30 Girls XC Teams to Watch this Fall: Menlo Atherton (CC)

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.

Menlo Atherton (CC/Division 1)

Last season, Menlo Atherton had one of the absolute best teams in the section but had the misfortune of competing in the deepest and strongest division, Division I. The result was a team victory for Los Gatos which meant that only one additional team would qualify for the state meet. Menlo Atherton ended up tied for 2nd place with Los Altos and unfortunately lost the 6th man tie-break for a heartbreaking 3rd place finish. Los Altos ended up finishing in 6th place at the state meet which very much displayed the strength of the section teams in this division.

This season, Menlo Atherton should once again be among the best teams in the section, and with the restructuring of the divisions may not have the same gauntlet of strong teams to contend with in November. They will once again be led by junior Tatum Olesen who qualified for last year's cross country state meet as an individual and then posted 2:12.05 and 5:04.36 personal records on the track. Along with Olesen, MA will return the next three best runners from their strong squad from last season, Katie Lorenz, Sofia Melani, and Annie Pflaum.

Top Returning Times for Multiple Distances

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Photo courtesy of Menlo Atherton coach, Eric Wilmurt.