Charleston Catholic's girls, No. 5 in the power rankings, feature solid distance runners and relay teams.
Boys Class AA
Bridgeport is the team to watch behind distance runner Abe Merinar. However, Merinar will have to deal with Fairmont Senior's Nick Trefz and Scott's Will Shaffer, the latter the defending state champ in the 1,600 and 3,200.
Christian Buckley of Poca brings the state's top marks in the shot put (49-11) and discus (162-81/2).
Girls Class AA
Frankfort figures to be the odds-on favorite for the championship trophy due to the presence of Bria Welker and Katie Jan, who combined for all 74 of their team's points last year.
Welker, who won four state-meet events a year ago, leads the pack in the 100, 200, 400 and 300 hurdles. Jan runs in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 4x400 and became the first athlete in the 37-year history of the Mineral County school to receive an appointment to the Naval Academy.
Boys Class AAA
Jefferson looks to be an overwhelming choice to snag its fourth straight title, something that hasn't been done in this division since Cabell Midland (1996-99).
Besides sprinter and Division I recruit Dante Price, the Cougars boast a 22-foot long jumper (Martinez Grant), a 6-10 high jumper (Jordan Hardiman) and a top-notch hurdler (Warren Gray). A false start in the regional 4x100, however, denies that exchange a chance to better its own state meet record set last year.
Midland brings top guns Burcham and hurdler Nate Moore, but could be running for second to Jefferson.
The Kanawha Valley owns the state's top effort in just one event this season - the pole vault, as Capital's Tristan Slater and Winfield's Chris Cochran have each cleared 13-6. George Washington's Matt Brafford will chase Burcham in the 1,600 and 3,200.
Girls Class AAA
Morgantown and Buckhannon-Upshur are expected to battle it out for the championship, each flexing its muscle in its own separate events.
The Mohigans lean on sprinter Natasha Trott and pole vaulter-long jumper Rebekah LaFata. The Bucs sport nine-time individual state champ Emily Godwin in the hurdles and jumps and the weight-tossing trio of Mackenzie Leigh, Mercedes Dowell and Megan Wilfong.
Godwin could get a challenge in the 100 hurdles, as John Marshall freshman Torri Derrow holds the state's fastest clocking of 14.82 seconds.
Barkley Castro of Winfield is the top-rated runner in the 800 and the Generals hold the state's best time of 49.58 in the 4x100.
Winfield is No. 5 and Hurricane No. 9 in the power ratings. Those are two schools that accounted for the Kanawha Valley's last state track titles - in 2008, Hurricane claimed AAA girls and Winfield swept AA girls and boys.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.