Checkpoints will be in place throughout the season for the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy track and field team. The athletes will receive evaluations from the Tologs' coaching staff at each juncture to help them get a better read on how they are faring in their respective events.
"It's something we'll be doing about once per month," Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Mario Aguilar said. "It's like going down a path to achieve the goals that we want and we'll be competing in a lot of invitationals, as well, to see who we might face in league or even CIF.
"The ultimate goal for us is to get several of our athletes to the Masters Meet and maybe even state."
The Tologs will have the nucleus of their team back. One big exception is the loss of Paulina Antaplyan, who decided not to return to the team.
Aguilar said the Tologs need to move on without the standout distance runner, who also excelled for the school's successful cross-country program, though she battled injury this past fall.
"It's a little bit of a surprise with Paulina not coming back," Aguilar said. "She's content with calling it a wrap on her high school career."
Still, the Tologs don't figure to be short on talent with a team consisting of 25-30 hungry competitors ready to challenge for Mission League crowns.
Among those expected to return include distance runner Riley Gilmartin, Noëlle Niederhaus in the middle distance and relays, Stephanie Vargas and Daelyn Moon in sprints and jumps, Caroline Treinen in the pole vault and Drew Washington at sprints and relays.
The Tologs 4x100 relay team of Vargas, Niederhaus, Washington and Moon finished seventh in the CIF Southern Section Division IV race last season. Washington also competed in the 400.
"We are going to focus a bit less on how we do in league, but we'll have some people in contention for league titles," Aguilar said. "We want to make the best for them going into CIF.
"It's going to take a combination of patience and being able to make steady progress."
Crescenta Valley will look to have a more balanced team. The Falcons' charge will be led by distance runners Cali King, Brooke Moultrie, Hannah Ruby and Ali Johnson.
Claudia Sepulveda will take part in the hurdles and jumps, Cayleigh Carrillo and Noel Wong will sprint and Emily Beglarian will participate in the jumping events.
Veteran Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans said the Falcons will need to find some more field athletes to help contribute points.
"We are going to have to be more balanced," Evans said. "We are set at distance, sprints and hurdles, but we need points from the field.
"We are young there, but that's OK."
At Flintridge Prep, the Rebels have aspirations of challenging for the Prep League championship and advancing several athletes to the CIF Division III finals.
Flintridge Prep will be led by Kate Kennedy, a sophomore who will participate in the 400, hurdles and jumps. Kennedy enjoyed a breakout freshman season last year, culminating with a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles at the division final at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
Flintridge Prep will also have sprinters Casey Cousineau and Samantha Davies and distance runners Kate Evans and Sarah Yoho.
"I think we have a pretty strong group," Flintridge Prep Coach Nick Ponticello said. "We feel we can challenge for the league championship with Mayfield and Webb."