“Unequivocally,” Carlson said. It’s hard to argue with Carlson after Poly opened the season by winning the sweepstakes title at the Long Beach Invitational. Last week, Poly swept the first five places to win the seven-team Kamehameha Invitational in Hawaii. If 2004 was a rebuilding year for the Poly High girls cross country team, the rest of the Moore League might be running for second this fall. The Jackrabbits swept all three league meets en route to their first league title in four seasons with three freshmen among the top seven. This season, Poly coach Joe Carlson believes the Jackrabbits are even better. Last season, Poly missed a berth in the Southern Section Division I finals by one place and six points in its preliminary heat. “I think the girls have progressed and are anticipating to go further,” Carlson said. “The first goal is to win league and to get to CIF finals and make a good run there if we hold together. Physically and attitude-wise, this is potentially the best team that we have had.” Here is a look at other area teams: Cerritos: Juniors Victoria Cerda and Kimberly Cooper finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Suburban League finals to help the Dons to a runner-up finish. Lakewood: The Lancers haven’t won a league championship since 1990 but could sneak in for the Moore League title if Poly or Wilson falters. Junior Maria Damian is the league’s top returnee after finishing second last fall. Senior Miriam Cortez and junior Esther Mojica also return. La Mirada: The Matadores are favored for their seventh Suburban League title in eight years. Sophomore Stephanie Felix, a first-year runner, smashed the 10th-grade course record in her debut in the Long Beach Invitational. Felix is joined by sophomores Erica Sandoval and Karina Gonzales, junior Adele Mata and senior Destinie Martin, who finished sixth through 10th in the 2004 league finals. St. Joseph: The Jesters are seeking their fourth state meet berth in five years behind juniors Denise Nunez and Kelsey Christoffels and sophomore Corina Ubario. San Pedro: The Pirates return three of their top five runners from a team that won a fifth L.A. City Section title in six seasons last fall. San Pedro is led by twins Megan and Kisten Adams, Mavel Tortoledo and Gabriela Rubi, all seniors, and sophomore Maddy Post. Warren: The Bears are the five-time defending San Gabriel Valley League champions and qualified for the Southern Section Division I final for the second consecutive season last fall, a feat never accomplished by any other SGVL girls team. Senior China Fleming and sophomore Marina Moad finished fourth and sixth in last year’s league finals. Sophomore Miranda Moad showed promise during track in the spring. Wilson: The Bruins, who will challenge Poly in vying for their fourth Moore League title in five years, are led by seniors Claire Anderson, Ashley Hobelman, Valerie Arechiga and Megan Kachigan, junior Aine Brown and sophomore Jamie Emery. Anderson finished fourth in each of the two league preview meets and was the team’s top runner at the Southern Section Division I preliminaries to help the Bruins earn a finals berth. Brown is Wilson’s top returning finisher from the league finals after placing sixth. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Poly may be atop the Moore League for several years with sophomores Emily Rubin and Carley Lopez, who finished third and fifth, respectively, as ninth graders in the Moore League finals. Senior Tava Tedesco was among the most consistent runners for Poly, finishing third in the first and second league meets and eighth in the finals. Junior Vania Santos and sophomore Janet Muro are also back. Sophomore Jaasmin Pina, the sister of 1999 and 2000 CIF Southern Section Division I individual boys champion Ozzie Pina, was the frosh-soph league champion as a ninth grader. Freshman Terri Green is contending for a spot in the top five. “I would say that the girls rose to their potential relatively quickly and we came along quicker than we expected,” Carlson said. “We’re looking better than last year, if we hold together.” Poly has set its sights higher than the Moore League title, according to Carlson, the former Long Beach Marathon race director who has coached the girls team since 1992.