BROAD RUN SPARTANS

Coach: Mike Fitzgerald, second year.

BOYS

Last year: Fifth at AAA Liberty District.

Top returners: Kevin Hiatt, Jr.; Will Justice, Jr.; Reid Farmer, Sr.; Jimmie Brenton, Sr.

Outlook: Hiatt and Justice finished one second apart at last year's Liberty District meet, and both qualified for the Northern Region meet. Their team, however, missed a regional berth by one spot--only the top four qualify--and the goal this season is to take that next step. Hiatt has been slowed by knee problems but should be healthy by midseason.

GIRLS

Last year: Second at AAA Liberty District; 11th at AAA Northern Region.

Top returners: Dana Dabbenigno, Soph.; Rose Moeser, Sr.; Sherry Moeser, Soph.; Tamara Buckman, Jr.; Emily Chisholm, Soph.

Outlook: The Spartans' top five runners are back from a team that won the NOVA Invitational and finished second at the district meet last year. Dabbenigno (fifth) and Rose Moeser (eighth) placed among the top 10 at the Liberty District meet.

FAUQUIER FALCONS

Coach: Michael Stanislaw, first year.

BOYS

Last year: Sixth at AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: Dylan Mabin, Sr.; Chase Grusczewski, Jr.; Yannick Isaac, Soph.; Jason Downs, Jr.

Outlook: Stanislaw, who ran cross-country and indoor track at Pittsburgh, inherited a solid group from previous coach Ted Proctor. Mabin finished 13th at the Northwestern District meet and worked hard over the summer to prepare for the jump to the Group AAA Commonwealth District.

GIRLS

Last year: Eighth at AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: Tasha Butland, Jr.; Ali Wallace, Sr.; Rachel Jennings, Sr.; Chanda Benton, Sr.

Outlook: Butland had the best finish among the Fauquier girls at last year's Northwestern District meet, placing 33rd, and will be among the team's top runners this year. Sophomore Kelly Elliott has looked very promising in preseason workouts.

FOXCROFT SCHOOL

GIRLS

Coach: Eileen Urtz, third year.

Last year: Seventh in Independent Schools League.

Top returners: Laura Steinemann, Jr.; Nina Ocamb, Sr.; Caroline Slaughter, Sr.

Outlook: The third-year program has improved each season, and Urtz thinks that this year's team could place in the top five at the ISL championships. Steinemann placed in the top 10 at last year's ISL championships, and Ocamb is back after missing part of last season with an injury. Senior newcomers Lexie Brandon and Maggie Breed give the team some depth.

LIBERTY EAGLES

Coach: Ken Wall, sixth year.

BOYS

Last year: Seventh at AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: James Rowe, Sr.; Donnie Ravelo, Sr.; Mark Cybrowski, Jr.; Matt Gulick, Soph.

Outlook: Liberty graduated its top runner, Brad Mace, but returns Rowe and Ravelo, who are starting their fourth year on the team. Cybrowski, who had the best finish at the district meet among this season's returning runners, has been on the team since his freshman year.

GIRLS

Last year: Sixth at AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: Lauren Jacobs, Sr.; Rachael Gray, Jr.; Bekah Sagan, Sr.; Catherine Simpson, Sr.

Outlook: The Eagles' top three runners--Jacobs, Gray and Sagan--were on the team that finished third in Group AA in 1997. The majority of this year's team, however, are newcomers. Still, Wall thinks that Liberty can improve on last year's sixth-place team finish.

LOUDOUN COUNTY RAIDERS

Coach: Courtney Campbell, sixth year.

BOYS

Last year: Fourth at AA Northwestern District; fifth at AA Region II.

Top returners: Ethan Edwards, Sr.; Tom Tyler, Sr.; Logan Hertz, Jr.

Outlook: Loudoun County lost four of its top seven runners from last year's team, which qualified for the Region II meet. Edwards finished 22nd at the Northwestern District meet. Sophomore David Bolton, who was just outside of the top seven last season and had success during outdoor track, is the Raiders' No. 1 runner.

GIRLS

Last year: Second at AA Northwestern District; fourth at AA Region II; fifth at Group AA.

Top returners: Jennifer Lapetoda, Sr.; Melissa Caudill, Jr.; Katie Hembrook, Soph.; Shannon Runge, Sr.; Kristen Rupert, Sr.

Outlook: The Raiders' fifth-place finish at the Group AA meet was their best in 12 years. Five of the top seven runners from last year's team return, including Lapetoda (eighth at Group AA) and Caudill (25th at Group AA). Loudoun County is deep--35 girls came out for the team, and Campbell said that he has 11 competing for the top seven spots.

LOUDOUN VALLEY VIKINGS

Coach: Louise Spicer, second year.

BOYS

Last year: Fifth at AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: Matt McWilliams, Sr.; Chris McConnell, Sr.; John Tew, Soph.; Chris Lee, Jr.; Nathan Hollenbach, Sr.

Outlook: Spicer says that the boys' team "has been four years in the making. This group has worked very hard, and the seniors are the ones who have run the summer running programs." McWilliams and McConnell, the captains, finished in the top 25 at last year's district meet.

GIRLS

Last year: Seventh at AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: Kauren Nordstrom, Sr.; Amelia Lindengren, Sr.

Outlook: The Vikings, who struggled at times to field five healthy runners last year, have been bolstered by the addition of several girls with outdoor track experience. Sophomore newcomer Joanna Long placed ninth in the 3,200 at the Group AA meet last spring.

NOTRE DAME DRAGONS

Coach: Aaron Gibson, second year.

BOYS

Last year: Sixth at Delaney Athletic Conference.

Top returners: Gary Walenga, Sr.; Ben Mowery, Soph.; Chris Warnell, Sr.

Outlook: The Dragons won the DAC title in 1997 but fell to sixth last year. Walenga finished 16th at last year's DAC meet, despite falling and bruising his thigh during the race, and Mowery was right behind him. Junior Craig Chapman, who ran for Loudoun Valley as a freshman, should help the team.

GIRLS

Last year: Eighth at Delaney Athletic Conference.

Top returner: Jackie Falkenstein, Sr.

Outlook: Falkenstein, who finished in the top 20 at the DAC meet last year, is joined by several new faces. Junior Jamie Bernoi, a transfer from James Wood High School, finished 21st at the Northwestern District meet last fall, and senior Priscilla Mendonca, a transfer from Randolph Macon Academy, placed in the top five at the DAC meet.

PARK VIEW PATRIOTS

Coach: Sam Shipp, fourth year.

BOYS

Last year: Seventh at AAA Liberty District.

Top returners: Chris Brindley, Sr.; Nathaniel Johnson, Jr.; Matt Brownlee, Sr.; Collin Roueche, Sr.; Anthony Acevedo, Soph.; Art Poupore, Sr.; Kyle Safford, Jr.

Outlook: Shipp is eager to see what his experienced and deep team can do this season in Group AA. The Patriots' top six runners are back, and junior newcomer B.J. Pankau is a strong contender to be the team's top runner. Brindley placed 19th at last year's Liberty District meet.

GIRLS

Last year: Fifth at AAA Liberty District.

Top returners: Laura Hendrick, Sr.; Sarah Bryan, Jr.; Nancy Irby, Jr.; Katie Dye, Soph.; Mariah Arant, Jr.

Outlook: Like the Park View boys, the girls are experienced and talented. The only problem is that the girls team has had trouble staying healthy. Hendrick, the team MVP as a freshman and sophomore, and Bryan, last year's team MVP, are both recovering from minor injuries. A notable addition: first-year assistant coach Kristin Plavchan, who ran the Marine Corps Marathon last fall.

POTOMAC FALLS PANTHERS

Coach: Brian Blubaugh, third year.

BOYS

Last year: Third at AAA Concorde District; fifth at AAA Northern Region.

Top returners: Jeff Maynard, Sr.; Alex Epshteyn, Sr.; Mike Tompkins, Sr.; Neil Coleman, Jr.

Outlook: The Panthers have advanced to regionals every year since the school opened in 1997, and they hope to continue that streak in Group AA. Maynard had an excellent outdoor track season, placing fifth in the 3,200 meters at the Group AAA meet. He should push Handley sophomore Bobby Lockhart, the defending Northwestern District and Group AA cross-country champion.

GIRLS

Last year: Eighth at AAA Concorde District.

Top returners: Cassandra DeVaughn, Jr.; Bethany Clyde, Sr.; Becca Clyde, Sr.; Meaghan Null, Jr.

Outlook: This could be the breakthrough year for the girls, who finished third at last year's NOVA Invitational. Six of the top seven runners from that team are back, and Blubaugh says that he has 11 runners fighting for the seven spots. Sophomore Katy Dannenburg did not run cross-country last year, but she had the county's fastest time in the 3,200 meters during the outdoor track season.

WAKEFIELD FIGHTING OWLS

Coach: Mike Dunnigan, second year.

BOYS

Last year: Fifth at Delaney Athletic Conference.

Top returners: Travis Cushman, Jr.; Steven Huffman, Jr.; Josh Stevens, Jr.

Outlook: The boys team consists of 10 runners, twice the size of any previous boys team at the school. Cushman, Huffman and Stevens are experienced runners; they've been on the team since the eighth-grade. Freshman Bobby Dwyer should help the team.

GIRLS

Last year: Second at Delaney Athletic Conference.

Top returners: Sarah Baumann, Soph.; Emily Boutwell, Fr.

Outlook: Wakefield has finished second at the past two DAC championships. The girls team, like the boys, has doubled in size, to 13 runners. Baumann was one of the team's top runners last year. Boutwell, who competed as an eighth-grader, will be joined by sisters Laura (seventh grade) and Erin (11th grade) this year.