As the 2019 high school cross country gets started this week, Catholic teams are at or near the top of the initial CIF-Southern Section divisional polls released Aug. 26.

In boys’ cross country, Cathedral — fifth in the 2018 CIF-SS championships and 11th in the state meet — is ranked No. 1 in Division 4. J.Serra — second in last year’s final rankings and in the CIF meet, and sixth in the state — is ranked ninth.

Loyola is ranked second in Division 2, having finished fourth in state and second at CIF in Division 2 last year. St. John Bosco is fourth in D-3. (The CIF-SS bases its divisions for cross country on school enrollment.)

Among girls’ teams, La Reina has the highest opening week ranking, No. 4 in Division 5. Santa Margarita is eighth in D-3, and Mayfield is seventh in D-4, after finishing eighth in the final 2018 poll, fifth at CIF, and seventh in the state.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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