With 20 days to go til cross country is back, we have reached our final watch list of the season. History could be made this season as one individual could win her fourth consecutive state individual title, as well as help her school to another state team championship. Here are the top seven girls to watch for at the 1B/2B level.
Novie McCabe - Liberty Bell
Three state individual and team titles doesn't look bad on a resume now does it? Novie McCabe is one of most successful cross country runners in the entire state at all classifications. Her third state title was won this past fall running 18:27.4, winning by nearly a minute, and helped the Mountain Lions to a 36 point victory over Asotin. Ran a personal best time early in the season at the Nike Twilight Invite as she ran 18:19.1. Along with her state title, McCabe won two invites, the Central Washington 2B Championship, and the District 5/6 title. Little known fact, McCabe doesn't partake in track, but is an avid cross country skier. Anyways, McCabe is my pick to win this year.
Gabby Martin - Life Christian Academy
If anyone is going to spoil Liberty Bell's McCabe's chances of winning her fourth state title, it's Life Christian's Gabby Martin. Hailing from the great nation of Australia, Martin was last year's runner-up at the state cross meet as a freshman running a time of 19:16.2. Her personal best mark was run at the District 4 Championship meet in 18:32.8. Quite the track season too for Martin as she qualified for the state meet in three events. She was second in the 1,600 and 3,200 running personal best times of 5:11.57 and 11:23.64, and third in the 800 running another personal best time of 2:21.49. Also a member of Life Christian's seventh place 4 x 400 relay team. Big expectations for Martin this coming season.
Chloe Overberg - Asotin
The tradition of Asotin High School's successful distance runners continues with Chloe Overberg. Overberg led the Panthers to a second place team finish as she was fifth individually at the state cross meet last fall in a time of 20:02.5. First 5k of the season she ran a personal best time of 19:06 at a league meet. In the spring, Overberg was a contributor to Asotin's state team title as she placed well in the 1,600 and 3,200. She placed fourth in the 1,600 running 5:28.52 and third in the 3,200 running 11:36.94. My dark horse pick for the season, Overberg could surprise some people and can be in the mix to win the state championship race.
Jori Grialou - Liberty Bell
The second Mountain Lion on our list, and another athlete that doesn't run track, Jori Grialou brings tons of talent to the sport of cross country. The soon-to-be sophomore placed ninth last season at the state cross meet running a time of 20:31 and a member of the state championship winning team. Ran a personal best time of 20:24.5 at the Nike Twilight Invite in late September. Look for Grialou to be in the top six mix at state.
Mya Edwards - Kettle Falls
With a 19:27 personal best 5k time last season, Mya Edwards was in the top tier of 1B/2B girls. Unfortunately, Edwards finished 15th overall at the state cross meet running a time of 20:48.1. But a bounce back track season was in the making as she qualified for state meet in two events. She was ninth in the 800, but claimed a podium spot in the 3,200 placing sixth in a personal best time of 12:08.53. Only going to be a sophomore, Edwards looks to improve upon her first year of cross country. I have her finishing in the top 10 at state.
Anais Mills - Garfield-Palouse
Anais Mills snagged the final podium spot at the state cross meet last fall taking 16th overall in a season best time of 20:51.7. In the spring, Mills placed in all three events she qualified for at the state meet. She placed fifth in the 800, fourth in the 1,600, and third in the 3,200. That 3,200 was ran in a personal best time of 12:37.26. Capable of breaking the 20 minutes barrier since she did so her sophomore year running a personal best time of 19:57.3.
Clare Kondrat - Pope John Paull II
Besides the fact she is the only runner on the list not to make the podium at the state cross meet last fall, Clare Kondrat showed some promise this last spring. Kondrat was third in the 1,600 and the runner-up in the 3,200 at the state track meet. Ran personal best times of 5:37.38 and 12:21.25. During cross, Kondrat ran a personal best time of 20:30.8. She looks to lead a strong Pope John Paul II team to the school's first ever state team title.
Top 5 Teams
1. Liberty Bell
2. Pope John Paul II
3. Northwest Christian (Lacey)
5. Kettle Falls