Daviess County might have lost some talent from its state runner-up Class 3-A team, but the Lady Panthers are looking for a 13th straight regional championship and to be a contender for a top finish at the state meet once again.
Owensboro Catholic will have Alex Scheithe back. Scheithe was sixth overall in the Class A state meet.
Both Apollo and Owensboro High School seem to be in a rebuilding phase.
There are over 20 runners out for Apollo, which will help offset the losses from the 2018 senior class. It's been obvious who did well running in the offseason.
"My top girls are already faster now than what they were at by the end of the season last year," Apollo coach Audrey Sparks said. "I'm hoping that the jayvee team will be inspired by the hard work the varsity is putting in and will continue on that legacy."
The best E-Gals runners are interchangeable early in the season.
"It flips between Angel King, Baylee Hare and Abby Rumage, those three push each other so much in practice they treat every workout as if were a race," Sparks said.
Daviess County will move on after a fine career from the graduated Karlee Hoffman. She was second individually in last year's 3-A state meet, helping the Lady Panthers to a second-place finish to powerhouse Oldham County.
Two juniors and a sophomore will look to move up and make their own names this season. Ainsley Taylor, Emily Ann Roberts are the juniors, and Emily Rempe is the sophomore.
"They will be mixing it up for the one-two-three positions, which is exactly what you want," veteran DC coach Mark Fortney said. "We have no seniors on the squad, but we do have experience."
Another large group of juniors including Avery Heath, Kyra Rowan and Destiny Mills are all working for top seven spots.
Fortney is looking to get DC ready for postseason with big meets in Memphis, Tennessee; Dayton, Ohio and Louisville a couple of times.
"We have a very strong race schedule this season," Fortney said. "It looks to be an exciting season for this squad. Our focus and commitment has been really good in the preseason. They have set some high goals for the year and, my expectations are very high for this gritty team."
The Lady Devils are in rebuilding mode. OHS coach Gary Mesplay was hoping the team could find a few more runners once school started.
"I expect Ashley Colburn to have a good season," Mesplay said. "Ashley will be a sophomore and has been working hard this summer. Alondra and Claudette Villalpando have been working hard to improve their running as well."
OHS will be hosting the Border Clash early in the season and the Owensboro Invitational.
The Lady Aces will have experience with eight seniors coming back. The top of that list is Scheithe.
"She looks really strong right now, she put in a lot of time this summer, and she was a Governor's Scholar," longtime Catholic coach Jim Ivey said. Scheithe was an All-State performer with her finish in the state meet.
Katie Hayden, Kate Weafer, Anna Lee Meyer and Bethany Mayfield are some other seniors who should have good seasons. They were scorers in meets last season along with Scheithe.
The Lady Aces were two points short of Green County in last year's regional meet.
"Our team had a goal of winning regional, and we're trying to get that done," Ivey said. "The key is to keep them healthy. As I laid out the schedule, I'm not going to over race them, we're trying to get it done at the end when it counts most. Had some great success having kids peak and PR when it counts."
Hailie Lamar will be Hancock County's top runner this season. Lamar won the 800 and 1,600 at the regional meet last spring and she was third in the regional cross country meet and 12th in the state meet.
"I expect that we'll have a pretty solid pack behind Hailie who will do a good job of pushing each other," Hancock County coach Wes Meserve said.
Erica Lindsey, Della Nevitt, Aly Voyles and Morgan Curry are the girls in that running back.
"I think we'll be in good shape by the end of the season if everyone stays healthy," Meserve said.
Rachel Free was in the top 15 in the regional meet last season for Muhlenberg County. Free returns for her sophomore season.
Ohio County was 10th in the regional meet last season.
Trinity will have one individual running this season.