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)
Here's Some Information: Can anyone stop the Sehome regime? It's been seven years now and nine of the last 11 seasons the Mariners have been the kings of the 2A ranks. The difference about this years Mariners squad is they are led by a underclassman in Zach Munson, the second fastest freshman at 15:57.5. What hasn't change is the pack running as their five man spread is 26 seconds. The only team coming close to taking the Mariners down are Steilacoom. The only way that Steilacoom can win the state championship is their No. 1 runner Josiah Nobles wins the individual title, and No. 2 runner Sawyer Dagan finishes ahead of Sehome's Munson in the top eight. Nobles has a tough task ahead of him as he takes on Sedro's Rafe Holz and Selah's Shea Mattson, who both respectivley won their district titles this past Saturday. Holz has put together an incredible story throughout his career going from a nobody to one of the best in the state dropping his personal best time over two minutes from his sophomore season to now at 15:31.8. And, he is also taking his school to their first state championship apperance ever. Selah's Mattson threw down an impressive 14:49 three mile time in district race. Just let that sit in your mind and convert it to a 5k time. Don't forget about last year's champion, Pullman's Eliason Kabasenche, who surprised a lot of people when he crossed the line first beating Ridgefield alum, Kyle Radosevich, the No. 1 2A runner coming into the race.
Predicted Individual Champion: Rafe Holz, Sedro-Woolley
Predicted State Team Placers: 1st Sehome, 2nd Steilacoom, 3rd Columbia River, 4th Bellingham
Qualified Teams: Lakes, Stadium, Peninsula, Yelm, North Thurston, Arlington, Edmonds-Woodway, Snohomish, Shorewood, Kamiakin, North Central, Interlake, Bishop Blanchet, Seattle Prep, Lake Washington, Ballard
Individuals to Watch for: Isaac Teeples (Kamiakin), Bryce Cerkowniak (Yelm), Kai Gundlach (Bishop Blanchet)
Outsiders: Stanford Smith (Kamiakin), Daniel Lee (Rogers, Spokane), Aiden Emerson (Arlington)
Here's Some Information: The main question here: Is there anyone who can compete in Kamiakin? The state's top program and nationally ranked team is on the cusp of winning yet another state championship led by the 3A No.1 runner Isaac Teeples and No. 2 runner Stanford Smith. Bishop Blanchet sits in second currently but could compete with Kamikian Kai Gundlach pulled off an individual title win. The difference between Blanchet and Kamiakin is Kamiakin has five runners in the top 20 individual rankings, while Blanchet has three. Yelm's Bryce Cerkowniak has had a great season coming into the state meet with a time of 15:22.3 and is in the talks in the individual crown. The unfortunate thing about this years meet is two of the top six teams will not be attending due to allocations in Rogers of Spokane and Mount Spokane. With the historic season Rogers has had, the Pirates' Daniel Lee has his eyes set on top five finish. North Central will represent the Greater Spokane League and hope to continue the historic tradition of success at the state meet. With the state meet being such a tough course now, it's anybody's game to claim supremacy as Washington's top 3A runner.
Predicted Individual Champion: Isaac Teeples, Kamiakin
Predicted State Team Placers: 1st Kamiakin, 2nd Bishop Blanchet, 3rd Arlington, 4th Yelm
Qualified Teams: Tahoma, Camas, Bellarmine Prep, Puyallup, Olympia, Curtis, Sumner, Auburn Mountainview, Jackson, Kamiak, Lewis & Clark, Central Valley, Mount Si, Newport, West Valley (Yakima), Eisenhower
Individuals to Watch for: Jonas Price (Eisenhower), Wil Smith (Lewis & Clark), Sam Geiger (Camas)
Outsiders: Jacob Easton (University), Luc Utheza (Camas), Ethan Martin (Tahoma)
Here's Some Information: The entire 4A season has been about one individual: Eisenhower's Jonas Price. With what he has done this year as far as breaking three course records in four weeks and running 14:49.9 to take the top spot as Washington's best, he has rightfully earned the opportunity to win a state title, in which he came short of last season finishing as the runner-up behind Mount Si's Joe Waskom. Even though Price's best time is 25 seconds faster than the next best, Lewis & Clark's Wil Smith and Camas Sam Geiger aren't out of the question that they could compete with the state's top runner. But if Geiger can't win an individual title, he can be sure his team will run well enough to take down defending champion Tahoma, and claim the schools first state title on the boy's side. Tahoma's Ethan Martin could surprise some people and crack into the top four and maybe even higher up. Jackson sits behind the Papermakers and Bears at No. 3 led by Brendan Charbeneau, who is ninth in the state running 15:28.3. University's Jacob Easton started off hot this season winning his first three races, but has cooled off recently. Being on the outside, he still has a legit chance to finsih in the top three, but definitely a top six finisher.
Predicted Individual Champion: Jonas Price, Eisenhower
Predicted State Team Placers: 1st Camas, 2nd Tahoma, 3rd Jackson, 4th Lewis & Clark
Wheelchair - 9:30 a.m.
1B/2B Boys - 11:30 a.m.
1A Boys - 12:00 p.m.
2A Boys - 12:30 p.m.
Ambulatory - 2:00 p.m.
3A Boys - 2:30 p.m.
4A Boys - 3:00 p.m.
For more information on the 2019 WIAA State Cross Country Championships, visit: http://wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=1147