South Region Top Girls To Watch
Rebecca Story, Christian Academy of Knoxville (TN), senior
Much like last year, Story will find out the extent of her fitness at Foot Locker Nationals. But she'll also test herself against the best talent she's faced this season, including favorite Claudia Lane of Malibu (CA). The Stanford signee is the second-fastest returner back from 2016. She finished third in 2016, posting a time of 17:35.43. So what's different this time around? Story won the Foot Locker South Regional on November 25 in 17:24.00. And the same? She generally dominated action in Tennessee over the course of the season, winning her second straight state title and producing wins at the Wendy's Invite and the Cherokee Farm Invitational. Story's career will end on a high note regardless of how she finishes, but another top-five performance would certainly be a great conclusion to a fantastic cross country career.
Heather Holt, George C. Marshall (VA), senior
Holt is a sleeper to watch out for in San Diego. The George C. Marshall and North Carolina State signee was injured to begin the season and is on training just shy of two months, so just reaching Foot Locker Nationals is an accomplishment in itself -- she was seventh at the South region --- after racing for the first time on November 10 at states in Virginia. She managed to finish third in the Group 6A championships in 18:20.0, then dropped 50 seconds in her qualifying bid at the South Region just two weeks later. So what can we expect from Holt? This will be her second straight appearance at nationals after placing 27th in 2016, but don't be surprised if she goes inside the top 20 here.
Bailey Hertenstein, Newsome (FL), senior
Florida runners don't always have the best of times in San Diego -- the hills at Balboa Park can be brutal -- but Hertenstein, a University of Indiana signee, is no stranger to Foot Locker Nationals. She finished 20th last year and is back for the second straight year after placing fifth at the South Region. Hertenstein also won her third straight Florida Class 4A championship in November and would be a safe pick to expect to finish in the top 20 again. Her best in 2017 was at state, where she ran 17:26.61.
Full List of Qualifiers