to assume they will be running cross country in the fall. Freshmen or rookies who did not run cross country but did run track are usually included.
Use these rankings to preview your rival teams, debate your friends, and lace up those shoes and prove us wrong about your team!
2. Severna Park High School Falcons (Severna Park, MD)
Photo by Brandon Miles
County: Anne Arundel (1st) Region: 4A East (1st)
Top Seven Returners:
1. Allysa Combs (senior): 19:00 5K, 5:15 1600, 11:41 3200
2. Kelsie O'Neill (junior): 19:32 5K, 5:23 1600, 11:42 3200
3. Brenna Mullaney (senior): 19:54 5K, 2:20 800, 5:14 1600
4. Caroline Gage (junior): 19:55 5K, 5:29 1600, 11:52 3200
5. Cameron Zaniker (senior): 19:57 5K, 5:45 1600, 12:13 3200
6. Bella Dowdell (senior): 20:01 5K, 2:34 800, 5:28 1600
7. Grace Cambon (senior): 20:01 5K, 5:28 1600, 11:33 3200
Others to Watch:
Cara Vandemeulebroecke (junior): 20:07 5K, 5:42 1600, 12:25 3200
Sophia Zell (senior): 20:08 5K, 2:18 800, 5:14 1600
Ashley Siebenhaar (senior): 22:00 5K, 5:38 1600, 12:28 3200
For much of the decade, the focus on the Severna Park High School running program centered around the boys, who were perennial contenders at the state championships. The girls had won three titles between 2005 and 2009 but hadn't finished first or second at the state meet since then (they had finished no higher than fifth since 2010). That changed in 2017, when they placed second, and they continued their resurgence last season by winning the 4A title.
The team they bring back in 2019 has a strong chance at defending that title, even as some of their rivals bring back outstanding teams of their own. In her first season at Severna Park (after running for Archbishop Spalding as a freshman and sophomore), Allysa Combs emerged as one of the team's leaders - she was the Falcons' top finisher at both the county and state meets. A total of nine girls return with 5K season bests under 20:10 as the girls team builds the depth that the boys team is known for. Two runners to watch in particular are seniors Sophia Zell and Brenna Mullaney, who excelled on the track, posting season bests of 2:18/5:14/11:23 and 2:20/5:14, respectively. All three (Combs, Zell and Mullaney) ran on the team's state-winning 4x800 relay this past spring.
Heading into the season, the Severna Park girls look like the top team in the county, the region and the 4A classification, but teams like Howard and Broadneck (who come in ranked third and fourth, respectively) are right on their heels. All three teams feature both outstanding frontrunners and tremendous depth, and unless things change dramatically over the course of the next two months, all three teams will have legitimate chances at winning the regional and state meets.