The cross country season is officially here.
A handful of athletes of debuted their fall seasons this weekend, while most of the nation's top athletes are still logging the miles and preparing for their first races.
As we look forward to this season, here are three girls who could potentially become breakout stars on the cross country course. These three ladies are among the most dynamic talents to feature on courses this fall.
Jane Hedengren, Timpview (UT)
Class of 2025
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Hedengren had an extremely memorable calendar year as a sophomore.
Last fall she captured her first cross country state title. She then wrapped up the fall with an 11th-place finish at Nike Southwest Regional.
Along with becoming the Utah state champion in both the 1,600m and 3,200m, and winning the Brooks PR mile with a time of 4:35, Hedengren clocked the fastest two-mile time by a sophomore in history at Nike Outdoor Nationals. The rising junior set a lifetime best of 9:54.38.
The biggest question leading into this fall?
How will Hedengren respond after a breakout spring season?
We believe the momentum will carry into the fall, therefore, we could witness another unforgettable year from Hedengren.
She has the potential to qualify for nationals and toe the line with the nation's best cross country runners. Her resume speaks volumes.
Jaelyn Williams, Eastlake (CA)
Class of 2026
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As a freshman, Williams had opportunities to face many of the nation's best competitors.
Starting with the CIF Division I Cross Country State Championships, Williams finished fourth with a 5K lifetime best of 17:38. To cap off her fall season, Williams finished 74th overall at Nike Cross Nationals.
She was able to bounce back during the spring and clocked 2:14 for 800m, 4:55 for the full mile and finished fourth at the CIF Outdoor State Championships in the 3,200m with a best of 10:11.
She continued to push her limits as she competed at Nike Outdoor Nationals in the two mile and finished as the second-fastest freshman with a time of 10:28 for eighth-place.
Williams' first season in high school was just a snapshot of what she is capable of.
Even as an underclassman, she toed the line against the nation's fastest competitors at the state and national level.
With one year underneath her belt and the experience to go with it, the rising sophomore is an athlete to have your eyes on this fall.
Liesel Kehoe, Edmond North (OK)
Class of 2024
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Even though her calendar year was shorter in regard to the number of races she ran, Kehoe rose to the occassion this year.
After finishing fifth as a sophomore, she won her first OSSAA State Cross Country Championship title last fall.
In her first-ever appearance at the Nike South Regional, Kehoe was third overall and was able to earn a spot to compete at Nike Cross Nationals. From there, she finished 23rd overall at nationals.
The following spring, she competed in two races. As a junior, she clocked a 5:12 for 1,600m and 11:08 in the 3,200m at the Oklahoma State Outdoor Championships.
If healthy, Kehoe can be one of the top seniors this year on the cross country course and on the track.