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 3A runners and teams to watch for on the boy's side.
Cruize Corvin, Lakes
When you look at the big picture, Cruize Corvin had another career year in both cross country and track. The Lakes star kicked off his junior year running a personal best 5k time of 15:03.6 in late September and eventually picking up a seventh-place finish at the 3A state cross country meet despite running a minute slower on a very windy day in Pasco. In the spring, Corvin was strong in the 3,200 early on in the season, running 9:09.51 at the Arcadia Invite, but eventually found his groove in the 1,600 later on as it led up to two big performances at the 3A state meet in both of his primary races. He finished eighth in the 1,600 in 4:15.08 and seventh in the 3,200 in 9:07.19 - two personal best efforts. Corvin closed the spring with two great races down in Oregon, running 4:15.76 for a true mile at the Portland Track Fest and then 9:15.16 in true two-mile at Nike Outdoor Nationals. The 2020 virtual 3A state cross country champion has his eyes set on another hopeful state title this fall.
Brody Hartley, Walla Walla
Brody Hartley is one of those athletes where you put him in any pressure situation, he will perform at his highest level. The WA-HI star did so this track season and came up clutch for the Blue Devils at the 3A state track meet, leading his team to back-to-back state titles behind three personal best running efforts in the primary three distance races. Racing a total of four races in three days, Hartley scored 19 of WA-HI's 66 points behind three podium finishes, running 1:54.28 in the 800 to place second, 4:10.31 in the 1,600 to place fourth, and 9:02.16 in the 3,200 to place third. At Nike Outdoor Nationals, Hartley placed 11th overall in the two-mile championship field, running a personal best 9:03.78 to cap off the junior year. During the cross country season, Hartley ran a 5k personal best time of 15:22.1, dropping his time down by 63 seconds from his sophomore season, and earned a fifth-place finish at the 3A state meet. Be on the lookout for Hartley to mix it up in the top three this season alongside the Blanchet duo of Schneider and Recupero.
Carter Joy, Seattle Prep
If Seattle Prep is wanting to be in the state title conversation, it starts with its No. 1 runner, Carter Joy, doing his part to keep up with the state's best. The soon-to-be-senior had a strong fall for the Panthers last season, running a personal best 5k time of 15:18.9 and then finished placing 11th at the 3A state meet leading Seattle Prep to a fifth-place team trophy. Continuing into the spring, Joy also set new personal bests during the track season in both the 1,600 and 3,200, running 4:26.10 and 9:28.15. He is one of two athletes on this list that didn't qualify for the state track meet. If there is one thing Joy could approve upon this season, it's consistency. Those that have shown to be consistent throughout the season as far as time wise are the most successful runners.
Drew Oliver, Bishop Blanchet
Blanchet's edition of Drew Oliver in the spring of 2021 was a game changer and it proved to be in the Bears favor this past fall en route to winning a state title. Oliver had some great moments in his junior season, posting a season best 5k time of 15:15.3, three seconds off his personal best, and was one of four Blanchet runners on the podium at the 3A state meet, placing 19th overall. Despite the success, there were some setbacks for Oliver he had to battle through. A tibial stress fracture held him back from running at 100 percent and eventually carried over to the track season when he began running again. Under limiting racing, he appeared in three meets but only ran the 400 and 4x400 relay. Speaking with his coach John O'Leary, he says Oliver is currently swimming and running at the moment and should be ready to go by the time November rolls around. When healthy, Oliver is a top five runner in the entire state.
Vince Recupero, Bishop Blanchet
The future of Washington running lies in the hands of Vince Recupero, and the Blanchet rising star has already he begun to make an immediate impact on the sport. As a freshman, Recupero ranked near the top of the charts in cross country in the state, producing a 5k time of 15:17.3, and a fourth-place finish at the 3A state meet where he was second on the Bears championship team. He also placed 25th at the NXR Northwest Championships. The track season is where Recupero began drawing national attention as one of the top underclassmen in the nation, running times of 4:07.94 in the 1,600, No. 1 in the nation for freshmen, and a 9:00.11 in the 3,200, No. 2 for freshmen. He also earned two state podium finishes in both those events, placing second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600. Recupero hit the national stage to finish up his freshman season, running at Brooks PR Invite in the two-mile (9:02.05, 7th) and Nike Outdoor Nationals in the mile (4:12.94, 17th) to pick up two more personal best efforts. More to come in year two for this up-and-coming national star.
Will Schneider, Bishop Blanchet
The expectations to be great were met for Will Schneider during the 2021-22 school year. Starting in the fall, Blanchet's top runner kicked his junior season off running a new 5k personal best time of 14:52.7 and leading the Bears to a 3A state team title behind his state individual title won in 15:17.1. Schneider concluded the fall by finishing fifth at NXR Northwest Regional Championships, clocking 15:24.1. During track, Schneider continued progressing upward in his racing, running personal best efforts 4:07.65 and 8:59.85 in the 1,600 and 3,200 races, and a season best 1:56.66 in the 800. He went onto claim both the 1,600 and 3,200 3A state titles to go with his cross country state title, completing the first distance triple crown in Washington since the 2018-19 school year when Adna's Austen Apperson did so. Schneider wrapped up his junior season with two more races at the Brooks PR Invite and Nike Outdoor Nationals where he came away with two personal best efforts in the two-mile at Brooks (8:53.85, 4th) and the mile at Outdoor Nationals (4:12.04, 11th). An exciting senior season is ahead for one of the best to ever lace them up for the Green Lake Harriers.
Zander Trevino, Lakes
Entering his junior season, Zander Trevino was another middle-of-the-pack runner. After a productive year in both cross country and track, he's among the best in 3A. The Lakes senior ran a 5k personal best time of 15:41.8 in the fall and finished the season placing ninth at the 3A state meet matching his virtual state meet finish from his sophomore year. The track season is where we saw the biggest leap for Trevino as he dropped his 1,600 and 3,200 times by a substantial amount. He ran two personal best efforts in his first appearance at the 3A state meet, running 4:17.09 to place 10th in the 1,600 and 9:05.65 to place fifth in the 3,200. Trevino finished off the track season with an appearance at the Portland Track Fest, clocking a personal best time of 4:17.74 in the mile. This is a much-improved runner who looks to continue on the upward trend this fall.
Teams to watch for: Bishop Blanchet
- The defending 3A champions will be looking even stronger than last season heading into the 2022 campaign. Schneider and Recupero have already established their dominance as Washington's best duo for this coming year, but it's runners like Oliver, Johnny DiMartino, Will Sandnes, and Dash Weber who add more talent to a team with so much depth. Head coach John O'Leary could have his most complete group of runners ever in the years he's been at Blanchet.
- The expectations were high for a Seattle Prep group that looked really good early on in the year in 2021, but a fifth-place team finish at state was not what was the Panthers were hoping for. Lucky for them, six of their seven state athletes all return this season, including state placer Joy, putting Seattle Prep in a good position to redeem itself in hopes of challenging Blanchet in the state title race.
- The amount of veteran talent this year's Gig Harbor team has is going to carry them to big things this season. Senior's Micah Galeana and Tyler Campbell are two of the Tides's three podium finishers returning this season, both coming off career best seasons they'd like to repeat and improve upon. Then there's the cohort of junior talent, led by Jonathan Miles who comes into the fall off a very fast sophomore track season.
- Entering year four of its newly established program, the Lynx will have its oldest group of runners to date. Led by senior Ian Agopsowicz, Lincoln's lone runner at the 3A state meet last fall, the Lynx should have a solid group that will be senior heavy in the top 10, but also full of younger talent including sophomores Zach McNaul and Caleb Hirschfeld who were second and fourth on the team last season.