Montgomery County's cross-country teams are gearing up for the Maryland state championship meets this Saturday at Hereford High School in Parkton.
Last year, the 4A boys' meet was dominated by Montgomery County teams, as Sherwood captured the team title and Damascus' Ricky Flynn won the individual crown.
Flynn is back this year, but he will still be an underdog -- just as he was last year when he pulled out an exciting win in a race with Walter Johnson's Andrew Jesien. Jesien has overcome an early-season bout with mononucleosis and is the area's hottest runner, winning the county and 4A West Region titles.
Along with Flynn and Jesien, Gaithersburg seniors Ryan Janes, Robel Mamo and Zach Martinez could all find themselves near the top of the leader board in the 4A, and the Trojans could contend for the team title.
On the girls' side, Blair sophomore Halsey Sinclair should be one of the top contenders for a state title after finishing second last year and developing into one of the state's most dominant runners this year. Wootton freshman Veronica Salcido has been close to Sinclair late in the season, as has teammate Michele Levy.
Northwest senior Matt Logie has been the area's top 3A runner, and he could be near the front of the 3A race. Northwest swept the boys' and girls' region titles, with junior Rachel Forcino finishing second behind Bethesda-Chevy Chase junior Megan Andrews in the region race.