2021 Top 50 Washington XC Boys: No. 41-50

With the high school cross-country season in Washington set to begin in March 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.

Mt. Spokane's Ben Sonneland ranks 43rd in the top 50 boys rankings. (Keenan Gray/The Runner WA)

Here are the boys ranked 41 through 50 to kick off our rankings.


50. Ben Connell, West Valley (Yakima)

2019 Time: 16:04.5

2019 State: 40th (4A), 16:04.5

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: With Brayden Packard moving to Utah to finish off his senior season with American Fork, Ben Connell steps in as the No. 1 runner for the Rams. In his first season of cross country, Connell put together a solid first year running a PR of 16:04.5 at the 4A state meet and a 3-mile time of 15:17 at the Richland Invite.


49. Brett Hanley, Newport (Bellevue)

2019 Time: 16:03.7

2019 State: 44th (4A), 16:10

2020 Time: 17:21

Analysis: Big expectations not only for the Newport Knights, for Brett Hanley as well, heading into 2021. After running a PR of 16:03.7 at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite, Hanley fell off a little and couldn't get back down to the low 16's till the 4A state meet.


48. Daniel Barna, Columbia River

2019 Time: 16:08.8

2019 State: 22nd (2A), 16:20.4

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: A much improved 2019 season earns Daniel Barna a spot on this list. Barna improved his 5k time by over a minute and placed 58 placings higher at the 2A state meet from his sophomore season. Barna should fill the No. 1 role Aidan Rowley had last season for the Chieftans.


47. Brandon Moore, Arlington

2019 Time: 16:11.8

2019 State: 33rd (3A), 16:11.8

2020 Time: 16:01

Analysis: A solid start to the early season for Brandon Moore shows great potential for this spring. He ran a 5k PR of 16:01 in the Nike Cross Virtual Meet in his first race back in October and ran 16:10 in early November. The Eagles will have a strong core of runners this spring, with Moore making the improvements.


46. Tyler Graff, Bishop Blanchet

2019 Time: 16:05.5

2019 State: 29th (3A), 16:08.5

2020 Time: 16:33.4

Analysis: Tyler Graff has some big shoes to fill with Nicky DiMartino, Michael Lewis, Adam Flood, and Kai Gundlach graduating from last year's second-place 3A state team. Coming back as the No. 3 runner for the Braves at 16:05.5, Graff will be relied on heavily if Blanchet wants another successful year as a team.


45. Addison Smee, Kelso

2019 Time: 16:04.9

2019 State: 11th (1B/2B), 16:44.7

2020 Time: 16:16.9

Analysis: Addison Smee has done well at the 1B/2B level for Kalama, but with the move to Kelso for his senior year, this could be a big improvement for him in racing and recruiting status. Now that he will be racing against 4A and 3A school teams like Camas, Prarie, and Fort Vancouver, Smee could get his 5k time down to 15:45 or faster.


44. Landon Davies, Cascade (Leavenworth)

2019 Time: 16:10

2019 State: 5th (1A), 16:10

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Big expectations were coming for Landon Davies after winning the 2019 1A 3,200-meter state race, but the Kodiaks top runner settled for a second consecutive fifth-place finish again at the 1A state cross meet last fall. This year will be an even bigger challenge to compete for the No. 1 spot when going up against Riverside's Jamar Distel, Eatonville's Noah Hasselblad, and conference rival, Cashmere's Rob McManus.


43. Ben Sonneland, Mt. Spokane

2019 Time: 16:09.8

2019 State: N/A

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Ben Sonneland showed great promise early on in his freshman season winning the freshmen race at the Highlander Invite and placing 15th at the Bellevue Invite running a PR of 16:09.8. Unfortunately, he was unable to qualify for the 3A state cross meet. But, without a spring track season, Sonneland still put together an impressive 800-meter time trial running 1:58.3 and a 1,600-meter time trial running 4:28.4.


42. Noah Hasselblad, North Mason

2019 Time: 16:00.2

2019 State: 11th (2A), 16:00.2

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Noah Hasselblad showed plenty of growth in year two of running cross-country placing 11th at the 2A state meet and running a minute faster than his 41st place finish from his sophomore year. Now that is he has that experience and knows what it's like to perform well at the state meet, where does he go from here for the Bulldogs? Expect some hopeful big things to come.


41. Alex Kiefer, Tahoma

2019 Time: 15:58.9

2019 State: 37th (4A), 15:58.9

2020 Time: 16:33

Analysis: It took until the 4A state meet for Alex Kiefer to make have his breakthrough race running under 16 minutes for the first time in his career. The three-year varsity veteran enters his senior year as Tahoma's No. two and is one of two runners remaining from the Bears 2018 state championship team and 2019 second place state team.

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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