Bill Kurtz, coach
Last season: Prince George's County champion and finished 10th in Maryland 4A championships.
Data: Six runners return for the Greenbelt school which will be led by senior Nicole Behrns. Behrns, who has never lost a race in a county competition, will start out front and will be followed by seniors Kate Hilton, Diana Earl, Allison Kirk and Allison Troy. Junior Alicia Pease and sophomore Laura Soto round out the team.
Matt Ryan, coach
Last season: Virginia AAA Concorde District champion and third in AAA Northern Region. Placed 12th at states.
Data: Two-time cross-country All-Met Kelley Otstott, who placed second in the Group AAA state meet and Foot Locker Southeast Region last season, returns to anchor the Colonials. Otstott, a junior, had a strong outdoor season and should be the favorite in every meet she enters. Seniors Julianna Dudas and Kristee Sherry round out the top three and are the only runners, besides Otstott, to have run in a district, regional or state cross-country meet last season. "There is not a ton of experience but they are really motivated," Ryan said.
Marshall Windsor, coach
Last season: Virginia AAA champion, AAA Northern Region champion and Patriot District champion.
Data: All-Met Coach of the Year Windsor directed the Burke school to its sixth state title last fall and will be one of the favorites to win it again this season. All-Met senior Erin Swain, last season's Footsteps Invitational champion, is the No. 1 seed for the Bruins. According to Windsor, Swain "is in better shape and she has done her homework." Erin's sister, freshman Kim, will run No. 3 for the Bruins, while junior Cheryl Carr will run No. 2.
Richard Williams, coach
Last season: Placed second in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
Data: The Warriors return a strong core of young runners, including No. 1 sophomore Tracy Warring. Warring finished in the top 10 in the conference meet last season. "I want her to do her best, and I'm okay with that," Williams said. "If she does her best, she'll be competitive and do well." La Plata will host a quad meet against Calvert, Westlake and Leonardtown. "We have the same set of goals every year," Williams said. "To win the [quad] meet championship, the SMAC championship and to be one of the top five teams in the state."
Paul VI Catholic
Melanie Gesker, coach
Last season: Placed second in the WCAC championships.
Data: Last season's Washington Catholic Athletic Conference finalist strengthened its lineup with the acquisition of first-year runner Mary Hogan, who last season ran indoor and outdoor track and excelled in the mile and two-mile events. Senior Terri Zacharias, a consistent top-four finisher last season, injured her foot in July and is not expected to return to the team until mid-September. "She still comes out to practice every day," Gesker said. "She's a fantastic leader and the girls look up to her a lot. I don't have any doubt she'll be back there for us at the end." Juniors Bridget Blanchfield, Meghan Ferguson, Sarah Perez return, and freshman Eleanor Boyce is new.
Earl Lauer, coach
Last season: Fifth in Maryland 2A championships.
Data: Last season, the Hawks finished fifth in the Maryland 2A championships despite not having their No. 1 runner (Lee McDuff) and No. 2 runner (Kelly Bloch, currently at Delaware) finish the race. McDuff had to bow out after suffering from dehydration. Lauer believes that McDuff "has matured a lot" and will be pushed by senior Stacy Malare, who placed third at states two years ago. Senior Anna Lucas returns to round out the top three positions.
Ed Purpura, coach
Last season: Maryland 4A champion.
Data: Senior Jamie Berg, who ran in the No. 7 spot last season, has been elevated to the No. 1 position after going through an extensive workout program during the summer. "She just made up her mind she wasn't satisfied with how she was running," Purpura said. "I've never had someone be that dedicated." The defending Maryland 4A champion will also be led by twin sophomores Liz and Becca Funk.
Greg Dunston, coach
Last season: Maryland 3A champion.
Data: The Bethesda school has won three straight Class 3A and Montgomery County championships and will be strong this season with seven of its top 12 runners returning, including seniors Kim Milans, Mave Payton and Jenny Bodine. "We have three solid, consistent top kids and high hopes for [senior] Tenaya Britton, who is running cross-country for the first time this year after competing in field hockey the past three years," Dunston said. Dunston said that Quince Orchard and Whitman will be the toughest competition within the county.
Ed Linz, coach
Last season: Finished second in Patriot District championships.
Data: No. 1 Maggie Marriot, who finished 10th in the Virginia AAA meet last season, will lead the Spartans, who had more than 50 runners try out. Junior Ginny Horner, a transfer from Gaithersburg who placed eighth in Maryland 4A competition last season, and two converted sprinters, seniors Nichole Jackson and Linsey Shaddrix, add depth. "I do know for sure we have depth. We have two premier runners and a lot of depth," Linz said. "Our goal is to win states -- and nothing less."
Ron Jenkins, coach
Last season: DCIAA champion.
Data: Senior No. 1 Martha Buckley was the D.C. public school's runner-up last season and champion two years ago. Buckley returns for the defending champion along with junior No. 2 Alexis Riccio. Junior Darcey Rader is a new member of the team and should make an immediate impact. Rader was the league's indoor and outdoor champion in the mile last season. Jenkins believes his team will defend its title this season, but wants to prove that a District team can be competitive outside the city. "I know we're going to be competitive in the DCIAA. But our goal is to go to meets outside of our league and be equally competitive." Junior Linida Blake, Carroll's top runner last season, joins the team and junior Sarah Grebremichael returns.