85 valid votes were tabulated for Mocorunning's Preseason XC Poll. Below are the composite results of that poll.
1. Abigail Green, Walter Johnson 2018
When Abigail ran 19:12 at her first ever high school cross country meet, it was clear that Walter Johnson had unearthed something special. Her only win of her freshman season came at the 4A West regional meet, but she finished in the top five at both the county and state meets. Her 18:10 PR at the Nike Southeast Regional was the fastest time by any MCPS freshman in at least ten years (and probably longer). With many of last year's top runners in Moco having graduated, Green is the clear-cut favorite heading into 2015.
398 Poll Points
2. Emily Murphy, Walter Johnson 2016
Emily has been a major part of the Walter Johnson team that has captured back-to-back state titles. She finished seventh at the state meet in both years, and her PR of 18:31 in 2014 makes her Montgomery County's third fastest returning girl. Along with Abigail and Katriane Kirsch, Murphy could be part of an outstanding trio that will look to "three-peat" as state champions.
314 Poll Points
3. Bethlehem Taye, Paint Branch 2016Bethlehem gave Montgomery County a preview of things to come at the 2014 state meet, where she finished 25th. She then proceeded to run wild over MoCo (and the entire state of Maryland) during the track seasons. Bethlehem won the outdoor 3200 title after finishing second indoor, and she only lost one individual race (the state mile) during the outdoor campaign. She enters 2015 with a 5K PR of 19:49 but her track success makes her a legitimate contender for a state title.
279 Poll Points
4. Grace Dellapa, Thomas S. Wootton 2016
Grace has improved steadily each year of her high school career, going from 26th to 11th to 7th at the county meet in her first three seasons. In 2014, she became the first female Wootton runner to finish in the top five at the state meet since Jessie Rubin won in 2009. She was selected to the DCXC All-Maryland preseason team in August along with five other MCPS girls. This season she will look to challenge the rest of the top runners for the county (and possibly state) title.
246 Poll Points
|"H.P." burst onto the Moco scene as a freshman in 2012 when she surprised everyone with a sixth-place finish at the state meet. Since then, she has consistenly been one of the county's top runners, as shown by her sixth-place finish at the county meet last season. After finishing third at the 4A North regional meet each of her first three seasons, she will have a chance to finally capture a regional title as she returns with the region's second-fastest 5K time.
6. Olivia Woods, Walt Whitman 2017When she joined the team in 2013, many knew her as "the sister of Evan Woods". Olivia, however, has certainly made a name for herself in her first two seasons. Last year, she finished in the top ten at both the county and regional meets, something only four other returning runners can say they did. She is also Moco's second-fastest returner in the class of 2017, and this year she and teammates Sami King and Erin O'Connor could form one of the best trios in the state.
176 Poll Points
7. Julia Reicin, Winston Churchill 2017Julia made an immediate impact on Montgomery County since her freshman season in 2013. In both of her first two years she finished in the top ten at the 4A West regional meet and in the top fifteen at the 4A state meet. After two years of being the number two runner at Churchill behind Lucy Srour, Julia will now have a chance to be the leader of the Churchill team.
173 Poll Points
8. Katriane Kirsch, Walter Johnson 2017Katriane was probably one of the best #4 runners in recent Moco history on a dominant Walter Johnson team in 2014. In each of her first two high school seasons she has finished in the top ten at the state meet, and her returning 5K PR of 18:55 ranks her sixth in Montgomery County. Another solid season from Katriane will be vital if Walter Johnson has those "three-peat" aspirations.
169 Poll Points
9. Ciciely Davy, Albert Einstein 2016Ciciely enjoyed a 2014 season in which she improved drastically from her 2013 campaign. She went from 70th to 20th at the county championships, and finished fourteenth at the 3A state meet. A solid track season during which she posted PRs of 5:20 in the 1600 and 11:39 in the 3200 shows that Ciciely should be ready to take the next leap into the county's top group in 2015. And, as is the case with Northwood's Michael Abebe, she will have increased exposure to the rest of Montgomery County as Einstein moves up to the 4A classification this year.
135 Poll Points
10. Sami King, Walt Whitman 2016
She made not be a household name... yet - but her name is certainly one to remember. Sami arrives to Whitman as a transfer from the Field School in Washington, D.C. The rising senior has already built an impressive resume, including a PR of 18:17 at the DCXC Invitational (where she finished third in the junior classification) and a MD-DC Private School championship in the small school division. She also boasts Moco's top returning 3200 at 11:00 (one second faster than Bethlehem Taye). She could very well be competing for a county and state title by the end of this season.
132 Poll Points
1) Walter Johnson Wildcats (314 Poll Points): It's scary to think back on just how good the Walter Johnson girls have become in the past few years. It's even scarier to think that they lose just two girls from their state championship team from last year. The team includes three in the top ten preseason poll (Abigail Green, Emily Murphy, Katriane Kirsch) and Sadie Keller, a freshman who ran sub-20 at Nike Southeast Regionals last year. This team has a chance to be NXN-good.
2) Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons (307 Poll Points): The team will have a new identity after losing an incredible senior class that carried the team for four years. However, a strong program with plenty of depth should continue to keep the B-CC girls going strong, as they seek a fifth straight season on the podium (top two) at the state championships.
3) Walt Whitman Vikings (240 Poll Points): Olivia Woods and Erin O'Connor would have made for a strong duo, but throw in transfer Sami King and the Whitman girls have a chance to have a tremendous trio. All three girls return with sub-19:30 PR's, and this Whitman team has a chance to break up the stranglehold that B-CC and WJ have had on Moco girl's cross country during the past few years.
4) Winston Churchill Bulldogs (195 Poll Points): Only Julia Reicin boasts a returning time under 20, but Churchill has a deep group that sports five other returners with sub-22 PRs. The Churchill girls have been in the top five at the county meet in three of the past four seasons (they finished eighth in 2013).
5) Richard Montgomery Rockets (131 Poll Points): The Rockets, led by senior Sophie El-Masry (top three at states in 2012 and 2013), and her sister Nefret, have not finished in the top five at counties in back-to-back seasons since 2005-2006. After a fifth place finish in 2014, they have a chance to end that drought in 2015.
6) Thomas S. Wootton Patriots (121 Poll Points): Senior star Grace Dellapa will have some help this year from two freshmen, Jessica Trzeciak and Adna Trakic. The Wootton girls had their streak of five straight seasons (2009-2013) in the county's top five snapped last year, but preseason results suggest that they are ready to get back on track in 2015.
7) Albert Einstein Titans (118 Poll Points): Last year's 3A runner-up team brings back three of its top four girls for the 2015 season. Remarkably, Einstein has improved its standing at the county meet every year from 2009, when they finished 20th out of 21 schools, to 2014, when they finished fourth. Another leap into the county's top three would be a challenge, but is far from impossible for this promising team.
7) Clarksburg Coyotes (118 Poll Points): Despite losing Lucie Noall to graduation, the future is very bright at Clarksburg as the girls return every other runner from the team that finished seventh at the state meet last year. This group includes four runners with PR's between 20:14 and 20:57, a group that could lead the Coyotes to their first top-five finish at the county meet in school history.
9) Northwest Jaguars (101 Poll Points): Three of their top four are gone, leaving junior Sofia Zarate the clear-cut leader of the team. The Jaguars will need some contributions from rising runners if they want to finish in the top ten in Montgomery County for a fifteenth straight season (the last time they finished outside the top ten was in 2000).
10) Sherwood Warriors (89 Poll Points): Amanda Hayes-Puttfarcken will lead a Sherwood girls team that graduated none of their top seven runners from 2014. Along with the Peloff sisters, Madeline and Leah, the Warriors will look to crack Moco's top ten for the first time since 2012.
Tie breakers: Fans were asked to predict the winning individual time and team score. The average responses were 18:26.15 and 58.7 points.