2021 Top 50 Washington XC Girls: No. 21-30

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.

Snohomish's Ellie Baxter ranks 21st in 2021 Top 50 Girls Cross Country Rankings. (Keenan Gray/The Runner WA)

Here are runners ranked 21-30 on the girl's side.

30. Ashley Reeck, Lake Stevens

2019 Time: 18:52.6

2019 State: 19th (4A), 18:52.9

2020 Time: 22:08

Analysis: To replace Taylor Roe after her incredible career might be the biggest challenge Lake Stevens had to face in 2019, but Ashley Reeck was able to take on that role and ran very well in her first year as the Viking's top runner. Reeck's progress from her freshman to her sophomore season showed early on at the Nike Twilight and Hole in the Wall Invites as she ran 18:59 in both meets, but her best race came at the 4A State Cross Country Meet where she ran a 5k personal best time of 18:52.6 in her first appearance in Pasco.

29. Caitlin Brar, Anacortes

2019 Time: 18:42.2

2019 State: 28th (2A), 19:56

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: A few runner-up finishes and a state appearance for Anacortes' Caitlin Brar in her first year of running cross country shows the potential this athlete has for the next two years. Although her state performance wasn't her greatest of the season finishing 28th in a loaded 2A field, Brar came away with a 5k personal best time of 18:42.2 at the Northwest Conference Championships, where she finished second behind 2A state cross country runner-up Livi Lackland Henry of Bellingham.

28. Campbell Baker, King's

2019 Time: 18:41.4

2019 State: N/A

2020 Time: 22:05 (3-Mile)

Analysis: Campbell Baker was a crucial piece to King's' run at another 1A state team title in 2019, but an ankle injury that kept her out of the last few weeks of the season was a game-changer for the Knights. Baker was starting to make a name for herself after an impressive outing at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite in October running a 5k personal best time of 18:41.4 and defeating multiple previous podium finishers from past state meets. Even with Naomi Smith graduating, King's will be in good hands with Baker as their top runner this spring.

27. Sarah Mirkin, Holy Names

2019 Time: 18:51.9

2019 State: 16th (3A), 18:51.9

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Part of the trio of Holy Names runners who went onto run in the 800 and 1,600-meter finals of the 2019 3A State Track Meet, Sarah Mirkin found ways to build on her momentum going into her junior cross country season after placing top five in both events. Although she hasn't run a 5k personal best time since her freshman year, Mirkin landed a spot on the podium at the 3A State Cross Country Meet for the first time in her career placing 16th overall in a time of 18:51.9, while leading the Cougars to a second-place team finish.

26. MaryAlice Mitchell, Washington

2019 Time: 18:46

2019 State: 8th (2A), 18:56.5

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: The expectations for MaryAlice Mitchell in her sophomore cross country season were through the roof after she won the 2A state 800-meter final as a freshman in convincing fashion. Starting off the season, Mitchell won seven of her first eight races, including the Capital Invite and the Brooks Fort Steilacoom Invite, but fell into second at the Westside Classic despite coming away with a new 5k personal best of 18:46. The following week she would go onto place eighth at the 2A State Cross Country Meet, and even though her placing was lower than her freshman state finish, Mitchell ran her best time in Pasco running 18:56.5.

25. Theresa Barnhart, Tahoma

2019 Time: 18:49.4

2019 State: 17th (4A)

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Theresa Barnhart is just one of those runners full of surprises, specifically with the performance she put together at the 4A State Cross Country Meet in her first season running a 5k personal best time of 18:49.4 to place 17th. Early-on in the year, Barnhart was a middle-of-the-pack athlete and wasn't in the conversation to be a top 20 finisher at state as she ranged from 20.5 minutes to 22 minutes for a 5k. When postseason came around, she was a different runner and had plenty of success the last three weeks of the season.

24. Lily O'Donoghue-McDonald, Seattle Prep

2019 Time: 18:45.8

2019 State: 14th (3A), 18:45.8

2020 Time: 18:15.1

Analysis: You can argue Lily O'Donoghue-McDonald should have been The Runner WA's most improved cross country runner in Washington for the 2019 season. The Seattle Prep star dropped nearly three minutes off her 5k time from her freshman year and placed 14th overall in her first appearance at the 3A State Cross Country Meet with a personal best time of 18:45.8. She has more to prove this spring as she already had dropped another 5k personal best time of 18:15.1 this fall in the COVID season in Magnuson Park.

23. Lara Carrion, Seton Catholic

2019 Time: 18:36.8

2019 State: 3rd (1A), 18:50.5

2020 Time: 18:18.4

Analysis: Until Life Christian's Gabby Martin made her way to the 1A stage, Seton Catholic's Lara Carrion would be an early-season prediction to win the 1A individual cross country crown. She's definitely not out of the conversation given what she has accomplished in three seasons for the Cougars. Having run a 5k personal best time of 18:18.4 in COVID season this past fall, it would have been exciting to see Carrion's match-up versus Martin and Klahowya's Alyssa Becker if we were to have a state meet this spring. Still, we will have to wait till the fall.

22. Riley Pyeatt, Sequim

2019 Time: 18:38.2

2019 State: 6th (2A), 18:46.1

2020 Time: N/A

Analysis: Sprints, distances, jumps, you name it, Riley Pyeatt can do it all. The three-sport phenom from Sequim broke the 19-minute barrier four times in 2019, including a win at the Olympic League Championships, and then posted a 5k personal best time of 18:38.2 to win the Westside Classic. The following week, Pyeatt claimed her second podium finish at the 2A State Cross Country Meet placing sixth running 18:46.1. I haven't seen what she has done in COVID season, but given her work ethic and determination, there will be no surprise Pyeatt has primed herself for the upcoming season.

21. Ellie Baxter, Snohomish

2019 Time: 18:36.8

2019 State: 12 (3A), 18:36.8

2020 Time: 19:17

Analysis: There was never a bad race for Ellie Baxter in her junior year. Overall, she remained consistent throughout the season and even came away with a new 5k personal best time of 18:36.8 when she placed 12th overall in the 3A State Cross Country Meet. As of now, Baxter would be the third fastest returning runner from last year's state championship meet and would be considered a top-five finisher or better if there were to be a state meet this spring. Coming from that gauntlet of District 1 over on the westside, Baxter will get plenty of competition this season in her senior year despite not facing some of Washington's most elite runners.

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

Girls 31-40 | Girls 41-50 | Boys 1-10 | Boys 11-20 | Boys 21-30 | Boys 31-40 | Boys 41-50


Note: The 2021 Washington girls' top 50 cross country rankings were compiled by The Runner WA's cross country and track and field analyst Keenan Gray.

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