Looking back at Portland, Bellevue, and King's Invites.
When you talk about the premiere race in the Pacific Northwest, alongside the Nike Hole in the Wall Invite, Nike Portland XC is one of the best around.
Some of our state's top teams and fastest individuals got their chance to show the nation what they were made of over the weekend at Blue Lake Regional Park in Portland, including Riverside's own Jamar Distel in the Danner Boys Championship race.
Two years ago, Distel suffered a hip injury mid-race at Nike Portland and couldn't run the time he wanted to. However, this season Distel redeemed himself, clocking the fastest 5k time of the day and a personal best 14:47.80 en route to his eighth consecutive cross country win.
Distel defeated Sherwood's duo of Jeffery Rogers and James Crabtree, who ran second and third place times in 14:49.10 and 15:01.50.
Selah's Cooper Quigley placed fourth, running a personal best 15:06.10, the fastest mark in 2A. Walla Walla's Brody Hartley was 11th, running a personal best of 15:35.
Tahoma was the top Washington school placing seventh with 224 points. Ryan Lewis led the Bears in a personal best run of 16:11, placing 40th. Wenatchee was behind Tahoma in ninth, scoring 245, and Seattle Prep was 11th with 255.
Bellarmine's Ella Borsheim was the fastest Washington girl finishing fifth in the Danner Girls Championship, running 17:43.50. Lake Oswego's Kate Peters, the 2019 Nike Hole in the Wall champion, won in a personal best time of 16:40.90.
Top-ranked Tahoma was sixth, scoring 206 points as Washington's top team. Sara Sanders placed 29th for Tahoma, running 18:45.40 as the lead runner. Bellarmine was 12th, scoring 277.
Seton Catholic was 13th with 299 points and had their full varsity for the first time this season with Alexis Leone (16th, 18:06) and Lara Carrion (31st, 18:46) making their debuts.
In other races throughout the day, Columbia River's Daniel Barna picked up a dominating win in Division 1 Varsity Boys race, running 15:34.20. Bellarmine's Matthew Hillyer was 10th in the same race, clocking 16:23.30.
Washougal's Elle Thomas was the runner-up in the Division 1 Varsity Girls race in a time of 18:51.50. Teammate Sydnee Boothby was ninth running 19:28.20. Skyview's Evelyn Reed was seventh running 19:26.20.
Both Medical Lake boys and girls team won their respective team titles in the Division 3 Varsity race, with the boys scoring 79, defeating South Salem and the girls scoring 56 points beating Cleveland of Oregon.
Top 10 Showdowns Make for Exciting Invite at Bellevue
For the first time this season, the Bellevue Invite showcased some of the fastest and most talented teams from across the state going head-to-head against each other at Lake Sammamish State Park.
Top-ranked Bishop Blanchet matched up with Arlington, Kamiakin, and North Central on the boy's side. As for the girls, it was Eastlake, Skyline, Bishop Blanchet, and Eisenhower.
Combined between the four varsity races and the traditional scoring method, the Blanchet boys and Eastlake girls placed first overall in their respective divisions.
Blanchet scored 83 points to hold off Kamiakin (2nd, 111), Arlington (3rd, 116), and North Central (4th, 158) for the top boy's spot. Eastlake defeated fellow KingCo opponents Skyline (2nd, 193) and Mount Si (4th, 230), and Eisenhower (3rd, 223), scoring 133 points to take the girl's title.
As for individuals, Kamiakin's Isaac Teeples claimed the fastest time of the day in the Boys Varsity No. 1 and 2 race, running a 5k personal best time of 14:55.9, defeating Lakes' Cruize Corvin, who clocked in a personal best 15:03.6 to finish in second. Teeples teammate Grayson Wilcott was fourth running 15:21.8.
Will Schneider of Blanchet was first on his team, placing fifth overall in 15:24.5. Arlington's Brandon Moore (15:46.4) and Aiden Emerson (15:51.5) placed sixth and seventh for the third-place Eagles.