Photo by John Roemer
Take a good look at the picture above, because the top eight girls from the 2019 Baltimore County championships will be back this fall. At the front of the pack, seniors Marissa Dailey of Dulaney and Madeline Till of Towson were separated by just one second, with Dailey's teammate Anna Albergo just six seconds back. Throughout the course of the fall, Dailey and Till were nearly evenly matched; whether at the Barnhart or Gunpowder invitationals, or regionals (both 3A and 4A North were contested on the same course) and states, the two were rarely separated by more than ten seconds.
Photo by Erik Cloyd
The Dulaney girls were able to beat out Hereford by six points to win last year's county title, thanks in large part to sophomores Anna Albergo and Mairin Ludwig, who finished third and fourth, respectively. Not only does Dulaney return their top trio who took three of the top four spots last year, but they graduated just one of their top runners from the 2019 team, setting them up as favorites to repeat as county champions this fall.
Photo by John Roemer
If the Hereford girls are to reclaim the top spot in Baltimore County it will almost certainly be behind strong seasons by the sister duo of Meghan and Caroline (above) Benda. Caroline dropped her 5K personal best time from 19:54 to 19:08 as a junior, and that personal best time from the Barnhart Invitational leads all Baltimore County returners. The Hereford girls are also in their second season back in the 3A classification, and last fall their four-year streak of state titles was snapped. 2019 was just the second season since 2002 that they didn't finish first or second at states (along with 2012).
Photo by Craig Amoss
Keeping with the theme of jumping up one classification, Carver A&T's Guinivere Roberts more than held her own after the team moved up to 2A last fall. After finishing fifth at the 1A state meet as a sophomore in 2018, Roberts won the 2A North title in 2019 and placed 12th at states while running nearly 40 seconds faster than she had a year before. She might have missed an opportunity to bring even more momentum into 2020, as she ran a 3200 personal best (12:16.37) at the 2A indoor state meet in February.
Photo by Brandon Miles
Two girls who finished among the top eight at the 2018 county championships could play big roles at the 2020 county meet. Hereford's Piper Lentz (above) competed sparingly throughout the 2019 season as a sophomore but she returned strong to the track during the winter, running 2:23 and 5:18 in the 800 and 1600, respectively. Lentz ran 19:47 at the 2018 county meet, good for fourth place, and a return to form this fall would go a long way toward helping Hereford rebound on both the county and state level. Meanwhile, Sparrows Point senior Macy Gerbes (a three-time 1A state champion) did not run at last year's county meet, but she did finish eighth as a sophomore in 2018. Gerbes also enjoyed a strong 2020 indoor season, placing third at the 2A state meet in the 1600, and could be in the mix once again for a top ten spot this year.