With the Washington State Track and Field Championships beginning tomorrow, here is a look at the top runners to watch for at all levels in the 1,600 meter race.
Favorites: Daniel Maton, Camas; Joe Waskom, Mount Si; Jonas Price, Eisenhower
Dark Horses: Luke Houser, Woodinville; Cooper Cortinas, Walla Walla; Wil Smith, Lewis and Clark
Outcome: Maton Wins
Why: Maton and Waskom are soon to be teammates at the University of Washington and will have plenty of opportunities to beat each other. Maton is the returning state champion and beat Waskom by 7 seconds last year at the state meet. With the year Waskom is having, there's the potential to see both of these boy's run 4:08 or faster.
Favorites: Taylor Roe, Lake Stevens; Julia David-Smith, Issaquah; Ella Borsheim, Bellarmine Prep
Dark Horses: Brooke Wallace, Glacier Peak; Aviry Stratton, Glacier Peak; Alicia Anderson, Kamiak
Outcome: David-Smith Wins
Why: This will be the last time Roe, David-Smith, and Borsheim will run against each other and it's going to be one of the best races of year. With Borsheim taking the state championship during cross country last fall, Roe looks to finish out her career on top as one of the most decorative athletes in the state of Washington with another state championship in the 1,600. David-Smith will challenge Roe for the title and it boils down to who has more speed, and I think it's David-Smith.
Favorites: Bradley Peloquin, Gig Harbor; Johan Correa, Kennewick; Alec Kness, North Central
Dark Horses: Dylan Hartono, Edmonds-Woodway; Lucas Lacambra, Edmonds-Woodway; Spencer Thurman, Shorecrest
Outcome: Peloquin Wins
Why: Peloquin has been the most dominate runner at the 3A level all spring. There's no question the Gig Harbor senior will break 4:10 in the 1,600 tomorrow and will finally capture his first state championship in both cross country and track. Keep an eye out on Kennewick's Correa though. The defending 3A cross country state champion has some wheels and has beat Peloquin this fall in Pasco at Sun Willows.
Favorite: Allie Janke, North Central
Outcome: Janke Wins
Why: Does this really need an explanation? Janke's 1,600 personal best time (4:45.89) is 12 seconds faster than the next fastest runner at the 3A level. She is also currently ranked eighth in the nation in this event.
Favorites: Kyle Radosevich, Ridgefield; Luke Knoblich, Liberty (Issaquah); Murrary Bingham, Sequim
Dark Horses: Eliason Kabasenche, Pullman; Rafe Holz, Sedro-Woolley; Alex Williams, Mountlake Terrace
Outcome: Knoblich Wins
Why: I had to think one over for a long time. Any of these guys can win this, but I am going with Knoblich. Of all the competitors in this field, Knoblich has been the most consistent all season. If you are going to argue, Holz of Sedro-Woolley has been pretty consistent too with his times. Pullman's Kabasenche is in the run for it too, but has dealt with the injury plague. None the less, this should be an exciting race.
Favorites: Annika Reiss, Bellingham; Madeline Drennen, Orting
Dark Horse: Lauren Larson, Port Angeles
Outcome: Reiss Wins
Why: Three reasons: 1. Undefeated in 1,600, 2. Only girl to break 5 minutes at 2A level this year, 3. Didn't win the cross country state title the last four years.
If anybody is hungry for a state championship, it's Bellingham's Reiss. She did win the state 1,600 her sophomore year, but that's not enough for her.
Favorites: Adam Briejer, Charles Wright Academy; Landon Davies, Cascade (Leavenworth); Callahan Yale, South Whidbey
Dark Horses: Rob McManus, Cashmere; Nick LeBar, King's, Arie Smidt, University Prep
Outcome: Yale Wins
Why: Although Charles Wright's Briejer won the cross country state title last fall and has the fastest time at the 1A level this season, it's another coin flip race (make that multiple flips) as the top nine runners are all four seconds within each other. But if anyone is running fast at the right time, it's South Whidbey's Yale as has he ran a personal best time in four consecutive races. Yale and Briejer match-up really well with other as far as speed, so whoever takes it out, will most likely win.
Favorites: Naomi Smith, King's; Olivia Markezich, Bear Creek
Dark Horse: Andrea Markezich, Bear Creek
Outcome: Smith Wins
Why: When you look at the field, five girl's from District 1 and 2 are in the top five. Three of them are question marks as to how they will place, while two of them will more likely than not finish first and second. King's' Smith and Bear Creek's Markezich have one win apiece when racing the 1,600 against each other this season with the most recent one coming in the 1A Bi-District final, which was won by Markezich. When they met again in the 3,200 two days later, Smith destroyed the competition and beat Markezich by more than 40 seconds.
Favorites: Austen Apperson, Adna; Justin Roosma, Walla Walla Valley
Dark Horses: Garrett McSheffrey and Noah Phillips, Northwest Christian (Lacey)
Outcome: Apperson Wins
Why: Adna's Apperson swept all three state races last spring and has won two cross country state championships. Can Apperson break the 2B state meet record of Onalaska's Stephen Bottoms 4:13.24? The Boise State bound runner is the best 2B athlete ever in history, but will be tested by Walla Walla Valley's Roosma in his final high school 1,600 race.
Favorites: Ava Shackell, Northwest Christian (Lacey)