With four days remaining till schools travel to Pasco, we have a look at what's in store for the 2019 WIAA Girl's Cross Country State Championship as far as who is competing, what teams and individuals will come away as champions, and inside look at the five races.
Qualified Teams: Liberty Bell, Northwest Christian (Lacey), Pope John Paul II, Ilwaco, Rainier, Cedar Tree Classical, Manson, Trout Lake, St. George's, Colfax, Kettle Falls, Garfield-Palouse
Individual to Watch for: Gabby Martin (Life Christian Academy)
Outsiders: Suzie Johnson (Cedar Tree Classical), Anais Mills (Garfield-Palouse)
Here's Some Information: With the absence of a three time individual and team champion, Liberty Bell's Novie McCabe, this season, it's time for Life Christian's Gabby Martin to step right in and take her place as the small schools top runner. Coming in with an incredible No. 1 time of 17:32.8, there is not one individual that will be able to catch Martin at the state meet this Saturday. And that's no disrespect to the other competitors, it's just Martin's time is a minute, 47 seconds faster than the No. 2 runner. For three years, Liberty Bell has reign supremacy as the 1B/2B schools top program winning back-to-back-to-back state titles. The streak could come to an end this season at the hands of Pope John Paul II. Clare Kondrat and a young PJP2 team look to win the first ever state championship for all sports in the ninth year of existence of the school. Currently, Liberty Bell is my favorite due to the fact the Mountain Lions are a more experienced team unlike the Eagles.
Predicted Individual Champion: Gabby Martin, Life Christian
Predicted State Team Placers: 1st Liberty Bell, 2nd Pope John Paul II, 3rd Northwest Christian, 4th Ilwaco
Qualified Teams: King's, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), Deer Park, Klahowya, Port Townsend, Northwest, Bush, South Whidbey, Lynden Christian, Goldendale, Royal, Seton Catholic, Columbia (White Salmon), La Center, Chelan, Cashmere
Individuals to Watch for: Naomi Smith (King's), Alaina Stone Boggs (Colville)
Outsiders: Lizzy Shaw (Riverside), Lara Carrion (Seton Catholic), Campbell Baker (King's)
Here's Some Information: It's King's' Naomi Smith versus Colville's Alaina Stone Boggs Part 2. Last season, Smith came away with her first of three state titles she won in the 2018/2019 school year beating Stone Boggs by 11 seconds running 18:16.7. Expect the same competitive race this year, only this time it's going to come down to the last 300 meters of down hill on the final stretch. With how Stone Boggs has raced this season, Smith won't have it easy on Saturday like she did last season when the Colville senior broke away from her on the last mile. Riverside's Lizzy Shaw enters her final state championship meet with the intentions of placing higher than third place. Maybe she might even challenge with Smith and Stone Boggs for the first mile or two. Just like on the boy's side, the Northeast League teams have dominated winning eight state team titles in the last nine years, led by the 2018 champion Lakeside with four. The Eagles have five girls returning from last year's championship team, so why wouldn't you go with them to win? Madelyn Buckley leads the way for Lakeside as she comes in with No. 7 time, followed by teammate Matise Mulch at No. 9. King's has two of the top 1A runners in the state in Smith (No. 1) and Campbell Baker (No.5). With how those girls finish, could potentially dictate the scoring in the long term.
Predicted Individual Champion: Naomi Smith, King's
Predicted State Team Placers: 1st Lakeside, 2nd King's, 3rd Deer Park, 4th Northwest
Qualified Teams: Sehome, Bellingham, Liberty (Issaquah), Selah, West Valley (Spokane), Pullman, Ellensburg, Steilacoom, Port Angeles, North Kitsap, White River, Washington, Tumwater, Washougal, Anacortes, Hockinson