Updated: Jan 29, 2020
The finish we had at the end of the 2019 4A cross country state meet showed signs of what will be a competitive spring this track season in a few short months. Introducing the first edition of 2020 track and field previews, here are the top 4A distance runners on the boys side.
Cooper Cortinas, Walla Walla
Was it the final year of cross country the Walla Walla senior was hoping for? No, not at all. A 90th place finish at the 4A state cross meet is something Cooper Cortinas will want to forget after having finished 23rd the year before. But there is great potential with this runner as we saw in his junior track season. The recent WSU commit finished sixth at the 4A state track meet in the 1,600 meter final running a new personal best of 4:12.8. Cortinas has also run personal best marks in the 800 and 3,200 meter races in 1:57.22 and 9:24.89. Like most runners, staying healthy is going to be the biggest thing for Cortinas when it comes to running in Tacoma in late May.
Jacob Easton, University
Jacob Easton had one of the best starts in the state for cross country complying four wins in four races in a two week span. Easton was the runner-up at the 4A state championships running a personal best time of 15:09.9, only to finish behind Lewis & Clark's, Wil Smith. Last spring, Easton was seventh at the 4A state track meet in the 1,600 meter running a time of 4:14.72, which was .16 tenths of a second off his previous best mark where he ran a week earlier at the District 8 meet. He also ran personal best marks in the 800 and 3,200 meter running 1:57.81 and 9:21.12. Be on the lookout in the 3,200 this year as Easton will keep climbing his way to the sub nine minute range.
Sam Geiger, Camas
Even with an early season injury in cross country, Sam Geiger was a big key in helping the Camas Papermakers clinch their first ever state team title in the boy's program history. Geiger lived up to the expectations after his sophomore season of running as he placed sixth individually this last fall at the 4A state meet running 15:22.7. Last track season, Geiger made a big leap from his freshman season running personal best times of 1:55.94 in the 800 meter and 4:19.83 in the 1,600. He was eighth in the 800 and 11th in the 1,600 at the 4A state track meet. One of two Papermakers to make this years list.
Matthew Holme, Sumner
Matthew Holme is an all around athlete on the track. Whether it's in the 400 or the 1,600 meter races, Holme shows great strength and speed in anything he competes in. He was fourth last track season at the 4A state meet in the 800 meter final running a time of 1:57.13, but ran a personal best mark of 1:55.95 in the preliminary round. Holme also qualified for state in the 400 where he placed 11th in 50.95 in the preliminary race. His 1,600 meter personal best time came at the Pasco Invite as he ran 4:29.1. Although he is known as a mid-distance runner, I would like to see Holme race some more 1,600's this spring.
Tyler Hunter, Central Valley