FARMINGTON — The high school cross country season is underway, and the teams in District 1-4A have high hopes for the upcoming season.
The schools have their first meets under their belts, and the coaches like what they've seen from their squads early in the year.
On the girls' side, Aztec has won the last three district titles, and, despite having just one senior -- Jessica Kresl -- on the team this year, head coach Steve Lanier expects a strong season from the Lady Tigers.
"We had a really good first meet," Lanier said. "The district will be strong. PV will be good. I thought Farmington looked good. Kirtland ran well with their new coach. I have high expectations for our whole district."
The Lady Tigers finished ahead of Kirtland Central and Farmington High at the Aztec Invitational on Thursday.
Lanier expects Aztec to build off the solid start to the year.
"We're a little bit younger than we have been with just the one senior, but it's a veteran group that knows how to work," he said.
PV is hoping to build off its fourth-place finish at state last year.
"This year, with the team we have back and the experience level, we're looking to solidify placing in the top five," said Lady Panthers' head coach Sampson Sage.
Like Lanier, Sage expects strong competition for the district title.
"Aztec and Kirtland have held the district flag since I can remember," Sage said. "It's always competitive, and I'm looking forward to squaring off as many times as possible."
On the boys' side, PV returns six runners from its district championship team, including senior captain Harrison Fleming.
"Having that leadership position taken for the last two years is big," Sage said. "He has grown into it and is leading by example."
The Panthers are hoping they'll be in the mix to place in the top three during the state meet.
"It would be nice to be always in top three like Los Alamos and Academy," Sage said. "Los Alamos graduated quite a bit. It will be really competitive, and four teams could get any of the three trophies. Our goal is to be in the mix and put ourselves in the best spot."
Aztec has a young squad on the boys' side, and Lanier is looking for them to qualify for the state meet.
"We're really young. I'll probably end up running some freshman on team," Lanier said. "It's a real hungry group. They watch all their times and splits and are self-motived. It's a fun group. Every week, they want to see an improvement."