"Our girls have finished with winning seasons for each of the past 10 years, and our boys have had winning seasons in eight of the last 10," said Amorosa. "This year, I figure our boys to finish fourth in the league, while the girls should probably place fifth."
A fourth-place finish would place the boys team in the top half of the league, likely behind Deer Valley, De La Salle and Liberty, according to Amorosa.
For the girls team, a fifth-place finish would place it right in the middle of the league, a good sign for the future of Antioch cross country, considering that the program's top runner is only a sophomore.
Leading the girls team this year has been sophomore Veronica Regalado. The Regalado name has become synonymous with Panther cross country in recent years, as older sisters Mellie and Angelica were both standout runners for Antioch.
Joining Regalado among the Panthers' top five runners this season are Laura Crabtree, Narimane Nekkab, Alicia Zapata and Dana Karkar.
On the boys side, the Panthers have been led by Matt Humphreys. Humphreys recently placed fifth at the Castro Valley Invitational, one spot behind Liberty standout Wyatt Landrum, and ran a fine time of 16:44 on a hilly and challenging course. According to Amorosa, making it to the state championships is Humphreys' ultimate goal this season.
The top five individual placers not on one of the two top teams (assuming they finish in the top 12) at the North Coast Section championships qualify for the state championships.
Humphreys is joined by a cast of strong runners in the Panther top five: Eddie Quintero, Christian Perez, Chris Slatten and Jacob Robertson. Humphreys, Quintero and Perez combined to win the Santa Rosa Viking Invitational, where only the top three runners were scored. All three placed in the top 10 at that meet.
The boys team, Humphreys in particular, will also be shooting for all-league honors at the BVAL Championships, which requires a finish in the top 10.
This season will also mark the 20th anniversary of the BVAL Championships. Next year's championships will change significantly, as it will be the first time De La Salle and Carondelet don't participate.