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.
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