Class A Girls Pre-Season Preview: St. Joseph-Ogden Girls Start Season #1

St. Joe-Ogden head coach takes a moment to reflect on his team's 2016 championship

Last year's outcome was never really in doubt for the Spartans who won their first state title since 2014 and third overall. St. Joe-Ogden was preseason #2 vs. #1 Tolono Unity. The final regular season rankings swapped both teams making them the heavy favorites. Guess what? It will be SJO and Unity ready to duel at the top of the food chain.

1. St. Joseph-Ogden

Last year's finish: State Champion

Coach: Jason Retz

Key returners: Faith Houston (Sr.), Sam Mabry (Sr.), Cassidy Bagby (Jr.), Hannah Rajlich (So.), and Ally Monk (So.) Projected top 7: Faith Houston (Sr.), Sam Mabry (Sr.), Cassidy Bagby (Jr.), Hannah Rajlich (So.), Ally Monk (So.), Brianna Suits (Jr.), and Maclayne Taylor (Jr.)

Newcomers: Maclayne Taylor (Jr.), Abbey Mizer (Sr.), Brianna suits (Jr.), Zea Maroon (Sr.), and Atleigh Hamilton (Fr.)

Coach Retz's outlook: "We are excited for the year. We are as deep as we have ever been and have great team chemistry. We have picked up a good group of upperclassmen who have been very successful in track to mix with our experienced XC women. If we stay healthy and take care of each other we should have a lot of fun this fall. Our women enjoy racing and spending time with each other, that makes the summer and fall very enjoyable for all. The loss of Hannah Atwood (Indiana State) and Keely Smith (Maryville) leave some big shoes to fill, but we have had a great summer and I anticipate we will have many women ready and willing to fill those spots. We should have 12-14 women in the running for those 7 spots. Our goal is to put ourselves in position to do the very best we can the first weekend in November."