Top 7 2A Girls to Watch for in 2019 XC Season

It's going to be one of those years where you have no idea what to expect at the 2A level, specifically on the girls side. But that's the fun thing about sports, right? Not knowing who is going to show up when it counts most and proving they are the best in the state. One of my toughest lists I have put together, here are the top 2A girls to watch for this cross country season.

Lauren Larson - Port Angeles

Lauren Larson. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

Another great cross season last fall for Lauren Larson finishing in fourth place at the 2A state meet, six placings higher than her freshman season, running a time of 19:04.2. Ran a personal best time of 18:44.3 at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite. Track was an even better season for Larson as she was the runner-up in the 800 and 3,200 and third in the 1,600 at the state meet. In all three state races, which were ran in three days, Larson ran personal best times of 2:14.47, 5:03.04, and 10:54.11. This is one of the reasons why Larson is my favorite to win the individual crown as she has shown how physically and mentally tough she can be when it comes to running against the best in the state.

MaryAlice Mitchell - Washington

MaryAlice Mitchell. Photo courtesy of RunnerSpace.

MaryAlice Mitchell was one of few freshman in the state to have a great first year of high school running in cross country and track. In the fall, Mitchell placed fifth at the state meet running a personal best time of 19:09.5 and was the highest placing freshman in the race. She then went on to become a state champion in track winning the 800 in a personal best time of 2:14.08. Mitchell also qualified for the 1,600 where she placed fourth in another personal best time of 5:03.7, dropping 10 seconds from her previous best. Coming into her sophomore season, Mitchell is another contender in the hunt for a state title, but a for sure top three finisher.

Allyson Peterson - Hockinson

Allyson Peterson. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

Allyson Peterson was the Hawks top runner last cross season as she ran 19:22.5 to finish in eighth place in Pasco at the state meet. She ran a personal best time earlier on at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite in a time 18:43.5. Qualifying for the state track meet in two events in the spring, Peterson was 11th in the 1,600 running 5:19 and eighth in the 3,200 running a personal best time of 11:04.93. I see the potential in Peterson, and I think she is a top five finisher.

Leah Holmgren - Ellensburg

Leah Holmgren. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

The No. 1 returning runner from the cross country season has her eyes set on a state title this upcoming year. Leah Holmgren was third at state last year running a time of 18:54.5 after having placed 38th the year before. She ran a personal best time of 18:34.2 at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite. During track, Holmgren was sixth in the 1,600 and fifth in the 3,200 at the state meet running personal best times of 5:03.85 and 10:57.38. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, it's hard to pick who was going to win the 2A state individual title, but Holmgren is also in the talks. Holmgren and Port Angeles' Larson will meet at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite for a pre-state match-up.

Annika Esvelt - West Valley (Spokane)

Annika Esvelt. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

The daughter of West Valley record holder for the boys 1,600 and 3,200 and current boys cross country head coach, Mark Esvelt, Annika Esvelt looks to lead the Eagles to there second consecutive state team title after winning by tie breaker last year. She placed 23rd at the state meet running a season best time of 20:08.5, which makes her the only runner of the seven to