Let's get the easy candidates out of the way first, shall we? Every school year brings a new batch of super-talented freshman girls, and the ones we saw tearing up the cross country course are also the ones we would expect to post big track times. Let's start with Riley Chamberlain, as she has already put up her first marks of track season: a current CA #1 4:56 and also a 10:47.90. The runners right around her 5K time from the fall (including current stars Tori Gaitan and Kristin Fahy) have all run 4:50 or better, as well as under 10:20. That would seem to indicate that Chamberlain still has some improvement ahead of her this spring, which seems just right based on her debut times. Other freshmen that could have big 3200 times include Tiani Goeson, Devyn Candaele, and Maddie Coles, all of whom have the potential to go well under 11 and 5.
Now, here is the most interesting group: returning runners whose best cross country marks indicate they haven't reached full track potential. My top two candidates here would be Skyler Wallace and Emma Arriaga. Both profile as 10:30 or better in the 3200, but Wallace has a PR of 10:56 and Arriaga 11:06. Expect both of them to destroy those times, but I have to give the nod to Skyler here as the best bet for a 3200 breakout - Emma's history suggests her attention will be on a different race this spring. Cassidy Haskell and Carlie Dorostkar also bear watching, as they have similar times to Skyler and Emma coming into this season. On the other hand, with bests of 4:52 and 2:17, perhaps Haskell's focus lies in the shorter races? Ventura's Madeleine Locher and St. Francis' Isabella Fauria are intriguing for different reasons (more on them later in the slideshow). The Quintero sisters, Daniela and Natalia, seem set for major improvement this spring, as well. Finally, a sleeper candidate here: Rayna Stanziano, who is the state's top returning 800 runner and has run 4:55 but has a 3200 PR of 10:58; she should be able to run in the 10:30's or perhaps even faster, if she decides to focus on this race.
Among returning stars who already have state-wide credibility, a few could reach for national recognition this spring. Corie Smith could threaten the 10-minute mark, along with teammate Meagen Lowe. Chloe Arriaga and Colleen McCandless are both highly likely to drop significantly from their 10:34 3200 PR's.