Teams to Watch
Foothill (Palo Cedro) was Northern Section champion last year and return their ENTIRE TOP 7. That would make them as the heavy favorites to repeat this coming season and be the lone Division 3 representative at the California state XC meet. Their main competition should come from University Prep (Division 4 school), a school whose Cross Country program was revitalized by the Hall family (more on them below). The rest of the contending teams will include the following Division 3 schools: Shasta, Chico and Pleasant Valley. Veteran Yreka coach Pam Borg will be aiming squarely for the second spot behind the University Prep girls. The race for the lone Division 5 spot should come down once again between Durham and Hamilton City.
Athletes to Watch (Full Rankings)
Picking out an individual favorite would appear to be quite easy as University Prep sophomore Hana Hall rolled to an easy victory last season. She also made the podium at the state meet with a 10th place finish. You may be familiar with her parents, Ryan and Sara Hall, two of the all-time California high school greats that met while they were teammates at Stanford University. This past spring, the Halls moved to Flagstaff, Arizona to start a post-collegiate group coached by Ryan. With Hana Hall now competing in Arizona, the pre-season individual favorite will be University Prep sophomore, Grace Gaddy. She finished in 2nd place behind Hall at last year's section meet but was injured during this past Track and Field season. If healthy, she will be the favorite this coming season. Other runners in the mix are Britta Bundy (5:31.87/11:22.07) of Chico, Rize Oliviera (2:28.12/5:29.33) of Foothill, Payton Osborne (2:28.00/5:36.43) of Foothill and Lauren Harper of Trinity. Harper (photo above courtesy of www.trinityjournal.com) was the most impressive on the track this spring with 2:13.23 and 5:14.12 personal bests but will need to transfer that track prowess over to cross country.