As Kamiakin makes its way up to the 4A classification, we will see a new state champion for both an individual and team in 2020. Who could take that top spot is still a mystery, but can be found all in this write up.
Let's have a look at the top 3A boys individuals and teams to watch for this upcoming fall and who could re-write history in Pasco.
Samir Amin, North Thurston
Without a spring track season, Samir Amin remains a mystery to many in the running community, but makes a strong case as one of the top returning runners this fall. Amin finished 19th overall at the 3A state cross country meet last fall running a time of 15:54.7 and was only four seconds away from a podium finish. Ran a personal best time 5,000-meter time of 15:34.8 at the Bill Kehoe Invite, and was third at the Westside Classic district race running 16:05.7. Perhaps the fastest distance runner of this group, Amin is my dark horse pick and could surprise people with a top five finish or better at the state meet.
Bryce Cerkowniak, Yelm
Bryce Cerkowniak makes his final return to Yelm as the 3A's top runner in hopes of winning the school's first ever cross country individual state title. Last fall, Cerkowniak placed fifth at the 3A state meet running a time of 15:30.9 and ran a 5,000-meter personal best time of 15:22.3 at the Fort Steilacoom Invite where he also was fifth. Cerkowniak was the South Sound Conference (15:30.6) and Westside Classic District (15:57.5) champion prior to the state meet. Experience will play an important piece for the Yelm senior this fall as he has made two podium appearances in the three state races he has competed in. Coming from a tough district like District 3, Cerkowniak will be more than ready to get after the individual state crown.
Aiden Emerson, Arlington
There was plenty of growth from his freshman to sophomore year for Aiden Emerson, even if the season didn't end the way he would have hoped at the state meet. Emerson ran a 5,000-meter personal best time of 15:34 at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite, and a few weeks later won the District 1 meet in a time of 16:19.1 while leading the Arlington Eagles to a dominate first place team performance to earn a trip to the state meet. Finished 26th at the 3A state meet running and helped the Eagles to a fourth place team trophy. This spring, Emerson competed in the Backyard Virtual Invite and ran a 3,200-meter personal best time of 9:37.31. Emerson is a top five finisher at the state meet, but his eyes will be set on helping the Eagles get their first state team championship.
Vincent Loftis, Arlington
A key part in the success of the Eagles this season will be relied on the senior leadership of Vincent Loftis. Even though he didn't run a personal best time, which is 15:52.5, it was a solid season for Loftis running 16:01.7 for 5,000-meters and a 22nd place finish at the 3A state meet. Placed third at both the District 1 and WESCO Championship meets running times of 16:24.9 and 16:01.9. Also competed in the Backyard Virtual Invite where he ran the 800-meter in a personal best time of 2:04.17. Expecting a bounce back year individually for Loftis as I see him as top eight finisher at state.