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Girls Cross Country
High School Fall Sports Preview

by Staff

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Bishop Eustace suffered major losses to graduation, including Katy Storti, the Crusaders’ No. 1 runner for all four years of her career. Senior Rachel Orr should move into the top spot after taking 11th at sectionals and 15th at the Olympic Conference Championships as a junior. One of her primary goals is to cut her times to less than 20 minutes. Junior Charlotte Gottilla is another key returner who gained valuable experience as a sophomore. Senior Anastasia Barnett is also back and the rest of the lineup will be filled out by newcomers.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders finished second at sectionals, fifth at states and fifth in the conference during a memorable 2018 campaign. It will be hard to stay at that level, but Orr in particular will be a competitor to watch at the big races.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: The top two runners from last year graduated, so Camden Catholic will turn to senior captains Breanne Nunn and Natalie Wisnoski to lead the team. They have each run in the top four the last two seasons and usually cross the finish line within seconds of each other. Nunn placed 26th at sectionals as a junior and Wisnoski was 30th. A promising crop of sophomores who showed potential as freshmen will also contribute. Emma Shannon was the most consistent of the group as a rookie, but Vicki Wang was not far behind. Her sister, freshman Winnie Wang, is also expected to contribute right away.
OUTLOOK: The Fighting Irish have a solid core of runners and hope to hold their own at the major meets this fall.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Kate Rathman put on quite a performance as a junior, winning Burlington County and Olympic Conference titles and clocking in under 19 minutes both times. She went on to place second at sectionals, 24th at states and ended her season at the Meet of Champions for the second year in a row. She should continue to shine in her swan song at Cherokee. Rathman will have company at the front of the pack from teammate Nicole Clifford, who was terrific as a freshman last fall. Her fifth-place showing at sectionals followed a fourth in the county meet and a 13th at the conference race. Senior Alyssa Blackmon is another strong returner who placed 20th at sectionals. Seniors Kayla McAdams and Jaden Sweely and junior Adriana Sommese round out the top six.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs placed in the top five at the county, conference and sectional meets for the second year in a row in 2018. It wouldn’t be surprising to see that streak continue this fall, and Rathman might also add to her haul of individual wins.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Although Cherry Hill East graduated No. 1 runner Sarah Pierce, a strong core is still in place. Sophomore Madison McNiff put together an impressive rookie season, including a 17th-place showing at sectionals and a 10th at the Olympic Conference meet. She will most likely compete with junior MaryKate McCurdy for top honors on the team this fall. McCurdy had the best finish among returners at last year’s state meet and took 14th in the conference and fifth in Camden County. She also had a terrific spring, running 5:11 in the mile, and is primed for an excellent cross country season. Senior Aliza Kotzen placed 10th in the county, while juniors Tabitha DiDonato and Isabel Slimm each finished in the top 20 at both the conference and county races. Junior Sabrina Rounds should also be in the top seven and other returners are juniors Jane Cai, Pooja Suresh and Maggie Murphy.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars were crowned champions at the Olympic Conference Championships and also took second in the county, fifth at sectionals and ninth at states last year. Expectations remain high for 2019.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: The top two runners and five of the top six are back for Cherry Hill West. Sophomore Megan Faucett shined as a freshman, placing 13th at sectionals and also finishing first among the Lions at the Camden County and Olympic Conference meets. She should be a reliable competitor again this fall. Senior Cameron Wright is another strong returner who finished 20th at sectionals. Sophomore Sarah Davidson and seniors Madeline Harrison and Sophie Ungerleider round out the solid top five. Seniors Tram Ho and Eliana Birnbaum and sophomore Madison Rowen will look to show improvement.
OUTLOOK: The Lions’ best team showing last year came at sectionals, where they placed sixth. With an experienced group, they could possibly move up a spot or two.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Katherine Byrne followed up a strong freshman campaign with an even better sophomore season. She ran a personal-record 19:31.31 at sectionals to place eighth and moved on to states. She also took eighth at the Tri-County Conference meet and has high hopes for her junior year. Senior Hailey Tabar is another talented runner who placed 10th in the conference meet and 11th at the Gloucester County Championships. Junior Ava Grelli posted top-20 finishes in the county and conference and rounds out the excellent top three. Clearview will also be counting on several newcomers to fill out the top seven.
OUTLOOK: After placing third at the conference meet and eighth at sectionals last year, the Pioneers should once again contend at the major races if they can develop some depth behind their top three.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Eastern has a solid nucleus that includes seniors Kierstin Clem and Samantha Tighe, juniors Morgan Bromley and Sierra Feeney and sophomore Lauren Kenselaar. That top five finished within 1:15 and 31 places (21st through 52nd) of each other at sectionals last year. They all have a chance to run close to, if not under, 20 minutes this fall. Senior Zoe McKay and juniors Lauren Baldosaro and Kayla James will look to provide depth to the squad.
OUTLOOK: With their strong pack of experienced harriers, the Vikings will contend for top-five finishes in both the Olympic Conference and sectional meets.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Libby Dockett emerged as Gloucester Catholic’s No. 1 runner as a freshman and is looking forward to a strong sophomore season. She was the Rams’ top finisher at the Tri-County Conference, sectional and state meets last year. Another important returner is junior Lucea Hutchinson, who showed progress in the big meets. Gloucester Catholic will also be looking for several newcomers to make an impact this season, including senior Gloria Egger.
OUTLOOK: The Rams hope to add some numbers to the program and keep taking steps forward this fall.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: All seven of last year’s top runners return for Haddonfield, raising expectations for another banner season. Leading the way are twin sisters Allison and Lindsay Colflesh, who both shined as sophomores. Lindsay placed second at sectionals and was also in the top 10 at the Colonial Conference and Camden County meets. Allison was right behind her at sectionals, placing third, and was the Bulldawgs’ best finisher at states in 35th. She also took second in the conference and third in the county. Juniors Payton Weiner and Olivia Stoner had strong runs at sectionals, taking sixth and 11th, respectively, and senior Evie Andrews was not far behind in 14th. Senior Lilly Sirover and junior Hailey Melcher were also in the top 20 at sectionals, and Sirover was consistent throughout the season with a third in the conference, a fourth in the county and a 38th at states. Junior Sarah Naticchia, coming off a terrific outdoor track season in the spring, has moved over from the field hockey team and is expected to have an immediate impact. Other talented returners include junior Georgia Nussey and sophomores Jess Goode and Bella Carle, and a promising group of freshmen is also joining the team.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs easily extended their streak of sectional championships to nine in a row—giving them a state-record 26 total—and went on to place ninth at states last year. They will continue to set the bar high in 2019.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: After making a name for herself two years ago as a freshman, Ashlynne Burke really broke out as a sophomore. She clocked in under 20 minutes at all of the major races, including a 19:06 to be crowned the Gloucester County champion. She also finished fourth in the Tri-County Conference, sixth at sectionals and 15th at states, ending the season with a 31st at the Meet of Champions. Senior Emily Pierantoni placed ninth at sectionals and her twin sister Allie was not far behind in 15th. Both also placed in the top five at the county meet, and Allie had a huge spring track season, winning the South Jersey Group IV title in the 1600. Sophomore Allison MacFarland posted top-10 showings at the county and conference races and took 22nd at sectionals, and other talented veterans are seniors Kennedy Waterson and Caroline Heino, junior Sydney Watts and sophomore Allison Helkowski.
OUTLOOK: The 2018 season saw the Dragons extend their streak of county, conference and sectional titles to four straight years, and they placed eighth at states. Making it five in a row in those races is a realistic goal.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Olivia Cao made a smooth transition from tennis to cross country last year and consistently ran in the high 20s. She placed in the top 20 at the Burlington County and Olympic Conference meets and should be a top runner for Lenape in her senior season. Abigail Skidmore is another senior leader who placed 25th in the county open. Junior Anna Ruley and senior Rebecca Thomas also return to the top five, and other contributors are seniors Krisha Mahajan and Emily Michnowski, junior Nicole Ficken and sophomore Katie Skidmore.
OUTLOOK: The Indians broke in a new lineup last year and still managed to record top-10 showings in the county, conference and sectional races. More of the same can be expected in 2019.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: There was no sophomore jinx for Katie Inglis last year, as she repeated as the Burlington County Scholastic League (BCSL) champion and finished fourth at sectionals. She also took seventh at the Burlington County Open and 31st at states, and will set her sights on the Meet of Champions this fall. Four other girls who placed in the top 10 at the BCSL meet are back, all juniors: Leah Rivenburgh, Anu Bezwada, Claire Bodine and Maggie Goettle. Rivenburgh and Goettle also placed in the top 20 at sectionals. Seniors Mary Adams, Kylie Evoy and Yulan Guo are other returners expected to have an impact.
OUTLOOK: Last season was another successful one for the Quakers, who were BCSL Liberty Division champions, took third at the county and sectional meets and placed ninth at states. They expect to be contenders once again and Inglis could be in line for an individual title or two.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Moorestown Friends will need a new No. 1 runner to step up following the graduation of Italia Visella. The leading candidate is junior Kat Johnson, who had solid performances at the major races last year. Her goal as an upperclassman will be to lower her times into the low- to mid-20s. Jamie Neff is another junior looking to make progress, and the Foxes are hoping for several newcomers to push the pace as well, including freshmen Ava Savino, Eva Vanterpool and Charlie Collins.
OUTLOOK: The objective for the Foxes is to take small steps forward as a program this season and build a foundation for the future.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: The top two runners and three of the top four are back for Paul VI, including senior Bridget Lyons, who is coming off outstanding indoor and outdoor track seasons. Last fall she finished 11th at the Olympic Conference Championships and went on to take seventh at sectionals and 31st at states. Junior Katie Sparks is another talented returner who clocked a 20:02 at sectionals to place sixth and was also the team’s best finisher at states in 25th. These two talented runners should continue to bring out the best in each other in their final season together. Senior Madison Kelly is another important veteran who finished 12th at sectionals. Senior Maria Liberatore and freshman Kameron Cieslik are expected to round out the top five.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles repeated as sectional champions, finished sixth at states and third in the conference last year. They have some key runners to replace but expect to be contenders again in 2019.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Junior Emma Klouchek has been a consistent contender at the major meets during her first two seasons at Seneca and this could be the year she breaks through with her first title. She clocked in under 20 minutes at all of the big races in 2018, including a 19:35 at sectionals to place second. She also took third in the Burlington County Open, sixth at the Olympic Conference Championships and 11th at states, advancing to the Meet of Champions for the second time. Senior Chelsea Richards is also back after posting top-20 finishes at sectionals and the county meet, and Morgan Hough is another strong senior competitor. Juniors Emily Vosler and Emma Daniels and senior Evelyn Locke also hope to run in the top seven.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles finished in the top five at sectionals and the county meet last year to go with a sixth in the conference and a 12th at states. They are one of the premier programs year in and year out and this season should be no different under new head coach Chad Devino.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: Bella Turner will look to close out her memorable career at Shawnee with another stellar season as a senior. Last year she repeated as the South Jersey Group IV champion, clocking a time of 18:39. She went on to place ninth at states and 16th at the Meet of Champions, where she was the second South Jersey runner to cross the finish line. Claire Hauser is another standout senior who was the runner-up at the Burlington County Open. She also took fifth at the Olympic Conference meet, 11th at sectionals and 29th at states. Maddy Yeager is another senior leader and sophomores Madison Koveloski and Sarah Kochanski will look to build on promising rookie seasons in which they placed 31st and 34th, respectively, at sectionals. Sophomore Madelyn Valasek will look to break into the top seven and other contributors are senior Jesse Closson and juniors Hannah Caputo, Maddie Baughman and Melanie Hasson.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades’ accomplishments in 2018 included the Burlington County Championship, runner-up finishes at the conference and sectional meets and a seventh at states. They were also the top South Jersey team at the Meet of Champions in 15th. A sectional title is certainly within reach this fall and it will be exciting to watch Turner race in her final season.

RUNNERS TO WATCH: A strong core is in place for Washington Township, led by senior No. 1 runner Kate Cochran. She posted a time of 19:56 at sectionals to place 14th and also took sixth at the Gloucester County meet and eighth at the Olympic Conference Championships. It would not be surprising to see her move into the top five in each of those races. Junior Ashton Wisely emerged as the Minutemaids’ No. 2 runner as a sophomore and finished 22nd in the county. Senior Alyssa Connor and junior Rachel Meloni were also in the top 30 at the county meet and other returners are senior Emily Pancoast and junior Mackenzie Sozio.
OUTLOOK: After placing third in the county, 10th in the conference and 14th at sectionals last year, the Minutemaids have the potential to move up in the team standings at each race with Cochran leading the charge.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (July 2019).
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