2021 Top 50 Washington XC Boys: No. 1-10

Updated: Jan 28

With the high school cross-country season in Washington set to begin in February of 2021, The Runner WA has put together a list of the top 50 runners to watch for this coming spring season. These rankings are based on their 2019 season performances and the 2020 COVID season this fall if they had run a time trial or virtual meet.

Kamiakin's Isaac Teeples ranks No. 1 in our 2021 Top 50 boys cross country rankings.

Here are the final rankings at 1 through 10 for the boys.

10. Jamar Distel, Riverside

2019 Time: 15:32.6

2019 State: 13th (1A), 16:27

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Jamar Distel's talent is unlike any other underclassmen in Washington. At the beginning of the year, Distel was running top-tier times both at the Highlander Invite and Battle for the 509, but it was a mid-season injury last fall that kept him from accomplishing his end goal. Finishing in a disappointing 13th place at the 1A state cross country championships, Distel's overall 5k best mark of 15:32.6 ranks him among the top returners at 1A and one of the best overall in the entire state.

9. Zack Munson, Sehome

2019 Time: 15:57.5

2019 State: 21st (2A), 16:17.8

2020 Time: 15:12

Analysis: Zach Munson reminds me of freshman Isaac Teeples; talented, driven, and someone who will make a household name for himself. During the COVID season in track as a freshman and cross country as a sophomore, Munson has put together incredible performances including a 4:27.06 and 9:23.43 in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races at the Desert Dream Last Hurrah Invite and then more recently a 5k time trial of 15:12. If Munson really wants to get into the conversation of being one of the best runners in all of Washington, winning an individual state title this spring will be the key.

8. William Schneider, Bishop Blanchet

2019 Time: 15:39.6 2019 State: 7th (3A), 15:39.6

2020 Time: 15:17.2

Analysis: As mentioned in the 3A boys cross country preview back in July, William Schneider has set the bar high for himself after his freshman year, and he has started to prove what he is capable of for the upcoming spring season throwing down a 15:17.2 5k time trial at Green Lake. The Runner WA's Freshman of the Year will be a top-three state individual contender at 3A with Yelm's Bryce Cerkowniak and North Central's Leif Swanson. With a great supporting cast in Tyler Graff and Drew Oliver, Schneider and the Braves are a top team contender at state.

7. Leif Swanson, North Central

2019 Time: 15:40.1

2019 State: 21st (3A), 15:56.2

2020 Time: 15:40

Analysis: Don't let a podium absence last fall fool you about the special talents Leif Swanson has. The Indian's top runner was seventh at state his sophomore year, and with the work he has done this offseason, Swanson wants to go above and beyond that effort in his final year. Swanson could join an elite company of North Central greats if he were to put together an impressive comeback season with a new personal best mark and perhaps an individual state title. His leadership and experience will be relied heavily on for this year's Indians varsity team to succeed.

6. Brenden Charbeneau, Jackson

2019 Time: 15:28.3

2019 State: 14th (4A), 15:31.2