Last spring, the 1A's put together another great year at the state track meet with exciting races that went down to the wire, and the runners that were part of those races are all back this season. Many of these runners are familiar faces, but here are the top 1A boys distance runners to watch for this spring.
Adam Briejer, Charles Wright
Adam Briejer continued his cross country success this last fall by winning his second consecutive individual state title at the 1A state meet running a time of 15:50.6, and also ran a personal best time of 15:31.6 earlier in the season. With the track season approaching, Briejer is looking for a bounce back year after having fallen short of a 800 and 1,600 meter title at the 1A state meet. Placed third though in the 1,600 meter running a time of 4:28.73, which is three seconds off his personal best of 4:25.48, and 11th in the 800 meter preliminaries in 2:05.27. His best 800 meter time was ran the previous week at districts in 2:00.7. Also ran the 3,200 meter during the season in a personal best time of 9:49.69. Winning a second cross country title should give Briejer a confidence booster going into track and should remind himself he is capable of running at his best when a state title is on the line. He's a contender to win both the 800 and 1,600 meter state races.
Nathan Cantrell, Port Townsend
Nathan Cantrell was just one of those runners that came out of nowhere and made vast improvement from his sophomore season to his junior season just based off times. As a sophomore, Cantrell was 17th in the 3,200 meter at the 1A state track meet but last spring finished up as the runner-up to Cascade's Landon Davies in a time of 9:50.84, only a second off his personal best of 9:49.43. Cantrell also made it in the 1,600 meter where he placed ninth in a time of 4:35.35, and only two seconds off his personal best of 4:33.15. Placed seventh this past fall at the 1A state cross country meet in a time of 16:20.7. Ran a personal best at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite running 16:11.4. If Cantrell wants to have a chance to win this year's 3,200 meter state title, he will need to develop a quicker kick. For the 3,200 meter race you wouldn't think that be the case, but last year's state race went down to who had more speed.
David Carrion, Seton Catholic
Sometimes the best runners are those you don't know anything about, and David Carrion is one of those runners. Although his numbers don't show it, I think Carrion is ready for a breakout year and improve upon his state track meet performances from last season. Placed 12th in the 1,600 meter in 4:36.92, a second off his personal best of 4:35.8, and eighth in the 3,200 meter in a personal best time of 10:01.87. In the fall, Carrion was ninth at the 1A state cross country meet in a time of 16:21.7. Ran a personal best time of 15:59.6 in a 1A TRICO League meet. If Carrion hits 4:32 in the 1,600 meter and sub 10 minutes in the 3,200 meter this season, he is a top six finisher in both those events at state.
Isaac Cortes, Granite Falls
Isaac Cortes ran the races of his life last track season at the end of the year, just a week too early before the 1A state meet. Ran personal best times at the district meet in 4:27.32 in the 1,600 meter placing fourth and 9:47.02 to win the 3,200 meter district title. The following week at state, Cortes was sixth in the 1,600 meter and third in the 3,200 meter running times of 4:32.61 and 9:52.02. Earlier in the season ran a personal best 800 meter time in 2:05.1. Last fall, Cortes won his second consecutive district one cross country title and then placed third at the 1A state meet in a personal best time of 16:03. Cortes has shown he's got great speed for a longer distance runner which I said is going to be a big factor in who wins the 3,200 meter state title this