Updated: Jul 13, 2020
We are under two months away from what would be the start of the 2020 high school cross country season here in Washington, which means it's time for season previews for all five divisions.
To kick things off, here is a look at the top 4A boy's individuals and teams to watch for this upcoming fall.
Brenden Charbeneau, Jackson
This last fall was a great indicator of where Brenden Charbeneau could be at this next season as one of the top returning 4A runners in the state. Following the footsteps of his former teammate Joseph Skoog, Charbeneau won the 4A District 1 Championship race running 16:04.7 after having placed second the year before, and then the following week claimed a podium spot at the state meet placing 14th overall running a time of 15:31.2. Ran a personal-best 5,000-meter time of 15:28.3 at the Capital Cross Challenge. This spring, Charbeneau threw down a 9:14.3 in a 3,200-meter time trial and 4:19.6 for a 1,600-meter time trial. My dark horse pick for this fall, Charbeneau will be among the front pack at the state meet and will be in contention to win a state championship or perhaps finish top three.
Ethan Coleman, Olympia
Ethan Coleman made a tremendous improvement from his freshman year to his sophomore year making him well respected around the state. Coleman went from placing 78th at the 4A state meet and running a 5,000-meter time of 16:38.5 in 2018, to placing on the podium getting 12th and running a personal best time of 15:28.7. A few weeks earlier, Coleman won the South Puget Sound League Championship race in a previous personal best time of 15:38. Only ran one time trial this spring, according to Athletic.net, in Olympia's Virtual Invite and ran 9:55 for 3,200 meters. Looking forward to seeing Coleman have another breakout year and claim himself a top-five finish at the state meet.
Sam Geiger, Camas
An up and down year for Sam Geiger ended in a way he will remember for a lifetime. A key piece to the first-ever cross country state team title in Camas history, Geiger was sixth at the 4A state meet running a 5,000-meter time of 15:22.7. Geiger made his made breakthrough at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite by placing 3rd overall and running a personal best 15:15.5 for 5,000-meters after a slow start early in the season due to an injury. Finished as the runner-up at the Greater St. Helens District Meet running 16:24. As long as he can stay healthy, Geiger is a top-three finisher for sure at the state meet and can challenge Kamiakin's Isaac Teeples, 2019 3A champion, and his own teammate, Evan Jenkins, for a state individual title.
Evan Jenkins, Camas
Much like Olympia's Ethan Coleman, Camas's Evan Jenkins is another young star who could make some more noise in his junior season after an incredible sophomore year. Running a personal best 15:18 for 5,000-meters at the 4A state meet, Jenkins led the Papermakers to the school's first state cross country team title and also placed fourth overall in one of the most talented fields in quite some years. Jenkins was also the Greater St. Helens League champion running 15:54 and the Westside Classic district champion running 15:33.2. Between Sam Geiger and Jenkins, they arguably are the best duo in the state. Jenkins could surprise Teeples and take down the defending 3A champion to win this year's 4A crown.