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

2020 Time: 15:14

Analysis: As of right now, the status of Brenden Charbeneau is not looking good with a neck injury this fall, but if this were not the case, he would be a dark horse 4A runner to watch for this spring. In late September, Charbeneau threw down a 15:14 5k to place first overall in the prestigious Nike Portland Virtual XC Meet, showing a ton of improvement from his junior year even in COVID times. Charbeaneau may not get a senior season because of COVID or the injury. Still, he deserves recognition for his accomplishments and would be one of many contenders at the 4A state meet for an individual title.


5. Sam Geiger, Camas

2019 Time: 15:15.5

2019 State: 6th (4A), 15:22.7

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: For Sam Geiger, being a part of Camas' first-ever state team title in cross country is going to be his motivator to chase after more accomplishments in 2021. Geiger has all the talents and abilities to win a state individual title, but staying healthy will be the biggest factor for him. His races at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite, where he ran a 5k personal best time of 15:15, and the 4A state meet showed many people what he could bring to the table when it comes to some of the biggest racing stages in Washington.


4. Bryce Cerkowniak, Yelm

2019 Time: 15:22.3

2019 State: 5th (3A), 15:30.9

2020 Time: 14:51

Analysis: Gonzaga University might have landed the best senior cross country recruit in Washington with Yelm's Bryce Cerkowniak signing with Coach Pat Tyson and the Bulldogs for the next school year. Cerkowniak has had a solid fall in the COVID season running a 5k time trial of 14:51 and a 3,000-meter time trial of 8:39. Over the course of his four years with the Tornados, Cerkowniak has consistently got faster and stronger each season and has earned the respect of many around the state, making him my early favorite to win the 3A individual title.


3. Evan Jenkins, Camas

2019 Time: 15:18

2019 State: 4th (4A), 15:18

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Much like many on this list, Evan Jenkins is another young star who could make some more noise in his junior season after an incredible sophomore year. While leading Camas to the school's first team title in 2019, Jenkins came away with a 5k personal best time of 15:18, ranking him the second-fastest returning individual state runner for all classifications. Also, between Jenkins and teammate Sam Geiger, the two make up the best duo in the state, and both could be considered state favorites at 4A, but Jenkins is ahead right now at this point.


2. Ethan Coleman, Olympia

2019 Time: 15:28.7

2019 State: 12th (4A), 15:28.7

2020 Time: 14:43

Analysis: If anyone were to defeat Kamiakin's Isaac Teeples for the 4A individual crown, Ethan Coleman is the guy to do it. In fact, these two faced off earlier this fall on the track and Coleman came away with the win by the slimmest of margins running a 5k personal best time of 14:43. From a 78th place finish at the cross country state meet his freshman year to placing 12th as a sophomore, and now to be considered one of, if not, the best runner in Washington heading into this spring says many great things about Colemans' work ethic.


1. Isaac Teeples, Kamiakin

2019 Time: 15:17.1

2019 State: 1st (3A), 15:17.1

2020 Time: 14:44

Analysis: Isaac Teeples continues to shine as Washingtons' top runner and will continue to do so heading into 2021. This fall, Teeples went to the Desert Twilight Meet in Arizona and fourth overall running a 5k personal best time of 15:01. He also hit the track for a 5k time trial versus Olympia's Ethan Coleman and Yelm's Bryce Cerkowniak, coming away with another personal best mark of 14:44. Now that Kamiakin has moved up to 4A, Teeples won't have it any easier to repeat as an individual champion, especially when running against the Camas duo of Sam Geiger and Evan Jenkins and Olympia's Coleman.


To view previous 2021 top 50 Washington cross country rankings, click below:

Boys 11-20 | Boys 21-30 | Boys 31-40 | Boys 41-50

Note: The 2021 Washington boys' top 50 cross country rankings were compiled by The Run Down Podcast crew of Keenan Gray, Alex McIntire, and Kyle Paulson.

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