The Dark Horse: Girls 5A Pre-Season

Pomona sophomore Emma Stutzman is one runner to keep an eye on this fall.

Dark Horse: "A previously less known person or thing that emerges to prominence in a situation, especially in a competition involving multiple rivals."

Where to start?

I'll admit, it was difficult to sift through potential Dark Horses within the girl's 5A field, because the top-nine finishers from the 2019 Colorado State Championships return. And I'll be honest, of the nine very few fit the description of a "dark horse" to 100% accuracy. 

Add the lack of an outdoor track season to the difficulty in deciphering who fits this definition...

So, to clarify: this list is subjective, and taken from the 2019 cross country season. The criteria used to come up with the following athletes was heavily based on how sharp of a curve a runner had from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. 

And bare with me - some drastic leaps cannot be predicted. If I was a writer piecing this season preview article together for the 2001 Georgia 5A cross country season, I wouldn't have picked me - I was 54th at State the previous year.

We know of the big name favorites that exist, but here are a few runners that could make the leap from mixing it up with The Chase, to leading the pack.

Next Page: Three (with a Bonus) runners to keep an eye on this fall...