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It's almost time to hit the trails!
The 2020 Cross Country season will be here before we know it as August is quickly approaching. VYPE whipped together this preview to get cross country fans ready for the 2020 season. Who are the top runners? Which are the top teams returning?
Find out below! These are the top runners and teams for Public School Girls Cross Country.
VYPE Preseason Girls XC Runner Top 20(**These rankings were based on times from the 2019 UIL State Cross Country Meet**)
1) Avery Clover, Atascocita (VYPE Preseason Runner of the Year)2) Carly Ahrens, Kingwood3) Addison Stevenson, Tompkins4) Briana Roberson, Fulshear 5) Madeline Myers, Klein6) Abigail Wilson, Montgomery7) Sophie Atkinson, Cinco Ranch 8) Carson Parker, Kingwood9) Cassidy Graham, Bridgeland 10) Elena Villarreal, College Park 11) Cassidy Davis, Huffman 12) Rebecca Rhodes, Kingwood 13) Anh Ho, Bellaire 14) Hayden Gold, College Park15) Skye Hoffman, Kingwood 16) Allison Millan, Bridgeland 17) Elizabeth Winkler, Klein Oak 18) Jetzibe Trevino, Huffman19) Grace Havern, Seven Lakes 20) Haley Harkrider, FB Clements
Others to Watch: Kate Fitzpatrick, Seven Lakes; Isabella Rubio, Katy; Madeleine Wilson, Bridgeland; Jenna Carter, Kingwood; Callen Nash, Tomball; Catherine Benavidez, Magnolia West; Emma Little, Lake Creek; Adalan Hammond, Kingwood Park
VYPE Preseason Top 5 Teams
Kingwood finished second overall at the UIL State Cross Country Meet a year ago. Of their seven runners, only two were graduating seniors. This means Kingwood is LOADED for a run back at state. What's even crazier is, Kingwood's freshmen made up four of their seven state qualifiers. Carly Ahrens posted the best time (17:54.72), which was good for a sixth place finish. Ahrens will be one to watch in 2020 as she was just 49 seconds off the first place finisher – Aubrey O'Connell of Prosper. Fellow freshmen Rebecca Rhodes (18:34.58), Sky Hoffman (18:59.52) and Jenna Carter (19:09.10) rounded out a solid group from the Class of 2023. Incoming junior Carson Parker will be the savvy veteran of the group after a 16th place finish a year ago.
Tompkins is not losing much of anything from its 2019 team, which finished ninth overall in Class 6A. An experienced senior group is back, headed by Addison Stevenson, who finished ninth overall with a time of 18:06.58. Stevenson could contend for a Top 5 finish or better in 2020. Hayden Gold (18:53.74), Paula Guevera (19:20.74), Katie Wiley (19:34.00) and Laura Orgeron (20:03.88) round out a solid senior incoming group. Experience pays off come November. Other key returners will include junior Sophia Welkener and sophomore Courtney Richman. If Tompkins can push a few more girls into the Top 30 spots, they could contend for a higher team finish.
Bridgeland had a runner finish in the Top 20 a year ago – Cassidy Graham – but they could see more bigtime finishes in 2020. Bridgeland was young, only one senior on their team from last year. A trio of sophomores led the group including Graham, Allison Millan (18:57.88) and Madeleine Wilson (19:05.60). Athena Reyna (19:11.73), Elisa Grillo (19:29.03) and Brooke Hensley (19:42.89) will be others to watch in this group. Last year, it was an eighth-place finish for Bridgeland. Could 2020 be better?
Seven Lakes returns its top three runners from a year ago, headed by sophomore Grace Havern. As a freshman she made it to state and finished 39th overall with a time of 18:57.81. Havern was the lone freshman to make it to state in 2019 for the Spartans. Behind her was Katie Fitzpatrick, who finished 45th overall and Sarah Zdansky, who took 53rd. Finally, Giana Mannone is set to return as well. This team will need some people to step up in those three senior spots in 2020.
The Peyton McQuillan era is over at Mag West. Last year, McQuillan led the team to a 16th place finish and finished individually 5th overall. She was a part of a team that had three seniors on it, including Maddy Spottswood and Abby McBride. So, what does Mag West have back in 2020? Incoming senior Catherine Benavidez will lead the group, while sophomores Karina Sosa, Avie Gillen and Ainsley Ross will be other key returners. Sosa was the best finisher among the freshman a year ago, cracking the Top 100 runners, finishing 89th overall. Despite losing three seniors, Mag West could be sneak in Class 5A this year as they eye a Top 10 finish at state come November.
Stratford Spartans: Stratford will have a lot to replace in 2020. Four seniors led the group – Fay Gibb, Hope Savage, Olivia Hirst and Marlene Soto – which will be hard to replace. The team finished 13th overall at last year's state meet but do return some experience. In 2019, Megan Broom and Kirby Crow made state as freshmen and Gianna Avila went as a sophomore. That trio is the future of Stratford running. They will be the leaders on this year's team, considering they have been to state and knows what it takes to get there. Sparty might be losing some solid runners, but the next chapter has arrived.
Huffman finished ninth overall at the UIL State Cross Country meet last year. They were led by a pair of freshmen – Cassidy Davis (11:58.53) and Jetzibe Trevino (12:22.13). They do lose two senior runners but return three more harriers with experience. Regan Noel, Madison Shojaei and Kaya Shanks will be runners to watch as well at the Class 4A level.
The Highlanders dominate again
The Woodlands boys dominated the Nike South Invitational over the weekend in north Houston.
The Highlanders won the Elite Boys and Varsity Boys races. Kingwood's Nick Majerus won the Elite race, while The Woodlands' Nicholas Berta won the Varsity race.
The Kingwood girls team won the Elite 5000 Meter Finals, while Bridgeland won the Varsity race. Cinco Ranch finished 1-2 in the Elite race. Heidi Nielson and Sophie Atkinson were first and second, respectively. Peyton McQuillan of Magnolia West won the Varsity race.
THE GALLERY BY BRADLEY COLLIER
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