The next group of pre-season ranked teams will have ample opportunities to move up throughout the season. It will be interesting to see if anyone here can make the move to jump inside the top 15 and shoot for top 10 status as the season moves along.
Head Coach: Todd Vohland
Last year's finish: 6th place- St. Teresa Sectional
Projected top 7: The four listed above plus Ellie Stahr, Megan Dunscomb, Hannah Hollis, Mya Nored, or Demi Drake.
Newcomers: Ellie Stahr, Demi Drake, Alexis Rayhill
Coach's thoughts on the team: Our Sectional is loaded as always and we think we can contend for a spot to get out. To do that we will have to have a great pack.
Head Coach: Preston Provost
Last year's finish: 22nd- State Championship
Key returners: Eden Rainbolt (Jr.), Madison Hamilton (Jr.), Jade Baker (Jr.), Anna Latham (Jr.), Kaylee Woolman (Jr.)
Outlook: With the majority of the team returning, it should another banner season for the Fightin' Irish. This team was about 50 points shy of getting inside the top 20. As with most teams looking to improve, there has to be an emphasis on a front runner or two as well as a tight scoring split. Rainbolt could be the leader the team needs and perhaps drop her time down into the 18:30s. If so, this team could possibly be a factor in November.
18. Pleasant Plains
Head Coach/coaches: Derek DeBarr/Rob Havens, Joe Higginson
Last year's finish: 12th place- State Championship
Key returners: Caroline Jachino (Sr.), Heidi Hergenrother (Sr.), Izzy Dossett (So.), Campbell Beeler (So.), Analise Brewer (Jr.), Anna Moore (So.), Anna Cochran
Projected top 7: Jachino, Megan Derrick, Dossett, Vianne Taft, Hergenrother, Moore, Brewer/Cochran Newcomers: Megan Derrick, Vianne Taft
Coach's thoughts on the team: While it will be tough to make up for the loss of three key seniors, the Tournoux twins and Utterback, two talented freshmen, Derrick and Taft, will be in the mix along with a solid group of returning runners. Jachino- 12th in 2016/17 and 6th in 2017/18- has had an incredible summer of training and is ready to go this season. Returning runners from last year's state-qualifying team, seniors Jachino and Hergenrother, underclassmen Dossett and Brewer, along with newcomers Derrick and Taft, have all worked hard over the summer and hope to make some noise this season.
Head Coach: Bob Rennick
Last year's finish: 19th- State Championship
Projected top 7: Frail, Price, Ashley Orrick, Paige Rewerts, Lena Becker, Trinity Shimmin and Sarah Fairfield. Newcomers: Paige Rewerts
Coach's thoughts on the team: We are returning all of our runners from last year's team that won their conference, qualified for state final and finished 19th overall. At State, each of the girls ran their personal best time. The team has one incoming freshman, Paige Rewerts, who qualified for state in the 1600 meters and the 800 meters as an 8th grader. We have two seniors, Olivia Frail and Josie Price, who have been significant contributors to the team throughout their careers, both as performers and leaders. As this is only our fourth year competing as a team in cross country, they were here from the start of the program and a great deal of our success is due to their dedication and hard work to make this team successful. I believe we will be very competitive this season, both in our conference and statewide, which is impressive considering Stark County High School has just over 200 students and no junior high cross country program.
Head Coach: Eric Kirkpatrick
Last Year's Finish: 17th- State Championship
Key Returners: Gabby Alongi (Sr.), Jacqueline Crain (Jr), Olivia Phillips (So), Grace Alongi (So), Maddie Decker (So), Maddie Robison (Jr.), Alexis George (So)
Projected Top 7: Same as above
Newcomers: Lauren Heape (So). Lauren is a very talented athlete that is a standout Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball player. She has decided to give cross country a try this year as well as playing volleyball. We are excited to see if her athleticism will transfer to the course. She is very hardworking and has incredible mental toughness. We are excited to see what she can do.
Coach's outlook on the team: Our goal is the same each season. We want to be consistent in our training and stay healthy so that we can run our best times when the conference and post-season roll around. We always want to compete on the last day of the season at Detweiller. This year is no different.