Girls Track And Field

March 15, 2006

1. McDonogh -- Last season: ranked No. 5 -- Outlook: While depth is a concern for the boys team, the girls squad has plentiful numbers at nearly every event. Momentum gained from winning the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland indoor track and field crown this past winter could propel the Eagles to their third straight outdoor title.

2. Western -- Last season: No. 1 -- Outlook: The Baltimore City crown has gone to the Doves the past 16 years, and there's no reason to believe this season will be any different. Western returns essentially the same roster that captured the Class 3A state championship last spring.

3. Mervo -- Last season: No. 8 -- Outlook: Western's primary competition will be posed by the Mustangs, who placed third at the Class 3A-2A state indoor track and field meet this past winter. Mervo's might in the middle-distance races will be bolstered by revived depth in the jumps and throws.

4. North Carroll -- Last season: No. 7 -- Outlook: The discovery of strength in the sprints and pole vault is complemented by the return of middle- and long-distance standout Katie Hursey. A second straight Carroll County title is likely, but could the school's first Class 3A state crown since 1985 be far behind?

5. Long Reach -- Last season: No. 2 -- Outlook: A disappointing indoor track and field result aside, the Lightning has usually flourished outdoors, where the re-introduction of the long and triple jumps and the 400 relay play into the program's strengths. Long Reach is the favorite for a ninth consecutive Howard County championship.

6. Mount Hebron -- Last season: unranked -- Outlook: A solid nucleus led by junior Liz McCarter returns, but can the team mine points from the sprints and field events to challenge Long Reach? If so, Mount Hebron could win its first Howard County title.

7. Seton Keough -- Last season: unranked -- Outlook: The Gators surprised some by placing second behind McDonogh in the race for the IAAM indoor track and field crown, but they won't be flying under the radar this spring. Seton Keough's corps in the middle-distance runs and jumps cannot be overlooked.

8. Mount de Sales -- Last season: No. 6 -- Outlook: The Sailors haven't won an IAAM outdoor championship since 2003, but they are the last conference rival to defeat McDonogh, which they did for the IAAM indoor title in 2005. If Mount de Sales can add sprinters and jumpers to a solid corps of middle- and long-distance runners, the Sailors could put up a challenge.

9. Chesapeake-AA -- Last season: unranked --Outlook: The Cougars won their first Anne Arundel County title in indoor track and field this past winter, and now they will try to capture their first outdoor crown. The sprints and pole vault are strong, but Chesapeake could help its cause with performers in the jumps and throws.

10. Severna Park -- Last season: unranked -- Outlook: The reigning Anne Arundel County champions will continue to flex their muscles in the middle- and long-distance races. A few more points from the field events, however, would aid the Falcons' repeat bid.

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