Ailene may not be the quickest returning athlete but she very well could have the most upside. She has run 17:49 for 5K and most impressively went 10:48 as a frosh in the two mile two years ago. Those two times tell us one big thing, she loves the flat fast courses. That speed will bode well for her this season and that is why have her ranked 6th in our top returning list.
If we were having this conversation years ago it would be totally different but today the sport is so centered around raw speed. In the past the biggest meets in the state were always hilly races but today from October on it is about speed for Team VA. That major change is a big reason why we are highlighting Edwards in our preseason rankings over a lot of other great girls.
Now in the 4A state competition, Blacksburg and Edwards will have their hands full with a lot of teams and athletes making our list but the way we look at it is that they will have their hands full with her awesome ability.