Emma Arredondo of Bishop Amat in the Southern Section was voted as the MileSplitCA Senior Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year in a statewide poll conducted though our partners at FanPower. Arredondo received 44 percent of the vote. Kaiya Brooks of Crystal Springs Uplands (CC) was second, receiving 33 percent of the vote.
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The MileSplitCA All-State Cross Country teams are subjective selections based on results within the class at the State Meet, section championships, and marquee events like Clovis and Mt. SAC.
Each senior class team is expanded to eight on the line to recognize more amazing performances from these Class of 2023 athletes.
Additionally, we conducted polls asking fans to select each class team's runner of the year. Those winners are acknowledged above with a banner photo and included in our first team.
MILESPLITCA ALL-STATE SENIOR GIRLS XC
EMMA ARREDONDO (Bishop Amat/SS)
She had six race wins, including the D-345 Individual Sweepstakes at Mt. SAC where her time of 17:43.00 was eighth overall in the massive merge of the two-day meet and second among seniors. She also won at Rough Rider, placed fifth in the Division IV race at State with an 18:08.4 PR as the top senior in that race.
KAIYA BROOKS (Crystal Springs Uplands/CC)
With a 24-second victory, she romped her way to the Division V individual title in 17:54.2. Brooks also led her squad to the slim two-point upset to double-dip with the team title as well. Her 17:44.7 divisional title run at the Central Coast Section championships was the fourth overall for the meet. She ended by placing 13th at the Champs Sports Western Regionals.
ELLIE BUCKLEY (Campolindo/NC)
As their top scorer at the state meet, she placed third (17:53.9) in the Division III final, leading the charge in Campolindo's state title and ascension as one of the top squads in the nation. Her best race came at the Team Nationals as she placed 26th overall (17:50.7) and was the second-fastest Californian girl at the meet. Buckley also placed second at the North Coast Section divisional finals.
ANNA CHITTENDEN (Mira Costa/SS)
Like most Mira Costa runners of the past, she stepped up her game in November, peaking with a runner-up finish at the state meet (17:32.0) in the Division II race. With a savvy last half of the race being her trademark, she also placed second at the CIF-SS finals. Chittenden qualified for the Team Nationals, where she placed 75th overall to be the seventh-best Californian.
KELLI GAFFNEY (Great Oak/SS)
Southern Section Division 1 champion (17:29.1) while leading her team to the title. Her time ranked sixth in the merge and second among senior girls. Won the Large Division Sweepstakes race at Mt. SAC (17:33.0), No. 4 overall and top senior in the merge. Placed fifth at Bob Firman (18:32.30).
GRACE HUTCHISON (Buchanan/CS)
Placed second at the state meet (17:30.3) at the California state meet for Division I to lead her Buchanan to another state championship. She backed it up at the Team Nationals with a solid 29th placing (17:51.6) to place as the third Californian in the race. Earlier at the TRAC championships, she ran to the win in a best of 17:18.9 on the Woodward Park 5k course. She will attend BYU next year.
KATIE KOPEC (Whitney/SJ)
Katie closed out a stellar high school career with a second consecutive Division 2 individual title while leading her team to the SJS title. The Oregon State signee then went on to qualify for the Champs National Cross Country Championships.
LAUREN SOOBRIAN (Los Altos/CC)
The fastest girl at the Central Coast Section Finals, running 17:29.0 on the Crystal Springs course to capture her second section title while leading her team to a second consecutive division title. During the fall, before an injury slowed her at State and kept her off the line at Team Nationals, the Duke commit won seven of nine races. Despite running through injury, she placed 13th in the D-II race to help her team to the title.
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Elizabeth Fetter (Palo Alto/CC) - After placing fourth at the Central Coast Section Finals, she returned with a 17:56.3 performance to place sixth in the D-II race at State. The West Point commit placed top-six in all eight races.
Ailish Hawkins (Newbury Park/SS) - Led her team to a third consecutive CIF-SS title, and a runner-up finish at State. Placed fourth at State (17:48.2), sixth at CIF-SS (17:55.5) and was the No. 2 CA senior at Woodbridge with a 3-mile PR of 16:22.3.
Ashlyn Leath (Clovis North/CS) - Placed 10th in the D-I race at State (17:54.1, the No. 6 time by a senior girl at the meet). She was fourth (behind a trio from Buchanan) at the Central Section finals. Champs National Cross Country Championships qualifier.
Allura Markow (Dana Hills/SS) - (pictured above) Southern Section Division 3 champion (17:31.4), the Oregon signee placed eighth at the State Meet (18:08.4). Ran 17:59.7 at the Clovis Invite. Champs National Cross Country Championship qualifier.
Brianne Smith (Quartz Hill/SS) - Placed sixth in the CIF-SS Finals, running 17:55.5 and helping her team qualify for State. It was her third trip to State and first with her team. She placed eighth in the D-I race at State (17:46.6).
Amelia Stacey (El Cerrito/NC) - Stacey finished in fourth at the NCS Meet of Champions. She finished sixth at State (18:03.4). During the season, Stacey had top-four finishes at the Farmer, Crystal Springs, and Phil Wilder Invitationals.
Hillary Studdert (Palo Alto/CC) - Placed seventh in the Division II race at the State Meet, running a 5K PR of 17:56.85. The Stanford commit placed seventh in the CCS final as Palo Alto placed second to nationally ranked Los Altos.
Jadyn Zdanavage (Portola/SS) - In her third trip to the State Meet, this Michigan signee ran 17:58.1 to place eighth in the Division II championship race. She also rolled to 17:44.9 for a fourth-place finish at the CIF-SS Finals.
SENIOR GIRLS HONORABLE MENTION
Photos by DeAnna Turner, Daniel Hernandez, James Leash, Jeffrey Parenti, and Raymond Tran
Jeffrey Parenti is the California State Editor for MileSplit
MileSplit Southern Section Editor Mark Gardner contributed to this article.