30 Girls XC Teams to Watch this Fall: Granite Bay (SJ)

It's time to get fired up for cross country! Our traditional XC countdown is back, although it may look a little different this time around - our longtime data analyst Jeff George has moved on, leaving this energizing project to the MileSplit team in CA. Our collective goal is to briefly highlight 30 boys and 30 girls teams that we think will have an impact this fall. We will spotlight one team per gender per day over a 30-day period. Similar to past countdowns, we will provide a cross-sampling of teams from all 10 sections without regard to statewide or even division ranking (those will come later, as will articles previewing each section, and returning athletes to watch). As always, if you catch an error or have updated information for us, email CA state editor Jeffrey Parenti (jeffrey.parenti@flosports.tv) and we'll make the corrections.

Tremendous returning depth, including sophomores Lizzy Hansen (448) and Grace Baxter (441), makes Granite Bay one of the top teams to watch in CA this cross country season. (James Leash photo)
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Granite Bay (SJ/Division 2)

The girls cross country team at Granite Bay projects as one of the top returning teams in the state. The Grizzlies return all five scores from the 2021 CIF-State Championships where they placed third in Division II, and four of their five scorers from the Sac-Joaquin Section Final where they beat St. Francis for the title. St. Francis had won the previous three titles -- all pre-pandemic -- in D2. It was the first section win for Granite Bay since winning D-1 in 2010 and the Grizzlies first D-2 title since winning four in a row between 2000-2003. 

Carly Foster, the lone senior among the core returners, leads the Grizzlies. Foster placed second at the SJS Finals and followed that with a 13th place showing at the State Meet. She is the No. 6 returner from that D-II race. 

Foster placed second in the SJS in the 1600-meters and ran at the State Meet. She has PRs of 4:58.94 and 10:52.98.

Juniors Emily Allison and Morgan McKenna were scorers for the Grizzlies in the post-season meets last fall, with Allison a consistent No. 2 and McKenna running No. 5 at both SJS and State. Allison went 5:21.15/11:28.39 on the track in the spring and McKenna went 5:26.18 for 1600m. 

Sophomores Lizzy Hansen, who ran No. 4 at both post-season XC meets, and Grace Baxter, who ran No. 3 at State, give the Grizzlies lineup both experience and depth. In the spring, Hansen went 5:22.24/11:54.54 and Baxter ran 5:16.22/11:49.83. 

Granite Bay, which graduated just one senior from its top seven, will look for backend depth among returners from junior Courtney Franz (a consistent No. 7 last fall), senior Olivia Wiese, and sophomores Sofia Falk, Sarah Ehrlich, and Jacqueline Ullyott.

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2021 Returning Times for 5000 Meters

Granite Bay (SJ)
1) Carly Foster17:51.4022
2) Emily Allison18:29.9061
3) Grace Baxter18:39.5079
4) Morgan McKenna18:46.1094
Average Time: 18:26.72 Total Time: 1:13:46.90 1-4 Split: 54.70
5) Lizzy Hansen19:01.60133
6) Courtney Franz20:34.60505
7) Olivia Wiese21:07.80675
Scoring is against all returning girls in CA.