2022 XC Preview: 1A Girls
One of the greatest running seasons in Washington high school history has come and gone. The 2022 season showed us all the hard work and dedication each athlete had put in during the COVID era and the results were nothing but great when it came to competing on the biggest of stages.
Alas, a new era of running begins this fall with another talented group of individuals returning and looking to make more history in hopes of rewriting the record books as they continue Washington's rise to nationwide dominance.
The 2022 cross country season is upon us, so let's run it back again.
Here is your first look at the top 1A runners and teams to watch for on the girl's side.
Isla Chadsey, Northwest
Junior year was a season of promise for Isla Chadsey in the fall of 2021. The much-improved Chadsey dropped her 5k time down by almost 100 seconds from her sophomore season, running a time of 19:12, ranking among the top 1A runners in the state. It was a tough finish to season however for her at the 1A state meet finishing 57th overall, but it was her best finish in her second state appearance. In the spring, Chadsey continued to run well, posting personal best efforts of 5:14.37 in the 1,600 and 11:34.83 in the 3,200. She qualified for the state meet in both events and went onto place fifth in the 3,200 and 12th in the 1,600. Should see Chadsey compete for a top-three spot this season coming back with the third fastest 5k time.
Sophia Inglin, King's
Exciting times are ahead for the King's girls' program featuring the rise of Sophia Inglin. The freshman-then came a long away from her first race of the season to her final one, going from running a 5k time of 20:29.2 to a personal best 19:25.9, earning herself sixth place honors at the 1A state cross country meet. On the track, Inglin saw more positive results in various races from the 400 to the 3,200. Her top performances came at the 1A state meet in two races as she ran an 11:49.49 in the 3,200 to place 10th overall, then ran a 64.6 second leg on the Knights' second place 4x400 relay team. King's will count on Inglin to lead their squad back on the podium this fall.
Alexis Leone, Seton Catholic
Between the cross country and track seasons, Alexis Leone's sophomore year results are just the beginning of an incredible legacy being built. The Seton Catholic rising star began the year tearing it up on the cross country courses winning six of her seven races, including the 1A state individual title in a season best 5k time of 18:05.2, and led the Cougars to the program's first-ever state team championship. Leone's dominance continued on the track later in the spring as she compiled an undefeated racing record in the 1,600 and 3,200 races. She ran personal best efforts of 5:06 and 10:45.57 at the 1A state meet and went onto win both the 1,600 and 3,200 state titles, completing the distance triple crown. To close out her sophomore year, Leone competed at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships where she won both the 1,500 and 3,000 national titles in the 15-16 age division, running personal best efforts of 4:36.45 and 10:05.55. It'll be another year and another opportunity for the reigning champ to prove she belongs in the elite level conversation.
Sadie Meyring, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls)
Another runner who took positive strides to close out her freshman campaign was Lakeside's Sadie Meyring. The Eagles top returner this coming season was one of two Lakeside athletes on the cross country podium last fall at the 1A state meet as Meyring ran a lifetime best 5k time of 19:33.2 to place eighth overall after starting the year running 20:37. During track, Meyring ran personal best efforts of 2:19.77 in the 800 and 5:17.55 in the 1,600 as she earned two podium finishes at state in those events placing fourth in the 800 and eighth in the 1,600. She was also a member of Lakeside's seventh 4x400 relay team. Meyring will be the youngest athlete on this year's Lakeside squad that is filled with four returning seniors from its sixth place state team.
Brooke Miles, Naches Valley
Brooke Miles perhaps made the biggest leap in cross country and track than anybody else on this list. In cross country, the junior began her high school career running 24:52 in her first 5k and has since dropped that time down to 19:46.5 in her sophomore season. She went onto place 11th overall at the 1A state meet becoming the highest finisher at the state meet in Rangers history. On the track, Miles' improvements continued to impress, going from running 6:41.38 to 5:18.67 in the 1,600 and 14:40.31 to 11:33.07 in the 3,200. She raced both events at the 1A state meet, placing ninth in the 1,600 and seventh in the 3,200. The turnaround Miles has made within the last year has been nothing but impressive to say the least. It'll be exciting to see what she does again as a junior.
Natalie Oathout, Klahowya
Natalie Oathout wasn't shying away from the competition last year, and it's made her a potential threat to contend in the top three this season at the state meet. Last fall, Oathout led the Klahowya girls in her freshman season with a 5k personal best effort time of 19:02.4 and went onto place ninth overall at the 1A state cross country meet, leading the Eagles one spot away from bringing home a team trophy. As for track, Oathout ran personal best efforts of 5:21.93 in the 1,600 and 11:32.96 in the 3,200. She took third overall at the 1A state meet in the 3,200 running that personal best time, as well as placing 11th in the 1,600. The younger sister of former Klahowya great - Alex Oathout - is heading in the right direction going into her sophomore season as she continues to climb up the improvement board in hopes of capturing a top-three finish at state.
Aliyah Yearian, Port Townsend
There's only been two girls in Port Townsend cross country history to ever finish in the top five at the state meet: Hannah Granger in 2004 and 2005, and Aliyah Yearian this past season. Yearian ran a 5k personal best time of 19:16.9 during the first half of the season and concluded her sophomore season at the 1A state meet placing fifth overall, matching Granger's 2005 finish as the second highest in program history. Yearian didn't race as much during the track season, but when she did it was consistently in the 3,200. She ran a personal best effort of 11:22.72 and qualified for the 1A state meet where she went onto place sixth in the field. Second place at the state meet is the highest finish ever by a Redhawk athlete, and given her ability in the longer distance events, the odds of placing that high are in her favor.
Teams to watch for:
- Other than graduating Lara Carrion, the Cougars return the majority of its state championship squad and are in a good place to repeat as champs in 2022. Led by individual champion Leone, it'll be the oldest group the program has ever seen with one senior, three juniors, and one sophomore. Junior Avery Garrison is the only other returning state placer besides Leone as she took 16th.
- Been a long time since the Redhawks have taken home a state trophy. The last one came in 2005 when it took home second place, but this may be the year the streak is broken with the talent coming back. This could also be the most complete group in program history with the returning athletes they have back like Yearian and senior Camryn Hines. With a duo like that, Port Townsend now enters the state title conversation.
- The Blazers are a well-rounded group coming off a fourth place finish at state last season, and they'll return four of its seven state participants for this year's varsity that is hoping to go more beyond than what was accomplished last season. There isn't just one person that stands out for this year's team. Any given day the roles can switch, so every runner on varsity plays an important role. It does start with the leadership from senior Kathryn Frazer.
- The youth of this year's Knights team is going to carry the load for the most part starting with Inglin at the forefront of it all. Then there's athletes like junior Rosella Gehr and sophomore Emi Gunning, who throughout last year showed positive consistency for a team that struggle with injuries at times and are hoping to continue that trend in hopes of helping King's make its way back on the podium.