Jackson's Brenden Charbeneau and Jordan Hansen got their first test of the season against Kamiak's Carp Mukai in an instant classic race between the WESCO rival schools from an individual and team perspective.
Hockinson's Allyson Peterson is trying to prove she belongs with the greatest in 2A history before her high school career is over with back-to-back conference championship wins.
Week six was another great one, so let's dive right into the best of the best from the past week.
Performance of the Week: Sunnyside's Reid Weaver
In 2019, Sunnyside's Reid Weaver made his first appearance at the 4A State Cross Country Meet and placed 94th overall, but came away with a new 5k personal best time of 16:36.2.
Something had to have clicked for Weaver after that performance because he's been on a tear of late and is one of the state's top runners.
Weaver set the Sunnyside 5k school record on March 3, running 15:55, a massive improvement from his junior year. But 10 days later, Weaver broke his own school record and ran a 5k time of 15:28, which ranks top five in the state this season.
Since that win on March 3, Weaver has also won three consecutive races and placed third at the prestigious Sunfair Meet.
Race of the Week: Kamiak's Carp Mukai vs. Jackson's Brenden Charbeneau and Jordan Hansen
If anyone were to look at this match-up a year ago way before COVID, many would have Jackson's Brenden Charbeneau taking this race by a long shot.
But the type of offseason training Kamiak's Carp Mukai and Charbeneau's teammate Jordan Hansen has been having, this race might go down as one of the best this season.
Mukai was on the frontend in this 4,000-meter race winning in a personal best time of 12:39 to win his second race of this season, but more importantly, it's probably his most significant win to this point of his career.
Jackson's Charbeneau was second running 12:41, followed by Hansen in third running 12:42.6.
All three of these guys would have been top 10 podium finishers at the 4A State Cross Country Meet, but the debate about where each one would finish could be all over the map.
Team of the Week: North Central Indians
When Jon Knight announced his retirement this past December from coaching the North Central boys after 30 years, the first reaction was, where would this dynasty of a program go from here?
First-year head coach Andrew Kimpel and the Indians have been perfect in their first two races this season, but none more perfect than this past weekend's performance against Cheney and Mt. Spokane.
North Central scored 15 points and had all seven of their varsity runners finish in the top 10 on a very challenging course up in Cheney, with Leif Swanson taking the win in a 5k time of 15:25.
Derek Smith (16:19.59, 2nd), Zach Kness (16:30.03, 3rd), Ethan Greiner (16:38.08, 4th), and Jonah Aden (16:39.35, 5th) completed the top five for North Central.
This is a solid veteran group of runners, and if a state championship were to happen this spring, North Central would have been in the conversation to win their first team title since 2016.
Meet of the Week: Kamiak Knights vs. Jackson Timberwolves
Plenty was at stake in the individual race, but the team race was even more exciting between Kamiak and Jackson.
After scoring five runners from each team, the Knights and Timberwolves were knotted up at 28 apiece, and it came down to the sixth runner which went in favor of Jackson.
Led by Charbeneau and Hansen's second and third-place finishes, the Timberwolves had six runners in the top 10 and ahead of Kamiak's front four to secure the tie-breaking win.
Sean Bubernak (13:34, 6th), Gabe Endresen (13:54.6, 8th), Logan Johns (14:02.3, 9th), and Evan Rasoumoff (14:09.3, 10th) were in that top 10 mix for Jackson.
Kamiak's Jackson Hammons was fourth running 13:03.6, while Jason Blinn was fifth running 13:05.4.
Other Top Performances:
- Sehome's Zack Munson sets the school record for the fastest Lake Padden course time (2.6-miles) running a personal best of 12:52.
- Eastlake's Ethan Pedersen debuts with a 5k course record time of 16:02 at Hartman Park against Redmond.
- Selah's Cooper Quigley remains undefeated picking up two wins, including a personal best 4,000-meter time in 12:29 against Grandview and Prosser.
- Hockinson's Trevan Bischoff wins his first GSHL 2A title running a 5k personal best time of 16:04.8 after placing 20th his junior season.
- Toledo's Nicholas Marty repeats as the Central 2B League Champion running a 5k personal best time of 15:50.9.
- Solid solo outing for Yelm's Bryce Cerkowniak against Timberline as he runs 15:44.7 for the 5k race.
- Central Valley's Alex Wright comes away with a tough 5k win, but it's the Mead Panthers picking up the three-point over their conference rivals in Central Valley and Lewis & Clark.
- Kamiakin's Isaac Teeples runs 14:39.46 for 3-miles to win by 63 seconds against rivals Kennewick and Richland.
- Newport of Bellevue scores 19 points en route to their win over KingCo rival Interlake led by Brent Nakashima's first-place run of 10:00.8 for the 2-mile race.
- Riverside's Jamar Distel opens up his junior year with a 15:38 5k mark to win his opener against Medical Lake and Deer Park.
- Kelton Gagnon of Klahowya wins his first Olympic League crown running 16:12.3 for the 5k race.
- Ilwaco's Daniel Quintana redeems his second-place finish at last year's Pacific League Championships winning this year's race in a time of 15:42 for 2.95 miles.
Performance of the Week: Hockinson's Allyson Peterson
Since her season-opening defeat, Hockinson's Allyson Peterson has won her last three races, but none more impressive than this past week at the GSHL 2A Championships.
Peterson won her second consecutive league title by running a new 5k personal best time of 18:03.1, which moves her into second for the entire state.
That's back-to-back weeks Peterson has broken 18:10 for a 5k race, and this coming week she has her last cross country race in a Hockinson uniform before heading into track season for her final high school racing season.
Race of the Week: Cedarcrest's Sonja Blycker vs. Shorewood's Rowan Casselman
Cedarcrest's Sonja Blycker comes into her junior year with big expectations after a ninth-place finish at the 2019 2A State Cross Country Meet running a 5k personal best time 18:56.5.
After an easy season-opening win by more than two-minutes, Blycker got her first test of the season running against Shorewood's Rowan Casselman, a first-year runner who won her season debut as well.
Blycker defeated Casselman by three seconds for the 4,000-meter race running a season-best time of 15:49, only one second off her personal best time from her sophomore season.
Team of the Week: Washougal Panthers
It's been the season of young, talented teams who have had the most success, including a Washougal Panthers group led by two freshmen and a sophomore.
For the first time since the 2014 season, the Panthers took home the GSHL 2A team title scoring an impressive 30 points to defeat Fort Vancouver and five other schools within the conference as four runners finished within the top 10, including three spots in the top four.
Elle Thomas suffered her first defeat of the season to individual champion Hockinson's Allyson Peterson, but the freshman ran a new 5k personal best time of 18:19.9 to finish second overall, beating her previous best mark by 38 seconds.
Sydnee Boothby and Jamie Maas finished third and fourth behind Thomas running personal best times of 18:32.8 and 18:56.5, and Savea Mansfield was sixth running 20:06.5
Meryl Keeler was the fifth runner for Washougal placing 18th in a time of 21:48.9.
Washougal currently sits in fourth in the Washington hypothetical meet, but they are the only school in the state with three runners with 5k marks under the 19-minute barrier.
Meet of the Week: Mead Panthers, Lewis & Clark Tigers, and Central Valley Bears
The Central Valley girls had a strong group returning this year with hopes of making it to the state meet for the first time since 2016, but they'll have to show their talents within the GSL this season.
Last week, the Bears got easy wins over Cheney and Gonzaga Prep but would be tested in their second meet against Mead and Lewis & Clark.
Lewis & Clark's Audrey Thronson won the individual 5k race in 19:21.89, and Mead's twins Alanna and Alexis Parker finished second and third, but Central Valley had their top-five finish in the top 10 led by Rubagail Bryntesen's fourth-place finish in a time of 19:59.75.
Nicole Bissell (20:19.43), Alivia Bruno (20:23.25), and Kylee Shakespeare (20:26.05) were fifth through seventh, and Sarah Pecha (20:48.56) was ninth for the Bears.
Central Valley did get another easy team win over Lewis & Clark 20-43, but the team race against Mead was their closest of the season winning by three points 31-34.
Sophia Ferraro (20:31.93, 8th), Charlotte Cullen (21:02.55, 10th), and Samantha Pierce (21:03.86, 11th) were in the scoring for Mead.
Other Top Performances:
- Bishop Blanchet's Olivia Freeman wins her season debut against Ingraham running 19:35.6 for the hilly 3-mile race.
- Seattle Prep's Lily O'Donoghue-McDonald runs 18:40 to win her second race for the 5k race against Roosevelt.
- Defending 4A champs Redmond were knocked off by Eastlake 26-30, led by Abby Van Valkenburg's third-place finish running 20:24.2 for 5k. Redmond's Chloe Connolly won the individual race in 20:20.
- Glacier Peak's Adisen Stratton wins her first high school cross country race running 12:46 for the 2.1-mile race against Archbishop Murphy.
- Kamiak's Emma Arceo leads the Knights to a win over Jackson 20-39 running a first-place 4,000-meter time of 16:02.4.
- Skyline's Lauren Holford drops her 5k time down 34 seconds running a new personal best of 18:17 in her win against Mount Si.
- Anacortes' Jessica Frydenlund heads into conference championship week running a new 5k best 18:59 against Burlington-Edison and a 4-0 record.
- Marysville Getchell's Jasmine Nguyen wins the 2-mile race against Cascade of Everett in a time of 12:18.
- Lincoln's Tali Braester runs 18:12.3 for a new 5k and school record best in her dual against Lakeside.
- Kennewick's Macy Marquardt runs the fastest 3-mile time of the season running 17:44 to defeat the 2019 4A runner-up Natalie Ruzauskas of Richland.
- Walla Walla's Ella Nelson is having a bounce-back year running 17:51.28 in her win against Hanford and Chiawana.