Five days remain until all 80 schools, and numerous individuals, get after it at Sun Willows Golf Course this Saturday for the right to be name Washington's best cross country runners for 2019. Here's a preview of all five races and specific individuals to watch for throughout the day.
Qualified Teams: Northwest Christian (Lacey), Pope John Paul II, Morton White Pass, Ilwaco, Life Christian, Cedar Tree Classical Christian, Manson, Brewster, Liberty Bell, Trout Lake, Mount Vernon Christian, Asotin, Saint George's, Davenport, Colfax, Valley Christian
Individuals to Watch for: Noah Phillips (Northwest Christian), Daniel Quintana (Ilwaco), Kobe Deutscher (PJPII)
Outsiders: Justin Peck (Trout Lake), Cameron Nielsen (Northwest Christian), Addison Smee (Kalama)
Here's Some Information: From a team perspective, it's been all Northwest Christian the last five seasons as they repeated as state champions in those years, and so far appears to be a hopeful sixth consecutive state title. Although Pope John Paul II is knocking on the door led by their junior superstar, Kobe Deutscher. A new individual champion will be crowned this season since former Adna star Austen Apperson, who has won it the last two years, has moved onto running at Boise State University. Last year's runner-up, Northwest Christian's Noah Phillips, was a preseason favorite and by how he has ran this year, there's the potential for him to win a individual crown, as well as a fourth state team title in his career. Ilwaco's Daniel Quintana comes into the state meet with the No. 1 time at 15:44.5, a personal best he ran at the District 4 meet. The last few years have been pre-determined by who is going to win individually, but it will definitely a tight battle between Quintana, Phillips, and Deutscher. Also look out for Trout Lake's Justin Peck, the District 5/6 champion, coming in with a time of 16:06.5.
Predicted Individual Champion: Noah Phillips, Northwest Christian
Predicted State Team Placers: 1st Northwest Christian, 2nd Pope John Paul II, 3rd Asotin, 4th Manson
Qualified Teams: Klahowya, Charles Wright, Nooksack Valley, Northwest, University Prep, South Whidbey, Goldendale, Royal, Seton Catholic, Columbia (White Salmon), La Center, Cashmere, Cascade (Leavenworth), Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), Medical Lake, Chelan
Individuals to Watch for: Jamar Distel (Riverside), Adam Briejer (Charles Wright), Rob McManus (Cashmere)
Outsiders: David Carrion (Seton Catholic), Isaac Cortes (Granite Falls)
Here's Some Information: Lakeside continued the Northeast League's team dominance at the state meet for a sixth year in a row taking the win in a tiebreaker over Cascade last fall. The entire season the Eagles have been ranked No. 1 in the Coaches Poll, but not to far behind is Medical Lake, who has won three state titles in the same past six years. Just like last season, the team champion will come down to fifth runner which is in the Cardinals favor at the moment. Charles Wright's Adam Briejer comes in with the No. 1 time of 15:31.6 as the returning state champion from last season. Riverside's Jamar Distel has had a big statement type of season running 15:32.6 dropping 1 minute, 46 seconds from his best time his freshman year. At the beginning of year, Distel told us he wanted to prove to people he is the best in state, and he will get a chance at this weekend when he takes on Briejer for the first time this year. Don't forget about Cashmere's Rob McManus, who bursted into the spotlight last spring when he defeated Briejer in the 1A 1,600 meter state final. Throw McManus against any competition and he will go above and beyond his limits. Can Briejer repeat as champion, or will Distel or McManus steal the show and be crowned new state champs.
Predicted Individual Champion: Jamar Distel, Riverside
Predicted State Team Placers: 1st Medical Lake, 2nd Lakeside, 3rd Cascade, 4th South Whidbey
Qualified Teams: Sehome, Bellingham, Sedro-Woolley, Cheney, Pullman, Ellensburg, Selah, Steilacoom, Port Angeles, North Kitsap, Renton, Lindbergh, Columbia River, Washougal, Ridgefield, Tumwater
Individuals to Watch for: Josiah Nobles (Steilacoom), Rafe Holz (Sedro-Woolley), Sheaa Mattson (Selah)
Outsiders: Bas Holland (Cheney), Eliason Kabasenche (Pullman), Alex Williams (Mountlake Terrace)