Bear Creek's Markezich Upsets King's Smith in 1A Bi-District 1,600

Updated: May 19, 2019

Bear Creek's Olivia Markezich defeated King's Naomi Smith in the 1A Bi-District 1,600 meter race. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

Coupeville, WA - Olivia Markezich has dealt with the injury plague all season long in her final year running for The Bear Creek School.

If yesterday, May 16, at the 1A Bi-District meet was any indicator of how she has progressed over the last couple of weeks, there are signs the senior is getting back to full strength.

In a stunning upset in the girl's 1,600 meter final, Markezich defeated King's Naomi Smith, the No. 1 runner in the 1,600 at the 1A level, running a new personal best time of 4:54.4 at Coupeville High School.

It's been over a year since Markezich has won a 1,600 as she won the 1A state title her junior season and second time she has broken the 5-minute barrier as a Grizzly.

On lap one, Smith took it out very strong creating a big separation between her and Markezich for the first lap.

"I just tried to go out with Naomi because I knew she would have a good start," said Markezich. "The plan was to stick with her and try to hold on. If I had a chance, I was hoping to outkick her in the end."

Markezich trailed by no more than 50 meters for the first two laps and managed to close in on Smith with 600 meters to go.

Coming onto the final lap, Smith could hear Markezich closing in and took one look over her shoulder to see where she was.

Just one little second that Smith moved her head over to the left changed the race drastically and Markezich knew it was time to race.

"When I saw her look over her shoulder, I knew it was go time." said Markezich.

"Having a strong finish was big today. I know I have a strong kick and I just wanted to kick as hard as I could."

This is only the second time Smith, who ran 4:55.26, has lost in the 1,600 this season and first time losing to a 1A opponent.

Along with Smith and Markezich, three other runners managed to qualify for the state meet in the 1,600 as they all ran under 5:16.00 for four laps.

Bear Creek's Andrea Markezich (5:07.64) was third; The Bush School's Ela Nickels (5:10.02) was fourth; Northwest's Macenna Hansen (5:14.19) was fifth.

On the boy's side, South Whidbey's Callahan Yale ran a personal best time of 4:26.03 in a come-from-behind win in the 1,600 beating King's' Nick LeBar at the line.