Another running career at the 4A level has come to an end for former Lake Stevens' standout Taylor Roe, who won a total of 9 state championships between cross country and track. New faces came into the scene last season with a freshman taking home the state cross title and numerous underclassmen making a house hold name for themselves. Let's meet this years top seven girls on the 4A side.
Ella Borsheim - Bellarmine Prep
It's very rare to see an incoming freshman come into their first year of high school cross country and take home a state championship, especially at the level Bellarmine's Ella Borsheim runs at. Borsheim put on a dominating performance at the state cross meet last fall running a time of 17:36.1 in her victory. She was four seconds short of her personal best mark at 17:32, which she also won at Nike Portland XC. Just to add on, she was also the Nike Borderclash Champion. A speedster also on the track, Borsheim was the runner-up in the 800 (2:12.93) and finished third in the 1,600 (4:57.01) at the state track meet. She also ran the 3,200 one time and won in 11:00.23. Expect another dominating season by the soon to be sophomore and a favorite to win another state title.
Julia David Smith - Issaquah
On paper, Julia David Smith was the best runner at the 4A level last season running a personal best time of 17:16.4. David Smith settled for a second place finish behind Borsheim at the state cross meet running a time of 18:01.7. She was also the runner-up at the Nike BorderClash 20. Going into the track season, David Smith lived up to the hype and fulfilled her dream of winning a state title in the 1,600 running a personal best time of 4:50.35. She was also the runner-up in the 3,200 where she ran a personal best time of 10:21.15. The top veteran in this young class will dominate the regular season like Borsheim, and then it's going to be a battle between the two for what could be the best state championship match-up in quite some time on the girls side.
Ella Nelson - Walla Walla
Ella Nelson placed herself on the running map this last fall with an impressive fifth place finish at the state cross meet. Running in the 19 minutes all season long, Nelson threw down a 18:52.5 at state. Her personal best time was run at the Nike Hole in the Invite in 18:05.4. She was also a surprise at the end of the track season last spring as she qualified for state in both the 1,600 and 3,200 and placed very well. In the 1,600, she was the runner-up in a personal best time of 4:52.52. In the 3,200, she was third in a time of 10:45.98, three seconds off her personal best. When it comes down to postseason running, count on Nelson to step up her "A-game". A top three runner for sure.
Aviry Stratton - Glacier Peak
Aviry Stratton helped the Grizzlies get back to the state cross meet and win the state title last fall after missing out the year before for the first time in school history. She placed 19th running a time of 19:16.4, but her personal best time is 18:21.9, which was ran at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite. During track, Stratton finished sixth in the 1,600 and fifth in the 3,200 at the state track meet running times of 5:04.69 and 10:55.36. Her best race though came at the district meet where she broke the five minute barrier running a time of 4:56.15. The top returning Grizzly has her eyes set on placing individually and leading her team to second straight state title.
Halle Jenkins - Camas
Following in the footsteps of her sister Emma, Halle Jenkins is another top notch runner from Camas looking to strive once again this cross season. Last fall, Jenkins helped the Papermakers to a third place finish at the state cross meet finishing 12th in a time of 19:02.1. Her personal best time was ran at Nike Hole in the Wall Invite in 18:14.6. Jenkins had a good track season making it to the state meet in the 1,600 and 3,200. She would place 12th in the 1,600 running 5:09.77, a second off her P.R., and ninth in the 3,200 running a personal best time of 11:00. With everyone back on the team, including Jenkins, who is a top 10 finisher, Camas looks to challenge Glacier Peak for the state title.
Lili Hargreaves - Redmond
Every race Lili Hargreaves ran during cross country was always better then the last one. The Redmond junior ran a personal best time of 19:02.8 at the state cross meet and placed 13th overall. Not qualifying for the state meet as a freshman, Hargreaves dropped her 5k time by over two minutes. Like Walla Walla's Nelson, Hargreaves ran well at the end of the track season this past spring as she placed eighth in the 1,600 and fifth in the 3,200 in personal best times of 5:05.42 and 10:53.79 at the state meet. My dark horse for the upcoming season, look for Hargreaves to place high at the state meet, potentially top 8.
Roz Slichko - Emerald Ridge
Roz Slichko put together great performances earlier in the cross season running a personal best time of 18:28.3 at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite, but fell off at the end of season where she placed 34th at the state cross meet running 19:34.3. This would also be the case during in the 1,600, but not in the 3,200. Slichko finished seventh in the 3,200 running a new a personal best time of 10:57.15, and was 13th in the 1,600 running 5:10.27. Earlier on she ran 5:06.8, a personal best. The key for Slichko this season is consistency, and if she is, she will be in the mix to finish on the podium very high.
Top 5 Teams
2. Lewis & Clark
3. Glacier Peak
4. Bellarmine Prep