With Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and La Cañada High’s girls’ track and field teams returning a number of key contributors from last season, all three squads will look to place high in their respective leagues.
The local trio is looking to distance runners to lead the way this season, while the Tologs will also lean on their hurdlers and relay teams.
Flintridge Prep will have plenty of depth in the distance races. The Rebels lacked in depth last season, something they hope to rectify this season under coach Nick Ponticello.
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Leading the charge will be distance runners Kaitlyn Kelleher, Kate Evans and Ashley Lara. The trio will participate in the 1,600- and 3,200 races.
Miah Webb and Samantha Davies will be the main sprinters for the Rebels, who will also feature Cassie Redding in the hurdles.
“I think we have developed more interest and getting more of a turnout in terms of numbers,” Ponticello said. “In order for us to do well, it will depend on some of the new blood.”
At Flintridge Sacred Heart, the Tologs will feature a quartet of prominent athletes.
Returning for Flintridge Sacred Heart will be Noëlle Niederhaus in the 800 and 1,600, Hailey James in the hurdles and Daelyn Moon and Kayla Montgomery in the 400 and relays.
Gorton said the Tologs will aim for a top-three finish in the Mission league.
“We have a little larger team than we’ve had in the last few years,” Gorton said. “It’s going to be about trying to fill some spots and seeing where we are able to go from there. With Noëlle, we’ve set some lofty goals. One of them is to get her to state.”
La Cañada is also aiming at a top-three finish in the Rio Hondo League with distance runners returning from the cross-country team.
The Spartans will be led by senior Sonja Cwik, the All-Area Girls’ Cross-Country Runner of the Year for this past season, and junior Anna Frederich, a first-team All-Area cross-country runner.
Katie Wagner, a junior, will lead the team’s sprinters, La Cañada Cañada Coach Casey Mollett said.
With South Pasadena High the clear favorites to win another league title, Mollett said the Spartans will look to contend with Monrovia and San Marino for third or even second place after a third-place showing in 2012.
“I would hope that we could at least maintain our position in girls,” Mollett said, “if not perhaps move up a rung.”