We made it to the weekend everybody. As we all prepare for snow-Armageddon in Western Washington, time to read about the boys at the 1A level to watch for this track season.
Arie Smidt - University Prep
Arie Smidt is on a whole different level from everybody else when it comes to dominating the 800, as well as the 1,600. Smidt is the top returner for the 800 and 1,600. The University Prep senior won his first state championship last spring in the 800 running a time of 1:58.85. Smidt also qualified for the 1,600 where he finished in 10th. His personal best marks from his junior track year were 1:56.52 and 4:25.32. Despite a 48th place finish at the state cross meet last fall, Smidt managed to have the fifth fastest time for 1As in 16:17.6. A high contender to win the 800 and 1,600 state titles.
Isaac Cortes - Granite Falls
With Granite Falls dropping back to the 1A level, Isaac Cortes becomes a heavy favorite to win the 1,600 and 3,200 state races. Cortes didn't qualify for the 2A state track meet his sophomore season, but ran 4:31.03 and 9:48.69 putting him in the top three for returning 1A runners in the 1,600 and 3,200. Cortes finished in third at the 1A state cross meet this fall in a time of 16:30.9. A great competitor and even better person, Cortes looks to build on his confidence after a successful first season running against 1A athletes.
Adam Briejer - Charles Wright Academy
Adam Briejer is a big presence amongst all runners at the 1A level. Not only is he a great runner, he stands out the most as the tallest runner in any race. Briejer defeated Meridian's Nathan Schneider for the 1A state cross country title this past fall in a winning time of 16:19.5. Last track season, Briejer ran personal best marks of 2:01.52 and 4:27.11 but failed to make postseason. However, his freshman year he did qualify for the 800 and 1,600 1A state races placing 11th in both. Briejer is another contender to win the 1,600 state crown this year.
Landon Davies - Cascade (Leavenworth)
The youngest returning top runner from track, Landon Davies puts himself into great position as a favorite to win the 3,200 state title. As a freshman, Davies finished sixth in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200 at the 1A state track meet last spring. His personal best times are 4:33.57 and 9:47.57. In the fall, Davies placed fifth at the 1A state cross meet running 16:33. His freshman teammate, Owen Bard, was fourth in the same race. Davies is now an experience runner after completing three seasons of high school running.
Nathan Schneider - Meridian
Although I list him as a 1,600 runner too, Nathan Schneider would much rather run back-to-back 4:50 miles rather than one. Even though Schneider failed to win the 1A state cross country title in the fall, he managed to have the No. 1 time all season long running 16:02.8. Last spring, Schneider qualified for the 1A state track meet in the 3,200 where he placed 15th. His best 3,200 time from last track season was 9:53.57. If Schneider is mentally prepared the right way, there's no question he can challenge Cortes and Davies for the 1A 3,200 state title.
Others to Watch for:
Abbas Theophilus - Meridian: Finished ninth at the 1A state cross meet this fall. Qualified for the 1A state track meet in the 3,200 as a junior.
Rob McManus - Cashmere: Finished sixth at the 1A state cross meet this fall. Placed ninth in the 1,600 at the 1A state track meet as a freshman.
Nate Mendoza - Zillah: Placed seventh at the 1A state cross meet this fall. Qualified for the 1A state track meet in the 3,200.
David Carrion - Seton Catholic: Qualified for the 1,600 and 3,200 at the 1A state track meet. Finished eighth at the 1A state cross meet.
Jenson Ellars - Meridian: Placed seventh at the 1A state track meet in the 800.