Rob Dulin, coach
Last season: Virginia Group A champion.
Data: The Nokesville school captured its first state championship last season after watching the girls team win the state title the past four years. Senior David Aleman, who won the individual title last season, will return for All-Met Coach of the Year Dulin, who will have more depth this season than on any squad during his eight-year tenure. "David is clearly our No. 1 guy and after that it should be interesting," Dulin said. "I think we have the potential to be stronger [than last year]."
Marshall Windsor, coach
Last season: Placed sixth in Virginia AAA championships and fourth in AAA Northern Region.
Data: Windsor, who is entering his 16th season at the Burke school, has three top runners returning: juniors Jimmy Judge and Dave Vitto and senior John Bates. Windsor believes his top runners are in better shape than they were last season. Lake Braddock's main challenge in the Patriot District will be Robinson.
Steve Blanchard, coach
Last season: Virginia AAA state champion and Virginia AAA Northern Region champion.
Data: The Cougars will be led by senior Matt Maline and will have a trio of sophomores -- Phil Gaeta, Mike Krappweis and Chris Provencher -- following in the next three spots. First-year coach Blanchard had eight runners come out to compete for the last three positions, giving the Vienna school a lot of depth. "I don't really feel much pressure," Blanchard said. "I'm just going to come in and do the best I can."
Earl Lauer, coach
Last season: Maryland 2A champion as well as regional and county champion.
Data: The Clarksville school, which moves into a Howard County 3A classification this season, returns a powerful team with four of its top six runners returning. Senior Mike Styczynski finished 11th at states last fall despite a twisted ankle and has looked strong this summer. Styczynski captured the Orioles' Advocate 5K run at Camden Yards in 15:47. Senior Steve Chew and sophomore Michael Stroup are Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Stroup had the best time of any freshman runner at last season's state championships when he placed sixth at 17:18. Overall, the Hawks had the second-lowest score of any team (28 points) in the state meet in Maryland history and could better the mark this year with the No. 4 through No. 7 runners, who are as good if not better than last year's team.
Jeremy Workman, coach
Last season: Fourth in Virginia AAA championships and third in AAA Northern Region.
Data: The Rams return six of their top seven runners this season after having their best finish in Workman's four years at the school. Junior L.A. Snead and senior Andrew Dunnum will compete for the No. 1 spot. Snead was the Rams' highest finisher at states last season and Dunnum was the school's top miler in outdoor track. "I think we have a lot to prove until we win something," Workman said.
Jim Ehrenhaft, coach
Last season: Interstate Athletic Conference champion.
Data: Three of the Northwest Washington school's top seven runners have graduated. All-conference junior Braxton Collier and senior Ted Jones return and will lead the Bulldogs, who will participate Saturday at the Spike Shoe Meet in Baltimore. St. Albans is also scheduled to run in the Bull Run Invitational and Georgetown Prep Invitational in October.
Scott Raczko, coach
Last season: Placed eighth in Virginia AAA Northern Region and fourth in the Patriot District.
Data: Two-time All-Met and defending Group AAA cross-country champion Alan Webb, a junior, leads the Reston school, which returns its top seven runners. Webb, one of the top distance runners in the nation, last season broke the 36-year-old sophomore record in the mile at 4:04.78 at the Foot Locker outdoor championships. Sophomore Richard Evans, senior Manuel Morales, senior Atif Aftab and junior Devon Fellows are battling for positions in the top five.
Dave Paulson, coach
Last season: Placed second in Maryland 4A state championships.
Data: No. 1 runner and senior captain Jamie Albertine spent the summer attending running camps in Dartmouth and Princeton and hopes to lead the Bethesda school in Montgomery County's tough 4A division. First-year coach Paulson's biggest challenge will be to find the right chemistry among the many sophomores and juniors who tried out for this season's team. Seniors Jason Belinkie and Paul Tufaro return. "I want them to have fun, I want them to enjoy their high school experience," Paulson said. "Not everyone's going to be state champion."
William Miezan, coach
Last season: DCIAA champion.
Data: The Tigers had only six runners try out for this season's team, but Coach Miezan, a former Olympian from the Ivory Coast, is confident his Tigers can repeat as champions. "I've made the kids know our reputation around the city and we have built a lot of confidence." The development of sophomore Silas Riener and freshman Dexter Hill, both first-year starters, will be critical. But Miezan has been impressed with their work ethic. "When you have only six runners, you can't push them too much because you're afraid that you'll get one of them injured," Miezan said.
Troy Shockley, coach
Last season: Maryland 4A South Region champion and Prince George's County champion.
Data: The District Heights school returns four of the five top runners from last season, its best in school history. The Rams had never won the county or region title before last fall. Shockley believes his team -- bolstered by seniors Fred Brown and Shannon Hughes -- has the potential to be competitive on the state level. Juniors Bernard Quinton and Julian Burriss, along with senior Isaiah Reams, round out the top five.