For those who have been asking about when I was going to put together the 3A list, the time has come for it to be unveiled. The reason it took so long is there are many, many, many great runners to choose from and it became a challenge for me. You can agree or disagree, but these seven individuals are ones to keep an eye on for this fall. Let's meet the 3A boys.
Issac Teeples - Kamiakin
An impressive first season for the youngest member of the defending state champions Kamiakin cross country team. Issac Teeples was 14th overall at the 3A state cross meet last fall running a time of 16:07.8, but his personal best time came at District 8 Meet where he ran 16:00.1. During track, Teeples missed out on qualifying for the state track meet in the 1,600 and 3,200 but still ran amazing times of 4:21.24 and 9:21.97. A talented individual who will only be sophomore, Teeples is a top 10, maybe a top 6, finisher at the state cross meet this season.
Stanford Smith - Kamiakin
The veteran of the Braves state championship squad looks to lead them back to another state appearance and a state trophy. Stanford Smith is the top returning runner on Kamiakin's team running a personal best time of 15:31.1 at the District 8 Meet. At the state cross meet, Smith placed sixth overall running 15:49.6. Had a good track season running personal best times in the 1,600 at 4:21.5 and in the 3,200 at 9:27.48. Smith is the top 3A runner returning and is my favorite to win this years state individual title.
Bryce Cerkowniak - Yelm
Bryce Cerkowniak went from finishing 72nd his freshman year at the state cross meet, to finishing eighth this past fall running an impressive time on a tough course of 15:55. He dropped his 5k time by almost a minute from his first high school season running 15:46.5 at the North Thurston Ramrock 5k. Cerkowniak had a great track season qualifying for state meet in the 1,600 and 3,200. In the 3,200, he ran a personal best time of 9:24.59 and was sixth overall. Placed 15th in the 1,600. He will be a top five finisher at the state cross meet after showing a remarkable track season this past spring.
Quincy Fankhauser - Arlington
Big expectations for this years Arlington boys will rely on their top runner, junior Quincy Fankhauser. Last fall, Fankhauser was 13th at the state cross meet where he ran 16:07.6 and led the Eagles to a third place finish. His personal best time was ran at the WESCO Championships in 15:31.2. Like Yelm's Cerkowniak, Fankhauser is another runner who made a big jump from his freshman year placing 61st at the state cross meet. His track numbers weren't spectacular during his sophomore season, but his freshman year he did run 4:35.7 in the 1,600 and 9:44.32 in the 3,200. If all goes well, Fankhauser will be in the mix to place top five at state.
Nathan Carter - North Central
Nathan Carter had a great start to his junior cross season running a personal best time of 15:46.6 at the Bob Firman Invite. However, Carter wasn't able to get back down to that area of time and finished a disappointing 54th place at the state cross meet. He was still a contributor to North Central's second place team a the state cross meet. Carter is though the top 3,200 runner returning from last track season with a time of 9:21.41. He also ran 4:26.58 in the 1,600. So, yes, Carter had a much better track season than cross if you think about it from an individual perspective.
Leif Swanson - North Central
The biggest surprise at the state cross meet last year, Leif Swanson began showing great times when it mattered most at the district and state meets. Swanson helped the Indians to a second place finish by placing seventh overall running a personal best time of 15:53.8. Didn't run a ton during the track season, but his personal best times are 4:34.43 in the mile and 9:48.73 in the 3,200. Along with Carter and the rest of the Indians team, Swanson hopes to lead North Central back to the promise land and claim another state championship to the historic program.
Nicky DiMartino - Bishop Blanchet
Nicky Dimartino is one of few runners on our list to have run a personal best time on the new state cross country course as he ran 16:30 to finish in the 31st. Now why would someone who placed that low at the state meet be on our list? Well, it's because of a great track season he had. DiMartino qualified for the state meet in the 1,600 and 3,200. He placed seventh in the 3,200 running a personal best time of 9:25.13, and missed out by one placing in the 1,600 to get on the podium running another personal best time of 4:20.93. I expect a breakout season in his final year of high school.
Top 5 Teams
2. North Central
4. Bishop Blanchet
5. Rogers (Spokane)