30 Girls Teams to Watch this Fall: JSerra (SS)

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.

Rather than build up to them, we are coming out strong with the top team in the Southern Section as we feature the girls of J Serra. Not only are they the defending state and section champions for Division 4, the Lions return most of the crew to earn that hardware from 2021.

From last year's State Meet Championship run, they return all five scorers from that group while keep in mind that they did not compete at their best with a projected major scorer not in the mix. On top of the group they return, they also add two of the top incoming age-groupers into the mix.

After leading Mission Viejo to the podium with a third-place podium finish at the 2018 State Meet, head coach Chase Frazier has hit a gold mine since moving down the freeway to J Serra.
Sophomore Brynn Garcia is their top returner with an 18:04.0 best on the Woodward Park, 5K State Meet course with senior Anastasia Snodgrass (18:43.3). Junior Brook O'Brien (18:58.2), and senior Cameron Murphy (19:15.4) also shined during the 2021 postseason on the championship course. But, keep in mind that J Serra captured the divisional state title without Georgia Jeanneret scoring. The incoming junior cruised to an 18:58.0 on the Mt. SAC course in October.

Two incoming freshmen, will make an immediate impact as Summer Wilson was the AAU 13-14 national age group champion over 4000 meters last December at 14:16.3, just ahead of Kaylah Tasser at 14:19.0. Both will don the Lions uniform this upcoming Fall. Wilson brings a 10:13.69 best for 3000 meters from last month with Tasser bringing her 10:14.53 resume to the group as well.

Up in Mammoth next week for training, the group will set huge goals of not only defending their state title but also aspiring to the NXN podium in December.  No group returns more leg speed to the statewide picture as they return three legs from their national championship 4x800 squad (8:52.68) from last month. Their top five returners from 2021 bring an outstanding 5:02.10 average for the mile!

Now a sophomore, Garcia ran a 10:38.18 for 3200 meters last month to compliment her 5:02.47 lifetime best for the mile. Snodgrass is coming into the summer off a 2:10.75/4:58.39 (mile) breakout campaign this past Spring while Jeanneret posted 2:12.66 and 4:58.01 performances this past Spring. O'Brien also improved on the oval with 2:14.74 and 5:00.13 efforts in 2022.

2021 Returning Times for 5000 Meters

JSerra Catholic (SS) 
1) Brynn Garcia18:04.0028
2) Anastasia Snodgrass18:43.3076
3) Brooke O'Brien18:58.20112
4) Cameron Murphy19:15.40160
5) Ellie Johnson19:30.90196
Average Time: 18:54.36 Total Time: 1:34:31.80 1-5 Split: 1:26.90
6) Georgia Jeanneret19:47.10241

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Mark Gardner is a teacher, former coach, in-demand announcer, and a regular contributor to MileSplit.

Photos by Raymond Tran