Shoreline, WA - Glacier Peak's Riley McDowell and Shorecrest's Erik Luu ran personal best times in their respective races at they highlight the 3A/4A Boy's District 1 Track meet yesterday, May 17, at Shoreline Stadium.
Luu won the 3A 3,200 meter race in a time of 9:18.58 after falling behind Edmond's-Woodway's Deyago Peraza early on.
The Shorecrest senior was third after mile one behind Peraza's teammate, Dylan Hartono, and was on pace to finish in the top four to advance to next weeks state meet.
"The plan was to sit back the first mile and wait to see what happens," said Luu.
"By the time we past one mile, I was on pace and was feeling good, so I started moving up with Dillon."
With 800 meters to go, Luu closed in on Peraza knowing he had a shot to not only run a personal best time in this event, but become a district champion as well.
Less than a lap to go, Luu was able to take the lead the final 300 meters.
"When I knew Deyago (Peraza) was in front of me, I knew I could get him," said Luu.
"I didn't know how he was feeling but I just had to stay in front of him. I kind of look to the side to see if his shadow was there, but by the 200, I knew I could win this."
It must have been luck from the new uniforms Luu wore in his race as they typically wear green jerseys, but his coach decided to pull some strings and bring these old school, yellow singlets out.
"Our coaches found these at the beginning of the season and tucked them away.
They asked me and my teammate wanted to wear them. At first we thought they were really ugly, but they definitely grew on us. They are unique and no one else has a bright yellow uniform." said Luu laughing.
Along with Luu advancing to the state meet, Peraza ran 9:21.4 for second place, and Hartono was third in 9:24.34 and Shorecrest's Spencer Thurman was fourth in a personal best time of 9:26.2.
Glacier Peak's McDowell won the 4A 800 meter race in a time of 1:55.91 in a very exciting finish with multiple personal best times run by five individuals.
Jackson's Lucas Robert finished second in a personal best time of 1:56.37 to move on with McDowell to the state meet.
Woodway's Grant Christian inch out Marysville-Pilchuck's Jeffery Richner, who ran a personal best 1:56.97, at the line in the 3A 800 running a season best time of 1:56.75.
Christian fell way behind at the start as he sat in fifth and sixth place, but eventually made his way up to fourth passing lap one in 56-57 seconds. His teammate, Lucas Lacambra, who placed third at the end in 1:57.21, was in first.
"It's been really windy today so I didn't plan on leading the first lap," said Christian.
"My teammate, Lucas Lacambra, picked it up on the second lap and I went with him. About 200 meters to go I was sitting in second and third, while a bunch of other guys were falling off. I just finished this one out and ended up winning."
Snohomish's Nick McIver was fourth in a personal best time of 1:57.24 to secure the final spot to advance to state.
Jackson's Joseph Skoog caps off the evening with a win the 4A 3,200 running a season best time of 9:29.38 in solo effort.
Skoog, who was the District 1 champion in cross country this past fall, was surprised by who scratched out of the field as it open opportunity for him to win, and hopefully have one his many teammates in the race finish in the top two.
"With Riley out and Rios, that opened up the door for a couple of my teammates," said Skoog. "I was trying to help them out and get the other field tired."
Skoog was way out front for the first mile and a quarter, but began losing ground and was getting closer and closer to the second and third place runners.
"Although I was out front, I realized I still had to race three more laps." said Skoog with a big grin.
"It was really about realizing the race is longer than four laps and you have to grind and focus the entire time. I go into the race knowing I can beat these people, but at the same time I still have to race and be on top of my game."
Unfortunately one of his teammates didn't get the second and last spot to state as Monroe's Tyler Rihn ran a personal best time of 9:32.29.
The 3A and 4A state track championships will be next week at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma starting next Thursday through Saturday.