A word or two about how the members of this team were selected is in order. I'm pretty sure I don't want to answer these questions by way of email a few times over.
Each athlete is evaluated on the basis of both cross country and track performances over the past school year. Cross country performances receive slightly more weighting than track times. Even though more distant in time, cross country times (and places!) reflect performances over the actual 5K race distance and not over shorter distances. Also, cross country performances more or less assume the same coach from year to year, a fact which is more likely to produce similar performances than if the coaching varies as much as it can with track. Where injuries impact an entire season, I am willing to look back to performances from the previous school year, but there must also be a realistic look at what kind of position the athlete is in to return to that level.
A cross country team is seven, so I've limited the selections to seven (or six, in the case of 2A). I will list only seven preseason all-state entries. Honorable mentions invite a black hole of athlete-by-athlete comparisons that I have zero desire to delve into. In this case, you will find eight athletes selected as preseason all-state. There were too many too close to go to seven. I couldn't justify leaving certain individuals in a grouping in but leaving one out, so I ended up with eight.
Clearly, there is some subjectivity involved in weighing performances. That cannot be helped. And, there was more subjectivity in this set than in the two preceding sets of preseason all-state selections.
In each case the cover photo is assigned to the highest-placing returning finisher from last year's state meet who has been selected to the team. Selections are presented in alphabetical order within the article. I am selecting no incoming freshmen as preseason all-state. Perhaps a case or two could be made for that, but it's not a path I want to head down for now.
With that as introduction, let's launch into our 5A Girls preseason all-state team...