A look at some of the top contenders in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference this season. Order based on last year’s state finish.
Dania Holmberg, Eagle
Her ninth-place finish (19 minutes,12.23 seconds) at state last season is tops among returning runners in the Treasure Valley. Holmberg, a junior, has one win (Caldwell Twilight), a second-place finish (Camels Back Classic) and a third (Roger Curran) in meets this season. Her season-best (19:03.7) ranks eighth in the state.
McKenna Emerson, Eagle
The sophomore has flip-flopped wins with teammate Holmberg in races this season. Emerson won the season-opening Camels Back Classic in 19:02.59, which ranks seventh in the state, took second at Roger Curran and fourth at the Caldwell Twilight. She took 10th at state in 2014.
Carli Corpus, Rocky Mtn.
With three races under her belt, the senior has improved each week, running a season-best 19:20.43 for third at the Caldwell Twilight, a time that ranks 13th in the state. Corpus finished 13th at state last fall.
Mia Klopfenstein, Meridian
The junior ranks among the top 20 in the state after running a 19:27.40 at the Camels Back Classic on Aug. 29. Her career-best time is 18:54.91, which she ran at last year’s district championship.
Kari Taylor, Capital
The junior finished inside the top 20 at last year’s state meet in 19:35.76, but she obliterated that time with her season-opening win in the Jimmy Driscoll Classic in 18:32.6. That time ranks first in the state in any classification. Taylor took second at the Timberlake Invitational behind Moscow’s Katherine Ruck on Saturday.
Reagan Badger, Mtn. View
Badger broke 19 minutes for the first time in her career with an 18:46.90 time and a third-place finish at Jimmy Driscoll. Her previous best was 19:32.91 at last year’s district meet. The junior ranks fourth in the state but finished behind teammates Makenna Schuler and Breanna Stauter at the Timberlake Invitational.
Eve Jensen, Boise
The freshman had a strong debut at the Jimmy Driscoll Classic, finishing second in 18:37.1 for the second-fastest time in the state this season. She won the first varsity meet of her career at Roger Curran (18:57.90) at West Park in Nampa on Saturday.
Borah senior Sara Christianson would be the top returner in the state at the 5A level after finishing fifth last fall in 18:52.48. Christianson is out indefinitely with an injury, according to Borah coach Tim Severa.
5A SIC TEAMS TO WATCH
Timberline, last year’s state runner-up and 5A District Three champion, returns six of seven runners from last season — Jenna Waldo, Hannah Putnam, Sophie Stands, Megan Delorey, Presley Roldan and Maddy Latter. The Wolves unleashed their lineup for the first time last weekend at the Timberlake Invitational in Athol, finishing third.
Boise finished third a year ago, but it must replace three-time state champion Emily Hamlin and three other scoring runners from last season.
Fellow state team qualifiers Eagle (fourth), Mountain View (fifth), Rocky Mountain (seventh) and Meridian (eighth) are expected to contend again this season. Rocky Mountain won Jimmy Driscoll, the Caldwell Twilight and Roger Curran, while Meridian won the Camels Back Classic. Mountain View won a preview of the state meet at the Timberlake Invitational in Athol.
4A SIC AT A GLANCE
Bishop Kelly was the Treasure Valley’s top team finisher at state last fall, taking seventh. The Knights are likely the 4A SIC team to beat again, as they return senior Maggie Haener (13th at state) and four other state qualifiers, plus standout freshman Tatum Seastrand.