The Glenelg girls track team shoots for its third straight county title this season, but will have to fight off strong challenges from Centennial and Hammond.
Those three teams finished 1-2-3 in the county meet last year when Glenelg's depth proved too much for runner-up Centennial and third-place Hammond to overcome.
"Hammond is the team to beat this year," Glenelg coach Jim DeNoble said. "We will be strong again in distance events."
Glenelg's Kate Terry is an excellent 3,200-meter runner with a shot at the countytitle. Teammates Kristina Adams and Becky Mitchell will also run the3,200.
The team's top 1,600-meter runner is Tammy Coon, who missed last year's championships because of an injury.
Tina Rankin, an excellent high jumper, will also run the 1,600 meters and throw the discus. Rankin may also run the 3,200-meter relay.
Debbie Snyder is defending county champion in the discus and finished third in the state. She also throws shot.
Terry, Adams, Rankin, Coon, Mitchell and Snyder are all seniors.
Glenelg also has high hopes for senior hurdler Faye Carter and sophomore sprinter Amy Ashby. Senior Tara Calloway runs the 400 meters and the 300 hurdles.
Last year's county runner-up, Centennial, has a huge team of 48 athletes, including at least eight with legitimate shots at scoring points in the county meet.
The Eagles are led by senior middle-distance runner Mandy Walburn, who finished third in the state Class 3A 800 meters last year.
Junior discus thrower Marnie Sigler finished fourth in the state, andsenior Amy Heber was sixth in the state triple jump.
Senior Heather Jones throws shot and discus, senior Elise Goldstein throws shot, senior Mary Augustin runs the 1,600 meters, senior Theresa Prebish isa middle-distance runner and sophomore Wendy Johnston is a hurdler.
"We hope to finish in the top three again," Eagles coach Beth Brown said. "I think Glenelg and Hammond are the teams to beat."
Hammond has a small team of just 15 athletes, but three of those are defending county champions.
Senior sprinter Mekka Richardson won the Iron Woman Award at last year's county meet, where she won the 100 meters and the long jump and finished second in the 200 meters. In addition to those events, this year she'll run on a sprint relay team and run the 300 hurdles.
Richardson was a state champion in the 100 meters last year and was fourth in the 200 meters.
Sophomore SamanthaAndersch is defending county champion in the 1,600 meters. She'll also run the 800 and compete on a distance relay team. Senior Rhonda Johnson is defending county shot-put champion and also throws the discus.
In addition, the Bears have freshman sensation Kisha Jett, whowill run the 100, 200, 400 and a sprint relay.
Three other freshmen will also help. Christine Borg runs the hurdles and jumping events, Kacy Williams is a distance runner and Sonya Keiner is a jumper.
"We should be a real good contender," Coach Joe Russo said.
The Bears finished third in the county and sixth in the state last year.
The rest of the teams will be battling for fourth place, a good notch below Glenelg, Centennial and Hammond.
Atholton has a solid collection of distance and middle-distance runners.
Seniors Tara Getschman, Rachel Modesitt, Jenny Hodges and Vonda Jones, junior Wendy Majkowski and freshmen Holly Majkowski and Gail Hodges should all be potential scorers in events ranging from the 800 meters to the 3,200 meters.
Senior Rebecca Turner in the high jump and senior Kathy Roselle in the triple jump and long jump offer the Raiders hope for somepoints.
Junior Monique Glover is a promising new sprinter who joins sophomore sprinter Maria McGoldrick.
"The relays and field events hold the keys for our success," Raiders coach Graydon Webster said.
Howard has at least four girls with potential to score points.
Senior Linda Schneider will run the 100 and 200 along with junior Deidre Presley. Sophomore Camille Powell looks strong in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 -- she finished third in the state in the 1,600 last year.
Junior Jenny McClanahan finished second in the county long jump last year.
"We lack depth and don't have a lot of talent in distance or field events, but we have some solid people," Lions coach Joe Thomas said.
Mount Hebron has its largest turnout ever with 36 girls, but it is still a young team.
Senior Cecili Drake competes in the long jump, triple jump and shot put. Junior Kia Davis should scorein the shot and discus, and junior Rebecca Silverman is promising inthe 100 meters, long jump and triple jump. Senior Melika Jackson runs the 100, and junior Angela Turner runs both hurdles events.
"We have some strength in every event, and our sprint relays should be good enough to score in states," Vikings coach Martin Goode said.
Oakland Mills has a squad of 45, led by senior sprinter Christine Thomas, who finished fifth in the state 200 meters and sixth in the state 100 meters.
The Scorpions also have outstanding freshman Alicia Brown running the 1600 and 3200.
Senior Nicki Jones competes in the shot and senior Jenny Jack
son in both shot and discus. Junior Anne Fuller is a distance runner, sophomore Kristi Avery runs the 400 meters and freshman Melissa Singleton is a sprinter.
"We have a lot of depth but 20 of the girls are out for the first time," Scorpions Coach Ciaran Lesikar said. Lesikar is a first-year track coach who competed in track and basketball at Centennial where he graduated in 1984.
Wilde Lake has just 11 team members, the smallest squad in the county.
They are paced by freshmen sprinters Stephanie Sharp and Monique Alston, sophomore distance runner Becky Mikkelson and senior distance runner Soraya Ghazi.
"We're going to concentrate on doing just a few events well," Coach Karen Sutkaytis said.