The 2021 track season was one of most the unique sports seasons we will ever witness in the history of Washington state high school athletics.
Like any of the sports seasons during the pandemic, it was a year with no state competition, leaving out an opportunity for the best of the best athletes to compete for glory and fulfill their legacies as Washington's best.
While those opportunities for some were put to a pause, the 2021 track season will forever be remembered as one of the most historical ones in state history, particularly on the distance side.
A new era of hurdler coverage makes its debut this spring at The Runner WA, and I'm beyond thrilled to learn more and more about all the great hurdlers our state has to offer. With that being said, here is your first look at the top boy's hurdlers to watch for this spring.
Andre Korbmacher, Sqaulicum
It's no secret Andre Korbmacher is one of the premiere hurdlers our state has to offer, but it's hard to believe this will be his first full-length high school season this coming spring. As a sophomore racing for Squalicum, Korbmacher ranked third in the state in the 110 hurdles running a personal best time of 14.19 seconds and was 10th in the 300 hurdles running 40.32 during the condensed season in 2021. During the summer racing for Ready-Set-Go Sprinters, Korbmacher earned All-American honors at the AAU National Junior Olympic Games placing second in the 110 hurdles. Entering his junior season, Korbmacher became the fastest indoor hurdler in Washington state high school history after clocking a personal best time of 7.80 in the 60 hurdles on Feb. 19 at the MVP Vibe Fest in Chicago. His goal to get under 14 seconds in the 110 hurdles could come this season with the way he has been training as of lately.
Lyricc Lopez, Foster
In order to be the best, you have to train and believe you're the best. That's been Lyricc Lopez's mindset over the last year, and it's proven to be in his favor. The recent Arizona commit completed an undefeated junior campaign last spring and was first in the state in the 300 hurdles clocking in a personal best time of 36.98 seconds, also ranked 12th in the country, and was second in the 400 with a personal best time of 48.88. Outside of running with Foster last year, Lopez also ran a lifetime best in the 400 hurdles as an unattached athlete in late June running 54.52 at the AAU Region 21 Qualifier in Boise. Lopez hasn't raced in the hurdles in a few months, but during the indoor season he has put together new personal best times in the 200 and 400 running 21.94 and 48.88 in some recent meets.
Jaylen McCabe, Silas
Since an unexpected 24.96 second run in the 110 hurdles his freshman season at the PCL Championships, Silas' Jaylen McCabe has been at the top of his game as of lately, with a trend expected to keep climbing up his senior season. Last spring, McCabe ranked second in the 110 hurdles clocking a personal best time of 14.18 and won two PCL titles in the 110's and 300 hurdles. He also finished fifth in both the 100 and 200 at the league championship meet. Competing for Team Blackout Elite during the summer, McCabe raced at the AAU National Junior Olympic Games alongside Squalicum's Korbmacher and finished seventh in the 110 finals and then ran a lifetime best in the 400 hurdles in prelims running 56.86 to place 30th. During this indoor season, McCabe opened up at the Spokane High School Invite placing second in the 60 hurdles (8.10), sixth in the 200 (23.05, PR), and eighth in the 60 (7.10).
Sean Cochran, Lake Stevens
Between short and long hurdles, Sean Cochran is the top combined hurdler returning this season based on rankings. Last spring, Cochran posted improving marks from his freshman season in both hurdle events running 14.76 in the 110's and 39.10 in the 300's, and then finished his junior season at the Tacoma High Performance Meet coming away with wins in both those events. Racing for Project 316 that summer, Cochran was a top five finisher in both the 110 and 400 hurdles at the USATF Pacific Northwest Youth Championships and posted a personal best in the 400 hurdles running 56.57. He also competed at The Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field placing 31st in the 400 hurdles.
Asher Ogden, Emerald Ridge
Since hitting the track his freshman year, Asher Ogden has been one of the best hurdlers around the state, especially when it comes to the 110 hurdles. In the last state championship meet back in 2019, Ogden cruised to a runner-up finish in the 4A state finals running 14.70, a personal best at the time, after finishing sixth in prelims the day before. While most recognize him as a hurdler, Ogden is also one of the best overall athletes in the state as he competes in the decathlon. Ogden placed fifth overall at the Washington State Combined Events Championships scoring 5,835 points behind first place finishes in the 100, the 110's, and the 400. A few weeks later, Ogden then went to Hayward Field to compete in the decathlon at The Outdoor Nationals where he finished 14th with a personal best score of 6,039.
Others to watch for:
Carter Birade, Sehome
Bryce Roe, Eastmont
Johnny Amezcua, Wenatchee
Cantrell Thomas Jr., Emerald Ridge
Kasen Dubke, Kalama
Note: The 2022 Track Preview was compiled by The Runner WA's cross country and track and field analyst Keenan Gray.