Preseason Girls Team Ranking
By: Kevin Milsted
Monday, August 31, 2009 conducted an open online poll between August 18 and August 30 for anyone to rank their top teams in the county. 59 valid girls team votes were collected and tabulated to form the ranking you see below.

1. Northwest - 4A West
Poll Points: 538
2008 County Finish: 1st
2008 State Finish: 2nd
Northwest returns all seven of last year's varsity team members in addition to their top seven finishers from the junior varsity race at last year's county championship. They have the top two returning runners from last year's county championship in Britt Eckerstrom and Alyssa Henshaw. In this poll, Northwest claimed 38 of the 59 first place votes.

Tie Breaker: The tie breaker question asked the voters to predict the winning score at the county championship meet regardless of who they thought would win. The average answer for the girls was 65.4 points.

2. Walter Johnson - 4A West
Poll Points: 434
2008 County Finish: 4th
2008 State Finish: 5th
Walter Johnson returns all seven of their varsity members from last year. They have the defending cross country state champion in Anna Bosse, and a supporting cast that showed good improvement during track.

3. Churchill - 4A West
Poll Points: 431
2008 County Finish: 5th
2008 State Finish: 12th
Churchill loses one of their top five runners who moved away, but return all of their other six varsity runners from last year. Top two runners Maryam Fikri and Alex Giedd are reportedly running as good as ever.

4. Whitman - 4A West
Poll Points: 373
2008 County Finish: 6th
2008 State Finish: 4th
Whitman returns four of their top five after losing Alexandra Phillips to a move. Anna Ryba and Shayna Barbash will push each other for the top spot on the team while a tight pack backs them up.

5. Wootton - 4A West
Poll Points: 296
2008 County Finish: 8th
2008 State Finish: 14th
Like Northwest, Wootton returns its top 14 runners from last year's county championship meet. Their top runner is 3200 state champion Jessie Rubin.

6. Damascus - 3A West
Poll Points: 278
2008 County Finish: 3rd
2008 State Finish: 4th
Damascus killed the competition last year with a tight pack, and although they graduated their top two runners, expect more tight pack-running from the Hornets this year.

7. Quince Orchard - 3A West
Poll Points: 199
2008 County Finish: 2nd
2008 State Finish: 7th
Quince Orchard graduated two of their top three that made them such a strong team last year. They will be looking to younger runners to step up this year.

8. B-CC - 4A West
Poll Points: 191
2008 County Finish: 7th
2008 State Finish: 6th
B-CC graduated several important seniors from last year's team, but developed their younger girls well during track season.

9. Sherwood - 4A West
Poll Points: 123
2008 County Finish: 10th
2008 State Finish: 15th
Sherwood returns everyone from last season and can expect the best season they have had in several years.

10. Gaithersburg - 4A West
Poll Points: 81
2008 County Finish: 14th
2008 State Finish: DNR
Gaithersburg got fan votes based on their top runner Abby Spitler and their reputation as a good program, but the small, young Trojan team has work to do to live up to this ranking.


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