Howard County Girls XC Preview

Photo by Craig Amoss

In 2017 the Howard girls finished 14th at the 4A state championship. Their varsity team was almost exclusively composed of freshmen and sophomores, led by Sara Kindbom, Amanda Eliker, Emily Gorny and Madison Radford. Two years later, they're coming off back-to-back podium finishes, including their third state title in program history last fall. Eliker, Gorny and Radford have since graduated, but the team retooled in an impressive way last year, and three underclassmen behind Sara Kindbom ran 19:34 or faster last year. The postponement of the 2020 cross country season was an unfortunate development from a team poised to defend its title, but they will likely still be one of the top teams in the state if and when cross country is given the green light in Maryland.

Howard County Girls XC Preview: By the Numbers

Photo by Alicia Anthony

The Howard girls didn't leave much room in the top ten at last year's county championships, but Atholton junior Aanchal Kasargod (fifth) was able to grab the top non-Howard spot. One of our breakout candidates heading into last fall, Kasargod also finished second at regionals and 13th at states, as well as a third-place finish in the 3200 at the indoor state meet. She could be one of 3A's top distance runners yet again if competition resumes at some point during the school year.

Photo by John Roemer

One of Howard County's familiar faces since her freshman cross country season in the fall of 2020, Faith Meininger missed her junior cross country season - but returned as strong as ever to the track last winter. She clocked an indoor personal best in the 1600 (5:11) and took Oakley Olson (above) right down to the wire in the 3A championship race in February. She won't be on any "returning from 2019" lists, but Meininger could be a contender in any race she is able to run as a senior.

Photo by Dan Loughlin

The Reservoir girls haven't finished higher than fifth at the county championships since 2014, and last won a county title in 2012 (the year they won their program's first state title). The 2020 season could have been a chance for the Gators to leap back into the top three, as they ranked in both the 5K and three mile returning virtual meets. They would have had five girls return who ran between 21:09 and 21:36 last season.

Photo by Mike Piotrowski

While there are plenty of teams who would be elated with a fifth-place finish at states, for Centennial, it represented their lowest finish at the 3A state meet since 2011. They also bring back all five of their top finishers from the state meet, including medalists Michelle Weaver (left, 24th place) and Katerina Talanova (right, 25th). Talanova broke out even further on the track over the winter, running 5:12 in the 1600 and winning a county title in the event.