Granite Falls' Cortes 'Outkicks' Competition in 1A Bi-District 3,200

Isaac Cortes (Front) won the 1A Bi-District 3,200 meter race. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

Coupeville, WA - About a week ago up at Lynden Christian High School, Granite Falls' Isaac Cortes was in the lead on the final 400 meters of the District-1 3,200 meter final and was in total command to win.

With 250 meters to go, Cortes was passed by Meridian's Jaskaran Dhatt and wasn't able to get back into first place as he fell short of the district title.

Indeed, he was outkicked in the end.

"I've been upset with how I have run the 3,200 this year," said Cortes on his performance last week. "I haven't had a lot big races or run a personal best this season."

But when it came down to the race that mattered most, Cortes showed up.

The Granite Falls senior won the 1A Bi-District 3,200 race in personal best time of 9:47.02 at Coupeville High School this past Saturday, but once again had to over come some adversity to pull it out.

Cortes cruised through his first mile around 4:52 hitting 73 seconds on each lap as his coach told him to do so.

Cortes fell into third place behind Meridian's Abbas Theophilus and, once again, Dhatt on laps 6 and 7 in which he said were his hardest laps.

With 500 meters to go, something clicked for Cortes and his gears changed to a different type of speed.

"I felt more relaxed this time around," said Cortes. "I was confident in my racing after running a 4:27 in the 1,600 on Thursday, so I knew I could run a good time in the 3,200 because I have been training all season long and I have been wanting to run fast badly."

As Cortes got his automatic bid to state with his win, four other runners managed to meet the qualifying standard to also secure a bid.

Meridian's Theophilus (9:50.57) and Dhatt (9:52.56) were second and third and King's Anthony Hart (9:55.22) and Nick LeBar (9:59.01) were fourth and fifth.

In the boy's 800, Callahan Yale of South Whidbey won his second Bi-District title beating University Prep's Arie Smidt running a personal best time of 1:57.19.

Smidt, who ran 1:57.81, took the early advantage as Yale expected.

"I wasn't sure what was going to happen today, but I knew mentally I was going to give it my all," said Yale.

"Arie is really fast and if he was going to take it out quick, he would. I'd just have to stay with him otherwise I wouldn't have made up ground if he got too far ahead of me."

Yale and Smidt would battle for all 800 meters but it was the South Whidbey senior who had just a little bit left in the end to secure the win, in what could be considered an upset over the defending 1A 800 state champion.

"As I was on his shoulder, I just struck at the right time as I