25 Girls Teams to Watch this Fall: Canyon (Anaheim Hills)

It's time to get fired up for cross country! Our traditional XC countdown is back, although it will look a little different this time around - we just don't have as much quality data to approach it the way we have in the past. Instead, we will look at 25 boys and girls teams that we think will have an impact this fall in their section, in their division at the state meet, or even nationally. Unlike past countdowns, this year we're going to start with the clear contenders and then work toward some programs that might not be on your radar screen. As always, if you catch an error or have updated information for us, email editor Jeffrey Parenti (email at the bottom of every MileSplitCA page) and we'll make the corrections.

This is another program with no cross country results in our database, but track season was a completely different story. Canyon put 4 girls well under 12 minutes for 3200, including a 10:44 up front. The thing is, it may not be who you expected: rising sophomore Makena Oliva led the team during the spring (she also clocked 5:06 and 2:16 for good measure). Overall, the Comanches ranked 8th in the state in the returning team 3200 this past spring.

Of course, if you've been keeping tabs on Southern Section cross country, you would think of Emma Hadley first when you think about the Comanches, and with good reason. She posted an impressive 16:49 for 3 miles back in 2019 along with a PR of 17:52 for 5K, but that wasn't reflected in her 3200 times this spring. That may be coincidental, though, since it appears she focused on shorter races, running 2:12 for the 800. The rising senior wasn't able to better her all-time best of 4:51 in the 1600 (set in the spring of 2019), which must have been frustrating, but she was able to lead Canyon to the 6th-best returning team 1600 ranking in California and is clearly in very good shape.

Putting Hadley and Oliva together in the fall will make for a potent 1-2 punch, and there is plenty of talent to support them. Looking back to 2019, Canyon ranked 6th in the state in the returning 3 mile, putting their top 5 under 19:05. We certainly can't leave out rising senior Isabella Frisone, who clocked 17:37 two years ago and ran 5:04/11:10 this past spring. Junior Keira Potter looked strong on the track, as did sophomores Lindsay Guthrie and Heather Greenbaum

A track season like that is what you call "making the best of the circumstances," and it certainly left Canyon with a solid core to build with over the summer. If the Comanches can develop one or two more runners to compete for the top 7 (perhaps a return from Teaghan Carr or Diana Bolton?), this will be a very dangerous team in the CIF-SS race with a chance to make an impact at the state meet.