This group of young ladies were among the best not only for their classes, but in the entire state including this years senior class that was also a talented bunch.
Here are the top 10 underclassmen distance runners from the 2019 track and field season for the girls.
1. Allie Janke - North Central: One of the best underclassmen not only in the state, but in the entire country too. Janke broke two 3A state meet records while on her way to win the 1,600 and 3,200 titles. Those state meet records are also personal best times for her as they were 4:43.6 and 10:10.83. Despite not being in the top 25 for the 800, theoretically she is a for sure sub 2:16 runner.
2. Julia David Smith - Issaquah: David Smith finally got her statement victory in the 4A state 1,600 final. She ran 4:50.35 for a personal best by beating four other runners that make up this top 10 list. David Smith was also the runner-up in the 3,200 with another personal best time of 10:21.15. Earlier in the season, David Smith threw down a 2:13.01 in the 800 at the Nike Eason Invite.
3. Naomi Smith - King's: To complete the distance triple crown is quite the accomplishment, and it's a first from King's High School. Smith ran personal best times of 4:53.76 in the 1,600 and 10:25.5 in the 3,200. She won the 1A 1,600 title by seven seconds and the 1A 3,200 title by 30 seconds. Next year, there is a possibility Smith could go after the quadruple crown if she were to qualify in the 800.
4. Ella Nelson - Walla Walla: Going from 5:00 in the 1,600 to 4:52 and placing second at the 4A state meet is a significant jump, so Nelson's expectations for herself next season will be really high. Nelson was also third in the 3,200 running 10:45.98, but her personal best is 10:42.97, in which she took second down at the Arcadia Invite in her heat.
5. Aviry Stratton - Glacier Peak: Finished sixth and fifth at the 4A state meet in the 1,600 and 3,200. Ran personal best times of 4:56.15 and 10:38.39. Stratton made a breakthrough midway into the season where she ran 4:59.23 in the 1,600 at Eason, and then broke five minutes two more times in a row. She also ran 2:17.8 for a new best in the 800 in WESCO tri-meet.
T6. Meri Dunford - Prairie: Dunford compiled undefeated records in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 in conference and district meets. She placed second and third at the 3A state meet in the 1,600 and 3,200 as she ran personal best times of 4:54.99 and 10:52.51. Also ran a personal best in the 800 running 2:19.51 at the Tiger Invite.
T6. Ella Borsheim - Bellarmine Prep: She may be ranked lower than you expect, but Borsheim is the best freshman this season. In her first year of high school track, Borsheim finished second and third at the 4A state meet in the 800 and 1,600. Her best times are 2:11.09, which she just ran this past week at the Portland Track Festival, and 4:57.01. Undefeated in conference and district meets.
8. Erinn Hill - North Central: The second North Central athlete to make the top 10, Hill was a key contributor to the Indians success once again this season. Placed fourth and second in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the 3A state meet. Ran a personal best time of 5:01.73 and a season best time of 10:42.73. Hill was also on the Indians 4 x 4 relay team that placed second at state.
9. Sarah Mirkin - Holy Names Academy: Mirkin was one of three Holy Names runners to compete in the 800 and 1,600 at the 3A state meet. She placed third and fifth in the 800 and 1,600. Ran her personal best 1,600 at state in 5:03.33 and her 800 personal best is 2:13.27. A member of the third place 4 x 4 relay team for the Cougars at state.
10. MaryAlice Mitchell - Washington: Two personal best times and a state championship for Mitchell in the final two races of her freshman season. She ran 2:14.08 winning the 2A state 800 and ran 5:03.7 to place fourth in the 2A 1,600. Another freshman to make the top 10 on our list.