Trying to figure out who is the best team is nearly impossible without running any races, but OHRunners has tried to do just that (solely based on last year's results and returning runners). Today we take a stab at the Preseason Division 3 Top 10 Girls Teams, Preseason Regional Top 5 Teams and the Top 10 Returning Times.
2. Attica Seneca East
After a disappointing 7th place finish of the 2007 campaign, coach Jeff Phillips will look for consistency from his squad to make a run to the teams first State title since 1998. Consistency will be a key because last year, at
3. Fort Loramie
I am a fan of clutch 5th runners and I placed the Redskins here because I feel that she is alive and well on coach Stickley's squad. It helps when you have possibly a top 10 team finish in Kara Gasson and 1 team point in Janel Olberding (Stephanie Morgan of Barnesville may have a team this year). Just like in 2002 (State champs) and 2001 (state Runner’s up) Loramie will count on a tight 3-5 pack to try and unravel the balanced attack of Minister. If the Running Redskins can find the pack of
4. Gilmour Academy
Fast! The only way that I can describe the Gilmour Girls is fast. The quickness began in 2005 when the Lancers finished a surprising 3rd in the State finals after not even running the course the year before. In 2006 the Blue and Gray stunned the State when they knocked off seemingly invincible Minster. Last year, Coach Lindley missed the unimaginable Back to Back title by losing to
5. Burton Berkshire
What if? What if the greatest demonstration in grits and determination had not happened? What would have been the outcome if that tenacious teen not broken her tibia? Speculation is not for the faint at heart but by my calculations, the Badgers would have walked away as the 2008 State Champions beating Gilmour on a six runner tie breaker both scoring 122 points. Is it so ridiculous? Coach Julie Cole had her team within 4 points of State Runner up Gilmour out of the Boardman Regional. The Purple and Gold will be led by Bowers and Noble, both of whom should run under 19:30. Jurcak, Sawyer and Dingman all have broken 21:00 last year and are seconds away from the mathematically important 20:20. I believe 2007 was the most competitive State meet in the 30 years of girls cross country. If the Badgers can get the work done in the summer, it could be just as close this year.
7. Kansas Lakota
The Raiders out of
Quite possibly the best team not to make it to November. If Coach Todd Miller could have one wish, it should be to move his school out of the SW Region. Ansonia will be the best school in the state to possibly not run in November. Katie Schmitmeyer, Renee Schmitmeyer and Jennifer Stone could be 19:40 or better and their 3rd placer will be under 20:00.
Yes, six of the top nine teams in the State are located in or around
10. Liberty Benton
The success of the eagles in 2007 rested largely on the shoulders of the front two runners who scored a paltry thirteen points and were able to break the elusive 19:05 mark. It took 71 runners and 90 seconds to elapse before the next
(Assuming all teams that can choose their Region go to the same Region as last year)
Youngstown Region 9
1. Gilmour Academy
2. Burton Berkshire
This is very young team with post season experience. After losing only one runner to graduation from their state qualifying team, McDonald will look to get back to Scioto Downs with sophomore Micheala Lepor leading the way.
4. Atwater Waterloo
Waterloo will look to crack the top ten at the State Meet this year after finishing eleventh last year. Waterloo will have to reload a little bit for this season after losing their 4, 6 and 7 runners from last year.
After finishing sixth in the region last year, Trinity will give it a try to get into the top four. Replacing their number two runner could prove to be difficult though. Sophomore Angel Theurer will look to break 21:00 this year to lead this team from Garfield Heights.
Tiffin Region 10
1. Kansas Lakota
2. Liberty Benton
After only losing their seventh runner from last year from their sixth place regional team, a team that had two runners in the top 10 team scoring wise, Ottoville looks like a contender to take a run at making it to Scioto Downs. Look for Super Sophomore Shayla Siefker (5th at the State Meet in 2007) to make a serious drop in time this year and run sub 18:30.
4. Elmore Woodmore
While Woodmore loses one from their state qualifying team, this is still a young team that has some talent and some experience, which is a lethal combination. Sub 20:00 sophomore Lacy Nagy will look to carry Woodmore back to the horse track this year.
5. Gorham Fayette
While Gorham Fayette may not have any front runners, the one thing that they do have is senior leadership. With four seniors cracking their varsity seven, Gorham Fayette could have a shot at running in November.
Pickerington Region 11
After finishing twelfth at the State Meet, Northmor will look to break into the top ten this year. Northmor could break into the top five if juniors Ashley Peters and Rosie Heilman can run with sophomores Alyssa Neer and Gabby Ditullio.
2. Newark Catholic
Newark Catholic loses one from their state qualifying team. This is an experienced and veteran team that could make some noise come post season.
3. Sandy Valley
Sandy Valley returns all of their scorers from their State Meet qualifying team from last year. Led by a pack of juniors that should all break 21:00, the strength of Sandy Valley is that they could have their five scorers cross the finish line all within a minute of each other.
4. Marion Pleasant
Pleasant returns all of their runners from a sixth place regional finish a year ago. If Pleasants 4 and 5 runners can close the gap on their top three runners look for Pleasant to be running at the horse track in November.
After finishing seventh in the region, Barnesville will look to make that jump from an above average team to a top notch team this year by qualifying for the State Meet. Senior Stephanie Morgan is best returning runner in the State and will look to pull her team along with her.
Troy Region 12
2. Attica Seneca East
3. Fort Loramie
Top 10 Returning Times
|1.||17:27.36||Stephanie Morgan||OH||Barnesville||2009||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|2.||18:28.75||Janel Olberding||OH||Fort Loramie||2011||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|3.||18:40.09||Brittany Stockmaster||OH||Seneca East||2011||2007-10-06||Octoberfest Invitational|
|4.||18:51.74||Shayla Siefker||OH||Ottoville||2011||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|5.||18:53.05||Monica Ciarniello||OH||Lowellville||2010||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|6.||18:56.18||Alexa Stults||OH||Old Fort||2010||2007-10-13||Midland Athletic League Cross Country Championships|
|7.||19:02.72||Mary Prakel||OH||Versailles||2009||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|8.||19:05.81||Bekka Simko||OH||Gilmour Academy||2010||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|9.||19:05.95||Jessica Phillips||OH||Seneca East||2010||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|
|10.||19:07.24||Brynn Chaskel||OH||Liberty-Benton||2009||2007-11-03||OHSAA State Cross Country Championships|