Preseason MileSplit50 Top 25 Girls Team Rankings Countdown

4. Air Academy (CO)

- - -

Analysis: Colorado is always a strong state when it comes to high school cross country. But it feels like 2023 could be a year where we see three teams inside the top 10 at some point. Air Academy, with a superstar tandem like Bethany Michalak (senior) and Tessa Walter (junior), will be tough to beat. 

Air Academy nabbed a Colorado Class 5A state title last year with an 18:31 average -- only the Niwot girls were faster at 18:20.

At NXR Southwest, Air Academy finished third to Niwot and Lone Peak, two teams that are ranked above them this fall.

At NXN, Air Academy finished seventh overall. 

The talent is there. So is the depth. All seven athletes from last year's state championship team return in 2023. The battle to make the top seven will be a fight all of it's own on this team. But watch up top. That's where this program will shine with Walter and Michalak, who could easily go 1-2 in every race they run this year, potentially even at the regional level. 

A top 10 finish for both at nationals isn't out of the question, either. Air Academy returns the fifth-fastest average in the country at 17:46.88.



25Aug. 29 -- Northwest Nelson (TX)
24Aug. 29 -- Minnetonka (MN)
23Aug. 29 -- Assumption (KY)
22Aug. 29 -- Rancho Cucamonga (CA)
21Aug. 29 -- Los Altos (CA)
20Aug. 30 -- Campolindo (CA)
19Aug. 31 -- North Allegheny (PA)
18Sept. 1 -- Ventura (CA)
17Sept. 2 -- Boise Senior (ID)
16Sept. 3 -- Lucas Lovejoy (TX)
15Sept. 5 -- American Fork (UT)
14Sept. 6 -- The Webb School (TN)
13Sept. 7 -- JSerra Catholic (CA)
12Sept. 7 -- Portland Jesuit (OR)
11Sept. 7 -- Elmhurst York (IL)
10Sept. 7 -- Southlake Carroll (TX)
9Sept. 8 -- Mt. Prospect (IL)
8Sept. 8 -- Mountain Vista (CO)
7Sept. 8 -- Saratoga Springs (NY)
6Sept. 8 -- Cuthbertson (NC)
5Sept. 9 -- Flower Mound (TX)
4Sept. 9 -- Air Academy (CO)
3Sept. 9 -- Lone Peak (UT)
2Sept. 9 -- Buchanan (CA)
1Sept. 9 -- Niwot (CO)