Tsion Yared will return for her senior year to add another cross country state title to her resume. Yared is coming off a strong track season where she developed her kick a little more -- racing a 2:10.62 in the 800m, 4:52.24 in the 1600m, and racing several 4x400m races for Pine Crest. This speed added with her many years of strong endurance make Yared one of the best athletes in the state.
The Pine Crest and Bolles rivalry will continue yet another year. Last year Bolles took the win with 66 points to Pine Crest's 84.
The major difference this year is that Pine Crest has Maya Beleznay back in action. Last season Beleznay was out for the majority of the season, if she can get back to and improve on her 18:22.54 PR that she ran at the 2017 state meet, Pine Crest will put some serious pressure on the Bulldogs.
Last year Bolles took pack running to a whole new meaning, clocking a 20 second 1-5 split at the state meet. Elizabeth Csikai led the Bulldogs last season to victory and she comes into this season looking to have a standout freshman year.
Emily Faulhaber and Eleanor Tymorek come into this season after breakout track seasons. Faulhaber will look to lead her Pine Crest team along with Yared this season for their senior year. Tymorek broke 11 minutes for the first time in the 3200m this past track season and we predict to see her finish within the top five at the state finals come November.
Lily Henne and Kendyl Cardwell will once again lead the Montverde Academy team. After their track seasons, they will come into this season hungry for two top 10 finishes.
Keep an eye out for Megan Hughes of Academy of Holy Names. Hughes went from running a 20:22 to start the 2018 season to clocking an 18:24.67 to place fifth at the state finals. She rocked her track season, running a 2:13.22 800m and 5:10.57 1600m to place fifth in both at the track state finals. The theme here? Hughes knows when to peak and knows how to run when it counts. Her progression year-over-year and season-over-season is something worth watching -- she'll be a threat for the top five come November.
Audrey McAnally, Billie Castillo, and Emily Vargus are three senior returners to watch for as well. With their last cross country season on deck they will look to make a statement.