But with the return of Marchant, the steady improvement of Porter, the quick development of newcomer Kasey Mann, along with Brianna Repke and Jordan Balletto, Ruland believes that “we have a solid top 5 and are positioned well for the larger meets.”
Those big meets begin this weekend with the Cape Ann League Open.
Lancers vie for title
Londonderry’s girls, who may have the most depth of any team in recent memory, will be vying for its first Division 1 state title since 1994 Saturday at Derryfield Park.
The Lancers, who were third in the Elite division at the Manchester Invitational, have had five different girls place first including freshman Maddie McKivergan, who has come on strong late in the season.
Seniors who have placed first are Sydney Lagueux, Colleen Kennedy, Cassandra Cronin and Alissa Rogers. Close behind are classmates Amanda Szymanski and Devin Boyle, both of whom are capable of being in front.
Londonderry’s chief competition will probably be defending champion Bishop Guertin, who the Lancers beat by one place at the Manhattan Invitational. Manchester Central is also a title threat.
On the boys side, Pinkerton will need a near-perfect day to overcome favored Winnacunnet.
Also on tap Saturday are the Merrimack Valley Conference, Cape Ann League and Commonwealth conference meets, the latter of which unbeaten Greater Lawrence should win on the boys side.
Splaine out for year
The Presentation of Mary girls team received a blow when it was decided that standout sophomore Maria Splaine would be lost for the season with an injured achillies. That pretty much explains why the Panthers are experiencing a rare losing season.
On a positive note, Sydney Moran has developed into a reliable No. 1 runner and the boys team last week won its second meet.