Updated: Sep 28
The 2020 high school cross country season was unlike anything we have ever witnessed. There were no state championships, district meets, or big invites to show who the best of the best were in Washington.
With the new season approaching in a blink of an eye, a sense of normalcy is on the horizon. After a short season of fast times and unexpected outcomes, this upcoming cross country season will be one of the most anticipated years in quite some time.
Here is your look at the top 2A individuals and teams on the boy's side to watch for in 2021.
Zack Munson, Sehome
Zack Munson managed to get the very best out of his sophomore year. The Sehome star was this year's 2A runner-up in the virtual state cross country meet running a personal best 5k time of 15:10 leading Sehome to their ninth consecutive team title. While those were improving accomplishments from his freshman year, the track season earned Munson his recognition on the national level. Munson ran lifetime bests in the 1,600 (4:13.25), the 3,200 (8:57.14), and the 5,000 (14:42.02) in the span of three weeks in May and June, placing himself top 10 in the entire country for all sophomores in these events. With even bigger aspirations going into this fall season, Munson will look to win his first individual state title and potentially earn an NXN individual bid.
Cooper Quigley, Selah
After seeing his success from this past cross country and track season, Cooper Quigley has turned his attention away from basketball to solely focusing on running in his senior year. Quigley put together an undefeated racing record in CWAC competition, won the Sunfair Meet, and then placed seventh in the virtual 2A state cross country meet. As for the track season, it was a record-setting year for Quigley in the 1,600 and 3,200 as he took down former state champion Brigham Cardon's 1,600 school record running 4:14.9 and his former teammate Shea Mattson's school record in the 3,200 running 9:08.70. He also ran a lifetime best in the 800 (1:54.24). Quigley brings a ton of momentum into this fall and could surprise many people at this year's state meet, but it will be the spring season where we see him at his best.
Lukkes Hultberg, Prosser
For Lukkes Hultberg, it was a year of finding whether or not he belongs amongst the top runners in 2A. As a junior for Prosser, Hultberg won two races during the cross country season and posted a new 5k personal best time of 15:37, coming into the fall with the second-fastest returning time for 2A runners. Hultberg found more success in track and won four races, and ran new personal bests in the 1,600 (4:40.88) and the 3,200 (10:20.95). Running alongside Selah's Cooper Quigley in the CWAC this fall will have Hultberg prepared to race at a high level come the state meet.
Julian Campos, Aberdeen
Five years since Julian Campos was a part of a cross country team as a middle school student, the Aberdeen standout put together a remarkable year of running, going undefeated in league races, won the 2A GSHL/EVCO District Championship in a 5k personal best time of 15:57.2, and finished 11th in the 2A virtual state meet. The cross country running paid off in the track season as Campos ran new lifetime bests in the 1,600 (4:28.53) and the 3,200 (9:47.54) and won the District 4 title in the 3,200. It will be exciting to see what Campos can do in a year with more racing opportunities.
John Hoffer, Tumwater
It's been 13 years since Tumwater had a top-five runner at the 2A state cross country meet, and John Hoffer is a real consideration to break that streak this fall. As a sophomore for the Thunderbirds, Hoffer shined in the track season running personal best times in the 800 (2:04.13), the 1,600 (4:23.91), and the 3,200 (9:48.62) and was a top-five finisher in the 1,600 (4th) and 3,200 (2nd) at the District 4 Championships. During cross country, Hoffer ran his best 5k race of the year in the virtual 2A state meet, placing sixth overall in a time of 15:54.2, and was the runner-up in the GSHL/EVCO Championships behind Aberdeen's Julian Campos.
Hale Behan, Sammamish