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. 1 St. Joseph's Academy
Elise Jones - 2nd
Emma Hendry - 3rd
Ava Lemoine - 4th
Grace Rennhoff - 5th
Maddie Gardiner - 7th
Sophie Martin - 1st
Lydia Poche - 6th
Last on our subjective rankings is St. Joseph's Academy. St. Joseph is easily one of the most successful girl's cross country programs in the past decade, as well as, arguably, in state history. The Redstickers have won a total of 12 state championships over the entire course of its cross country program, however, the last 5 of those titles have been won consecutively over the last five years. During that time, St. Joseph has reared some of the most talented girls in Louisiana distance running with names like Isabelle Brown, Sophie Martin, and Lauren Hendry.
St. Joseph's Academy picked up its 5th consecutive state title during 2020, and there is no doubt that they will be coming back with the goal of picking up a 6th. Although the team lost 1st and 6th runners from the state meet, they are still a formidable team.
Coming in as the 7th fastest returning runner for the Redstickers is senior Amelia Cochran. She did not compete at the state meet last year, but she did cap her cross country season with a personal best of 19:02. Even though she was not able to compete for her team last season at the state meet, Cochran is one of the fastest returning girls in the state and will make an exceptional addition to St. Joseph's top 7. This past weekend, Cochran competed at the Mobile Challenge of Champions and ran a time of 20:13 for the 5k, which equates to one of the fastest cross country races that she has ever run.
Next up is sophomore Stella Vincent. She competed in her first-ever cross country season during the 2020 season and showed to be a consistent runner who could often replicate performances in the mid-19-minute range. However, her best time comes from her own school's invitational race where she ran a best of 18:35. Although she did not compete at the state meet, Vincent is an excellent runner and could prove to be an asset during the season.
Sophomore Grace Rennhoff returns after her first year of competition for the Redstickers as the team's 5th runner from the 2020 state meet. She also managed a 22nd place finish in the 5A field at the state meet and even broke the 19-minute barrier earlier in the season with a time of 18:57. During the track season, she competed in the 1600m and 3200m, garnering times of 5:54 and 12:14 for each.
Senior Ava Lemoine is another key aspect of the St. Joseph machine. Her season culminated in a 13th place finish at the state meet as her team's 4th runner, on top of already running a personal best of 19:14 over 3 Miles. However, Lemoine did not stop there, she competed in the 1600m and 3200m during the winter and scored personal bests in both with times of 5:48 and 12:00, respectively. Lemoine is a consistent runner and will no doubt prove to be one of the best runners in the 5A field.
Junior Emma Hendry returns after a successful 2020 season. Some highlights include placing 9th at her first LHSAA competition, all while being her team's 3rd runner, as well as dipping under 19-minutes for 3 Miles with a time of 18:43. Looking at the track, Hendry continued to impress with an 11:50 3200m and 5:41 1600m. Now that Hendry has more experience under her belt, she will be sure to be an even greater threat this Fall.
Maddie Gardiner returns for her senior year with one of the fastest returning times in the state. Even though her performances stayed relatively the same from the 2019 season to 2020, she is still one of the best competitors in the state. Last year she claimed a season-best of 18:21 and a 27th place finish at the state meet. Her best performances came from 2019 with a time of 17:46 and a bronze medal at the state meet. Though she did not have the cross country season that some might have suspected she, in turn, dominated the track season. She finished 3rd and 4th for the 1600m and 3200m, respectively, at the Indoor State Championships, and took home the bronze in the same events during the Outdoor State Championships. Throughout that time she recorded personal best times of 5:15 for the 1600m and 11:26 for the full two-mile.
Senior Elise Jones rounds out St. Joseph's returning runners as the highest returning finisher from the 2020 state meet with a 4th place finish. On top of that, she rejoins the team the second-fastest team returning time of 18:32. Jones is a strong runner, and if all goes well for the Redstickers, Jones and Gardiner may find themselves together on the podium this Fall.