What a year it's shaping up to be for Howard County cross country. Glenelg put five boys between 16:48 and 17:08 and still could find themselves in the lower half of the team standings. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
Baltimore, Calvert and St. Mary's counties joined Carroll, Frederick and Howard this past week, meaning our rankings increased from 15 to 20 teams. After Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties begin spring XC competition this week we will increase the rankings to a full 25 teams.
1. Centennial High School Eagles (hold)
Could be their last week atop the mountain after Severna Park returns to action, but still one of the best teams in the state.
2. Mt. Hebron High School Vikings (up 2)
Jacob Hauf's return elevates the Vikings to the second spot.
3. Howard High School Lions (up 2)
A return from Joseph Raudabaugh after competing at AAU Indoor Nationals gives the Lions one of the best 1-2 punches in the state alongside Kendall Phillips.
4. Marriotts Ridge High School Mustangs (down 2)
This could be the best boys team in school history (opened in 2005).
5. River Hill High School Hawks (down 2)
11 boys ran 18:05 or faster at Saturday's three-mile meet at Howard; this is still one of the deepest teams in Maryland.
6. Long Reach High School Lightning (up 1)
Cameron Hindle and the Lightning are a solid fifth runner away from potentially threatening Centennial at the top of the county.
7. Dulaney High School Lions (previously unranked)
The Lions debuted with a convincing victory over Hereford, averaging 17:26 on their quick home course.
8. Liberty High School Lions (down 2)
Two races, two dominant performances for the class of Carroll County.
9. Glenelg High School Gladiators (hold)
An experienced top five (four seniors and a junior) packed up, running between 16:48 and 17:08 at Howard on Saturday.
10. Atholton High School Raiders (down 2)
The Raiders were missing a few key scoring runners this past weekend but still averaged 17:35 on their home course on March 13th.
11. Gov. Thomas Johnson High School Patriots (down 1)
Track standouts and first-time high school XC runners Alexander Lombardo and Mack McKeever give Thomas Johnson its top duo (and potentially best team) since winning the 3A state title in 2013.
12. Oakdale High School Bears (up 1)
The defending 2A champions beat out Urbana in a tight battle over the weekend.
13. Reservoir High School Gators (down 2)
The Gators were missing a runner over the weekend but still have a deep team.
14. Oakland Mills High School Scorpions (previously unranked)
The arrival of Ethan Aidam to complement perhaps the top runner in the state in Baidy Ba gives Oakland Mills a terrific 1-2 combo.
15. Brunswick High School Railroaders (down 3)
The improving Railroaders could have been a 1A state title contender this year.
16. Urbana High School Hawks (down 2)
No Frederick County team has separated themselves this season and Urbana looks to be right in the thick of things.
17. Chopticon High School Braves (previously unranked)
Chopticon won their tri-meet this past week without Jeffrey Wedding. They could be moving up the rankings soon.
18. Linganore High School Lancers (down 3)
A Friday showdown with Thomas Johnson and Brunswick could provide some clarity on the Frederick County boys scene.
19. Huntingtown High School Hurricanes (previously unranked)
After cruising against Great Mills, the Hurricanes will meet with Chopticon on Tuesday.
20. Hereford High School Bulls (previously unranked)
Hereford debuted with an 18:41 average against Dulaney in their first meet of the season.
Meets to Watch
Monday: Anne Arundel County kicks off its season; South River hosts Annapolis, Arundel and Southern while Chesapeake hosts Broadneck and Severna Park.
Tuesday: Huntingtown meets Chopticon in a battle of the two ranked Southern Maryland teams at the moment. Montgomery County kicks off its season of dual meets; notable battles include Churchill @ B-CC and Walter Johnson @ Whitman.
Wednesday: South River again plays host, this time to Crofton, Glen Burnie and Severna Park. Dulaney meets Towson in a battle of the top two current boys programs in Baltimore County.
Thursday: Arundel, Broadneck, Chesapeake and Old Mill will meet at South River (not competing). After last week's rain pushed the meets to the weekend, Howard County will hold its two varsity meets on Thursday evening at River Hill and Oakland Mills.
Friday: Brunswick, Linganore and Middletown will converge at Thomas Johnson for a meet that could help clarify the team rankings in Frederick County as we approach the county championships.