The transition from freshman runner to experienced sophomore is a touchstone for many athletes who get an early taste of varsity action. Heading into the 2017 season, some of the emergent sophomores nationally could charge up the ranks and begin to establish themselves as contenders at top levels.
If 2016 was of any indication, the talent at the top of the class remains as strong as ever. McKinney North's London Culbreath, who is fresh off a phenomenal freshman campaign in Texas that saw her grab a state cross country championship in Class 5A, a 12th place performance at NXN and two more state titles in the 1600m and 3200m over the spring season, should vie for some national hardware.
But the same can be said for Glenbard West's High's Katelynne Hart. The super sophomore almost mirrored Culbreath's course work in 2016, winning her first state cross country title in Illinois, finishing 18th at NXN and doubling in the 1600m and 3200m over the spring.
The duo could battle it out for supremacy this year for the best of the Class of 2018. But who else could emerge this year?
Below, take a peek at the top 500 sophomores in the country.
Top 500 Class of 2020 XC Girls