Girls track: The poll

March 17, 2010

1. McDonogh

Coach: Jeff Sanborn.

Last year: Ranked No. 1, IAAM champion.

Outlook: Bad news for McDonogh's opponents - the Eagles are just as strong as last year, when they won conference title. Kristen Brown and Madeline Dulac lead the way.

2. Western

Coach: Alicia Williams.

Last year: No. 2, Class 3A state champion.

Outlook: Coming off a big indoor season in which they won the Class 3A state and regional titles, the Doves, led by Brinae Williams, are looking to repeat as outdoor state champions.

3. Digital Harbor

Coach: Lutalo Bakari.

Last year: No. 9, second Class 1A.

Outlook: The Rams had a good indoor season, ending Western's 18-year winning streak in the Baltimore City title meet and then taking the regional before ending up fourth in the Class 2A state meet. Alyssa McClure and Chelsea Walker will lead the team.

4. Hereford

Coach: Russ Drylie.

Last year: No. 5, third in Class 3A.

Outlook: The Bulls are strong on the track as well as in field events, which is why they again should be in contention in for postseason titles.

5. Century

Coach: Tony Griner.

Last year: Unranked, seventh in Class 2A.

Outlook: Maura Linde, who is probably the most versatile distance runner in the state, led the Knights to the Class 2A indoor state title. But Century also has a good group of other distance runners that should help it score in relays.

6. Chesapeake-AA

Coach: Tara Witmer.

Last year: No. 7, eighth in Class 4A.

Outlook: The Cougars are going to be very strong in field events, which should carry them all season. Lauren Allam won the Class 4A shot put and discus indoors.

7. Long Reach

Coach: Leslie Thomas.

Last year: No. 8, sixth in Class 3A.

Outlook: A good indoor season ended with the Lightning coming in second in the Class 2A state meet, losing to Century by only 3.5 points. The Lightning should do well again in sprints and relays.

8. River Hill

Coach: Earl Lauer.

Last year: No. 3, second in Class 2A.

Outlook: The Hawks are good in distance, and Dorehn Coleman is a versatile performer. The big question is if they are strong enough to make an impact in postseason meets.

9. Western Tech

Coach: Shedrick Elliott.

Last year: Unranked, fourth in Class 1A.

Outlook: The Wolverines can score in relays and sprints, and that's what helped them win the Class 1A state title indoors and compete well against bigger Baltimore County schools.

10. Pikesville

Coach: Jennifer Slingland.

Last year: Unranked, 17th in Class 1A.

Outlook: Pikesville was one of the bigger surprises indoors, taking second in the Baltimore County meet and winning the regional before finishing fifth in the state. The Panthers have the state's best pole vaulter in Sasha Smallwood.

Others considered: Maryvale (unranked), Old Mill (unranked), Poly (No. 6), Liberty (unranked), North Carroll (unranked)

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