At full strength the South Carroll girls look like the team to beat in Carroll County this year. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
1. Howard High School Lions (hold)
The best team in the state at the moment - and it's not close.
2. Urbana High School Hawks (hold)
Another deep Urbana squad put seven finishers in front of runner-up Middletown's fifth at the Hawks' home meet over the weekend.
3. Hereford High School Bulls (previously unranked)
It's tough to judge a team's depth after just their first race, but starting with two sub-20 runners in Piper Lentz and Estelle Snider sets up the Bulls as potential Baltimore County favorites.
4. Atholton High School Raiders (down 1)
Aanchal Kasargod and the Raiders cruised to their second victory in as many weeks against Howard County competition.
5. Middletown High School Knights (up 1)
With three runners at 20:32 or faster over the weekend, could Middletown have been 2A state title favorites this year?
6. South Carroll High School Cavaliers (down 2)
The Cavaliers won a quad meet during the week and then missed a couple top runners against Century and Liberty over the weekend.
7. Reservoir High School Gators (down 2)
The Gators remain consistent over recent years; their 1-5 runners packed within 50 seconds on Saturday, and it's a pack that's getting faster.
8. Oakland Mills High School Scorpions (down 1)
Much like the Long Reach boys, the Oakland Mills girls are one more runner away from competing for the second spot in Howard County this year.
9. Huntingtown High School Hurricanes (up 5)
A four-and-a-half minute spread between their fourth (21:05) and fifth (24:47) runners means Huntingtown is very similar to Oakland Mills, with a real shot at taking down Northern this year in the SMAC.
10. Dulaney High School Lions (previously unranked)
Much like Hereford, we'll see how much stronger Dulaney can get over the rest of the spring season.
11. Centennial High School Eagles (previously unranked)
The Eagles got a bit stronger over the weekend, finishing one point behind Oakland Mills and adding to the muddled race for the third position in the county.
12. Glenelg High School Gladiators (hold)
Watch out for the Gladiators coming into next year, as they hung right with Reservoir on Saturday with a team that featured not a single senior.
13. Northern-Calvert High School Patriots (down 2)
Northern isn't quite as deep as they have been in recent years, but if any trio knows how to win titles, it's the senior trio of Hannah Mack, Abby Setzfand and Anna Finn.
14. Leonardtown High School Raiders (previously unranked)
For the first time in years the SMAC might be wide open, and Leonardtown is led by one of the top runners in the conference in Parker O'Brien.
15. Great Mills High School Hornets (previously unranked)
Junior Cooper Brotherton, coming off a great fall season, is joined by freshman sister Carter as Great Mills could have its best team in years.
16. Century High School Knights (down 8)
Century beat out Liberty by just one point over the weekend, putting five runners before the Lions' fourth.
17. Liberty High School Lions (previously unranked)
The defending 2A state champions still have a solid trio led by senior Sierra Baker and sophomores Izzy and Julia Lucas.
18. Brunswick High School Railroaders (down 9)
Could this have been the year the Brunswick girls captured the 1A state title?
19. Linganore High School Lancers (down 9)
Cross country newcomer Mikalya Moxley, the 2020 indoor 3A state champion in the 800, could be Frederick County's top runner this spring.
20. Marriotts Ridge High School Mustangs (down 7)
A young Mustangs team has held its own so far in a fiercely competitive Howard County.
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. Leonardtown and Northern meet up in a battle of potential SMAC contenders.
Tuesday: Montgomery County kicks off action, including two battles of blue blood teams: Churchill @ B-CC, and Walter Johnson @ Whitman.
Wednesday: South River hosts Crofton, Glen Burnie and Severna Park. Meanwhile, Dulaney and Towson meet in the Lions' second straight matchup with one of Baltimore County's other top programs.
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 Count will hold its two varsity meets on Thursday evening at River Hill and Oakland Mills.
Friday: Thomas Johnson will host Brunswick, Linganore and Middletown in a race that features two of Frederick County's four ranked teams.