There are 15 days till high school track and field is back here in Washington. Lets look at the next group of runners as they are the top 1A girls this state has to offer for the upcoming season.
Naomi Smith - King's
Naomi Smith dominated the 1A cross country world this past fall staying atop as the No. 1 runner all season long with a personal best time of 17:27.9. The King's junior went on to win the 1A state cross title in a time of 18:16.1, winning by over 10 seconds. As a sophomore, Smith placed seventh in the 1,600 and fifth in the 3,200 at the 1A state track meet. Her personal best times are 5:06.08 and 11:02.65. Don't let her height fool you. She is one of the toughest runners you will ever watch in the state. Smith is a competitor and fighter when it comes to racing against the best of the best.
Olivia Markezich - Bear Creek
800, 1,600, 3,200
Olivia Markezich is a triple threat when it comes to distance running in track. The Notre Dame signee qualified for the 1A state track meet in all three distance events last spring and placed in the top three in all of them. Markezich won the 1,600 state title and was second in the 800 and third in the 3,200. Her personal best times are 2:18.49, 4:59.51, and 10:58.94. In the fall, Markezich placed third at the 1A state cross meet. The chances of an athlete winning two state titles in two events are likely, but Markezich could easily take all three of them this year. To accomplish that would be incredible at any level of classifications in the state of Washington.
Andrea Markezich - Bear Creek \
Did I mention Olivia has a twin sister that is just as great of a runner? Andrea Markezich is probably a better long distance runner in track than her sister is. As a junior, Markezich placed second in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the 1A state track meet last spring. Her personal best times are 5:03.02 and 10:57.92. Markezich, who signed to run for the University of Washington after high school, was fifth at the 1A state cross meet in the fall. Markezich is the second best 1A 3,200 runner from last season but has the best chance, in my opinion, to win the 3,200 state title in her senior season. She could also contend for the 1,600 state title.
Macenna Hansen - Northwest
Macenna Hansen may have not had the best cross country season in the fall, but she has an exciting final high school track season to look forward to. However, Hansen still managed to place in the top 10 at the 1A state cross meet finishing in ninth in 19:31.1. The top returning 3,200 meter runner at the 1A level looks to become The Northwest Schools first state champion in the event since Maddie Meyers won it back 2012. Last spring, Hansen placed ninth in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200 at the 1A state track meet. Her junior season best times are 5:07.8 and 10:54.97. Hansen needs to build confidence from the start of track in order to run really well this spring.
Alaina Stone - Colville
Another great competitor from Colville in junior Alaina Stone. Stone was the runner-up at the 1A state cross meet behind Smith this fall and ran a time of 18:27.3, six seconds from her personal best. As a sophomore, Stone was fifth in the 1,600 and seventh in the 3,200 at the 1A state track meet. Her best times from the spring season are 5:03.7 and 11:26.86. Stone chances of winning a state title this year fall in the 1,600 where she will battle with the Markezich twins.
Others to Watch for:
Lizzy Shaw - Riverside: Placed sixth in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200 at the 1A state track meet. Was also fourth at the 1A state cross meet this fall.
Kayla Aalpoel - Meridian: Placed sixth at the 1A state cross meet. Whatcom County middle school champion in 800 and 1,600.
Sarah Colando - University Prep: Placed sixth in the 800 at the 1A state track meet. Also a member of the sixth place Uprep 4x4 team.
Anna Haddad - Annie Wright: Placed third in the 800 and 10th in the 1,600 at the 1A state track meet.
Ela Nickels - Bush: Placed 12th in the 800 and 17th in the 1,600 at the 1A state track meet.