We're breaking down our MileSplit LA team's top 5 subjective rankings ahead of the cross country season on both the girl's and boy's sides! We'll release our full MileSplit LA Rankings after revealing the #1 teams and update them over the course of the cross country season.
No. 3 Vandebilt Catholic
Ella Chesnut - 1st
Brynn Kelso - 2nd
Logan Hamilton - 4th
Gracean Schexnayder - 5th
Caroline Lindsay - 3rd
Madison Richoux - 6th
Mary Naquin - 7th
Last year, Vandebilt Catholic took home the gold at the 4A XC State Meet. They did so by placing four of its runners within the top 6, an incredible feat that is rarely seen at the large school level. However, Vandebilt is losing three of its runners that competed at the state meet last season. To make up for that loss this season, Vandebilt will most likely rely heavily on its top runners, Ella Chesnut, Brynn Kelso, and Logan Hamilton. These runners will help carry the team this season, as they lead several young teammates with them throughout the season.
Sophomore Madelene Sonnier is still relatively new to the cross country stage. She has only competed in a total of four races over her career but holds the 7th best returning time for her team with a 22:21 3 Mile Sonnier may not have that much experience, but she will be sure to improve as she continues to compete and gain more experience.
Freshman Riley Hamilton enters into the high school stage with a personal best of 22:12 over 3 Miles. Last year was Hamilton's first year of competition and she had some fair finishes for an 8th-grader. She is not that experienced of a runner, but there is no doubt that she will improve based on the number of talented teammates she has to accompany her.
Sophomore Ava Lindsay returns with a season-best of 21:53, however, her best mark comes from her two years ago with a time of 20:43. Based on her season-best, she is the 5th fastest returner for the Terriers. Lindsay is, most likely, the most crucial part of Vandebilt's team. If Lindsay improves upon her previous season-best and drops more time like she did two years ago, Vandebilt will be in formidable shape this Fall.
Sophomore Gracean Schexnayder returns as the 4th best runner for the Terriers. Last year, she placed 19th at the state meet and recorded a season-best of 20:30. In 2019, Gracean finished 18th which shows her consistency at the state meet. On top of that, her personal best also comes from 2019 which stands at 20:00. Gracean is a crucial part of Vandebilt's team, and it seems that they can always rely on her to perform at the state meet.
Junior Logan Hamilton comes back as the 3rd fastest returner for Vandebilt and she by far not your average 3rd best runner. Hamilton is an exceptional runner with a personal best in the 3 Mile of 19:12, and she finished 6th as a sophomore at the 4A XC State Meet. If that was not impressive enough, her track times speak for themselves. She has personal bests of 5:44 for the 1600m and 11:43 for the 3200m. Not to mention, a third-place finish in the outdoor 4A 3200m. Hamilton is one of the best runners in the state and it is hard to believe that there are two more girls to talk about on this team.
Junior Brynn Kelso is an intimidating factor when paired up with teammate Ella Chesnut, these two are a strong 1-2 finish at any competition. Kelso has shown significant success from a young age with breaking 20-minutes for the 3 Mile in her first year of competition. Needless to say, she has maintained that momentum and now runs a blazing 18:09. Looking back to the cross country state meet, Kelso finished 4th, but it will be interesting to see if she can pull off a 1-2 finish with her teammate Chesnut this year. During the track season, Kelso continued to dominate with personal bests of 5:12 for 1600m and 2:17 for 800m. Not to mention a 2nd place finish in both the 800m and 1600m at the Indoor State Championships and a 2nd and 1st place finish in the 1600m and 800m, respectively, at the Outdoor State Championships.
Senior Ella Chesnut returns for her final season and comes back as one of the best runners in the entire state. It is interesting to note that Chesnut only ran three races last season, but she was, by far, one of the best runners regardless of classification. She recorded a personal best of 18:08 for three miles and eventually won the 4A XC State Meet. It should also be noted that that performance was the 7th fastest time ever run for 4A girls at the state meet. During the track season, Chesnut went on to dominate the field and ran times like 10:53 for the full two-mile, 18:24 for the 5000m, and 5:12 for the 1600m. It should also be mentioned that her 5000m time was only 8 seconds off of, now professional athlete and former Louisiana athlete, Gabrielle Jennings. Chesnut has for sure cemented herself within the all-time list of Louisiana, but it will be even more interesting to see what she can pull off during her senior season.