Junior Raymond Otis and senior Andre Wise are the Mustangs' biggest threats to claim county titles on the boys side. Sophomore sprinter Jayma Banks and senior Yulanda Archer are heavy favorites to win the girls' dashes.
"We've had quite a few injuries already on both the boys and girls teams, but if they can heal somewhat, we should do pretty well," said Mustangs coach Hayes Henderson. "We have a little experience in a couple of spots."
With only one returning runner and no depth to speak of, Eagles fourth-year coach Buck Boxwell is calling the 1993-94 season "a rebuilding year for sure."
The lone veteran for Northeast is junior John Thompson and he should get some help from freshman Mark Gaskins, who Boxwell says "has shown some promise."
Senior shot-putter Christie McDevitt returns for the Cougars' girls team after finishing fourth in the county last year.
North County Knights
For the first time in a few years, Ed Harte's Knights will have to rely on balanced scoring rather than one superstar to keep them atop the county leader board.
Speedsters Topper Ellis, John Martin and Troy Fowlkes will handle the sprinting events for North County. Dennis Lomax, Tony Fowlkes, Chris Connelly and Danny Zovarka work the middle distances.
Junior Kenda Johnson and Tamiko Mack are about the closest thing to a superstar that the Knights have. Mack and Johnson finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 400 run during the outdoor season. "They're bookends and they will carry us," said Harte.
Old Mill Patriots
The Patriots boast one of the area's premier multi-event athletes in senior Raina Domneys, but after that, Marcus is hoping to get some "nickel and dime points here and there."
Old Mill should be able to pick up enough loose change from sophomores Beth Walker and Carina Sonberg and freshman Jenny Davis running middle and long distances and senior Carrie Klimes running the 300. Junior Erica Davis returns for the Patriots' county champion 800 relay squad, along with Klimes and Domneys.
Junior Jenny Porter will try to defend her county title in the 500 run while combining with Klimes and Domneys to try and repeat as county champs in the 1,600 relay. Junior Kristin Wimbrow, last year's county champion in the high jump, will try and defend her title while also running in the middle-distance events.
Senior Jimmy Greer, the defending state champion in the pole vault, and senior Jason Reckner, who recently emerged as state champ in cross country, will anchor the Patriots' male contingent.
Senior Kevin McKinney, a second-team All-Metro selection last year, and distance runners Ron Pennington and Chris Long are others capable of earning Old Mill some team points in the postseason.
Severna Park Falcons
The Falcons, who normally rely on their distance runners, had a number of football players come out for their squad this year, which should provide them with some assistance in the sprints.
Severna Park running backs Matt Long and Mark Frye are using the indoor track season to build strength and speed and are making the Falcons stronger and faster in the process. Ryan Krulis, a senior shot-putter who took third in the county and regions last year, returns along with senior Mike Fleming.
Severna Park coach Jim Patton says his girls team is "pretty strong just about everywhere."
Soccer and lacrosse standout Erin Wylde and Severna Park field hockey star Mary Jo Mohoney are two athletes Patton can rely on as are distance runners Brianna Weidman, Stefanie Petr, Julia Flaherty, Katrina Lee, Erica Krajnik, Summer Nugent and Jenny Band.
South River Seahawks
The Seahawks are hoping to take over where their region champion cross country team left off.
Seniors Craig Hopkins, Danny Zamarripa and Richard Emge, along with talented junior Jack Longley, give South River a solid corps of distance runners, who could collect some big points nTC come regions and states. Senior Steve Cadiz (hurdles and pole vault) and Kevin Glass (800, 1,600) are among 41 of the boys who will travel with South River this winter.
"This is the most number of good athletes that I've ever gotten including my years at Severna Park so I'm real pleased," said Seahawks coach Scott Baker. "I'm kind of disappointed with the turnout for the girls' team [21 members], but it's a young team and I'm excited about that."
Chrissy Burke, who placed in the states last year in the 500 run, is South River's only senior girl. She should get some help in the scoring from a solid group of middle-distance runners, which includes Erin Moorcones, Kai-Lee Kurlychek, Colleen McLaughlin, Heather Mack and indoor county champion high jumper Jen Smith.