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WIAA Washington State Meet

Sun Willows Golf Course, Pasco WA

Saturday November 8, 2008

On-site with Rob Monroe & Dave Devine

From jcrawford.net - 4A - 3A - 2A - 1A - B-2B
Race Distance: 5K

Highlights - Watchout's Power Merge

US#1 North Central boys dominate with 24 points
Upsets in both 4A team races, along with three all-time individual marks

US#1 North Central boys overpowered the 3A race, while Michael Miller tied the #2 time ever on the course with his 15:18.  Alyssa Andrews was #3 all-time on the course in taking girls 4A laurels, and Mack Young hit 15:18 in the 4A boys race to tie Miller and 2 others.
Photos James Thomas, sunfairrun.com

by Dave Devine, DyeStat Senior editor

It’s a two hour bus ride from Spokane WA, where the US#1-ranked North Central boys reside, to Pasco WA, where Saturday’s 2008 Washington State Cross Country Championships were held.  But the Indians' trip to a third-straight 3A state title began with a much longer journey-- 12,398 miles, to be exact.  That’s how many miles the entire North Central team logged in training this past summer (it was featured prominently on their sweatshirts), and if there was any question about whether that collective effort helped propel the seven boys who ran varsity to their championship win, the evidence was in full view as the whole squad mobbed the podium at the awards ceremony afterwards.

North Central placed all five scorers in the top eleven with a 23-second spread, keyed by a 15:25 runner-up performance from Andrew Kimpel which initiated a 2-3-4-5 NC landslide across the line.

“To turn around in the finish chute and see all of that red and black right behind was really gratifying,” Kimpel said.

His team’s 24 points, well up on NW#5 Seattle Prep’s 74, was easily the lowest winning total of the meet, confirming expectations on a day when several favorites fell to upsets from lower-ranked teams.  The biggest upset may have been in the other 3A race, where the unranked Mercer Island girls toppled NW#2 Seattle Prep girls, 115 to 134, with Mt. Spokane only 3 points further back at 137.  In the 4A races, NW#3 Gig Harbor girls were stunned by a single point by NW#5 Eastlake (right), 96-97, while perennial contender Mead—which had fallen from the rankings the previous week after a disappointing day at the Eastern Regional—upended season-long favorite and NW#3 Henry Jackson, 98-106, continuing a 21-year championship run by Spokane teams in a year when many thought the title might finally head west.

Two classifications featured team sweeps, as Sehome boys and NW#8 girls took the 2A races and Northwest Christian-Lacey grabbed both B/2B races.  Lakeside boys and King’s girls claimed comfortable wins in the 1A competitions.

Fast individual times were also the story of the day.  Beginning early with Maddie Meyers 18:53 course record in the girls 1A race, the all-time marks kept coming throughout the afternoon.  Most impressive were a trio of performances in the larger classifications.  Alyssa Andrews of Gig Harbor, perhaps salving somewhat the pain of that 1-point team loss, dominated the 4A girls race en route to an 18:00 posting which was #3 all-time on the 5k course, behind only Megan O’Reilly (17:35) and Brie Felnagle (17:53).

“I’ve been working really hard all year,” Andrews said, as she fought back tears in the press tent after the race. “And I’m just really happy.  I was trying to get out fast and relaxed, and then go in the middle.  I guess it worked.”

Mt. Rainier senior Michael Miller, winning his first state title in Washington after back-to-back small school wins in Alaska, took the 3A boys race in 15:18, equaling the #2 all-time mark on the course. 

“It’s my senior year,” an emotional Miller said afterwards, “and I three-peated, which was a really big goal of mine.”

In the very next race, Redmond junior Mack Young emerged late from a crowded 4A boys field to equal Miller and two others in history, hitting his own 15:18 to tie Miller as fastest boy of the day.

“I just decided to go for it,” Young said, acknowledging he wasn’t necessarily a pre-race favorite.  “I knew I had a good kick, so if I was with them I was just going to try to go for it, and it worked out.”

Team Champs:
  • Class 4A - Mead boys (98) over Jackson (106); Eastlake girls (96) over Gig Harbor (97)
  • Class 3A - North Central boys (24) over Seattle Prep (74); Mercer Island girls (115) over Seattle Prep (134)
  • Class 2A - Sehome boys (71) over Burlington-Edison (90); Sehome girls (93) over Cedarcrest (99)
  • Class 1A - Lakeside boys (65) over Charles Wright Academy (85); King's girls (49) over La Center (80)
  • Class B/2B - NW Christian-Lacey boys (52) over Reardan (77); NW Christian-Lacey girls (60) over Asotin (68)

Class 4A Highlights
  • Mead boys upset pre-race favorite NW#3 Jackson to keep the GSL's state title streak alive at 21 years.
  • NW#5 Eastlake girls upset pre-race favorite NW#3 Gig Harbor to end Gig Harbor's streak at 3
  • Mack Young surprises with a 15:18 win, tied for 2nd best all-time, over pre-race favorite Shane Moskowitz (15:21).
  • Alyssa Andrews blazes her way to an 18:00 victory, good for #3 all-time and 20 seconds ahead of Sandra Martinez

Class 3A Highlights
  • US#1 North Central boys romp to win with 24 points over NW#5 Seattle Prep (74).
  • Mercer Island girls upset NW#2 Seattle Prep, winning with 115 points to Seattle Prep's 134
  • Andrea Nelson secures her second state cross country title with a 10 second victory in 18:25
  • Michael Miller wins 3rd state cross country meet in a row, his first in Washington, in 15:18 over Andrew Kimpel (15:25).

Class 2A Highlights
  • NW#8 Sehome girls outlast NW#7 Cedarcrest 93-99 in a tight small-schools battle
  • Sehome boys (71) beat Burlington-Edison (90) to stop their streak at 2
  • James Currell leads 6 runners at 16:10 or better with his 16:06 victory
  • Allison Cutting runs 18:25 to beat out defending champion Ruby Roberts (18:34)

Class 1A Highlights
  • Lakeside boys score 65 to top Charles Wright Academy by 20, with King's 3rd with 108
  • Quinton Decker and sophomore Port Townsend teammate Bereket Piatt finish 1-2 in 15:56 and 16:10
  • King's girls (49) take out La Center (80), with Chelan (115) and Lakeside (126) strong as well
  • Northwest freshman Maddie Meyers claims victory in her first state meet, running 18:53 to win by 41 seconds

Class B/2B Highlights
  • Northwest Christian-Lacey girls score 60 to beat Asotin by 8, with Saint George's next with 73
  • Trout Lake/Glenwood senior Neola Putnam wins the girls individual race in 19:18
  • Northwest Christian-Lacey boys score 52 to top Reardan's 77, with their top 4 all in the top 9 finishers
  • Valley Christian senior Jeff Pope takes the B title by 40 seconds, running 16:12

State Meet Preview

by Rob "Watchout" Monroe - Latest Watchout Fleet 15

Anyone that’s paid attention to the Washington State Meet the last few years can easily tell you one thing: Never bet against the GSL teams. The last 20 years of history does not lie: the Greater Spokane powers Mead and Joel Ferris (and University), have been flat out dominant at the state meet. Those three teams have claimed every single boys team title in the last 20 years without fail, with Mead totaling 13 by themselves and Ferris having won 4 of the last 5 times. This year, they are both there once again, and both field competitive teams. However, they are playing the part of the underdogs this year as District 1 powerhouse Henry Jackson has beat them both (and everybody else) this season, and simply looks better on paper. Whether or not that will translate into the school’s first state cross country championship is yet to be seen. All across the classifications, teams defending titles will be heavily contested, and top returning individuals will face significant challenges from newcomers. After 2 months of hard racing, finally the season culminates at Pasco’s Sun Willows Golf Course on November 8.

4A Boys Jackson has beaten all other major title contenders this year except Tahoma, who they have not yet faced. After having beat top competitors Mead twice, Eisenhower twice, Gig Harbor thrice, and Joel Ferris once in September, they have the best resume going into the meet. However, no Westside team has won the title in 21 years, and no team outside the GSL has won the title in the last 20 years. Joel Ferris, winner of the Eastern Regional this year, has claimed 4 of the last 5 titles while Mead has claimed 13 of the last 20 – including last year’s razor thin 4 point victory over Gig Harbor. For the individual title discussion, Shane Moskowitz has dominated all year long including a 19 second margin over Julian-Blake Cowan and Conner Peloquin at the Westside Classic and another double digit margin at the Narrows League championships over Conner Peloquin and Kevin Rosaaen. On the Eastside, Andrew Gonzales carries the greatest credentials while Emmanuel Contreras and Adam Thorne are also worthy of mention, as are the Redmond duo of Aiden Irish and Mack Young as well as Skyline's Simon Sorensen.

4A GirlsGig Harbor is the three time defending champions, and have not lost to a 4A Washington team all year. Eastlake, Richland, and Central Valley look like their strongest competition and should keep it a close race. Individually, the top competitors are Baylee Mires from Mead, Alyssa Andrews from Gig Harbor, and Sandra Martinez from AC Davis. All three runners ran against eachother at the Sunfair Invitational, where Baylee Mires won with an impressive 17:59.5 while Andrews finished next, 12 seconds behind and almost 23 seconds ahead of Martinez.

3A BoysNorth Central is the top ranked team in not just Washington State, but the entire nation. They are led by an astonishingly good top 4, who could all finish in the top 7 in 3A, and another prime time runner that should be very competitive for an invitation to BorderClash. Beyond North Central, the 3A race features two more teams that could very well be among the best in the Northwest as well, as Seattle Prep is ranked #4 and Lindbergh #5 in the latest Fleet 15 rankings. In the race for the individual title, North Central’s lead trio of Andrew Kimpel, Jeff Howard and Leon Dean should be challenged by Mt. Rainier’s Michael Miller.

3A GirlsSeattle Prep girls finished 4th a year ago, and two of the teams ahead of them changed classifications while the other failed to qualify for state. But that’s the past, and this season Seattle Prep has made a name for themselves after beating 4A powers Gig Harbor, Richland, and AC Davis and not losing to a single Washington team all year long. Mt. Spokane, Hanford, Columbia River, North Kitsap, and Mercer Island are the top competition in the Panthers quest for gold. Andrea Nelson was the 4A champion last year, and having moved down to 3A this year is the favorite to win it all again. Her top competition could be Seattle Prep’s Carey Parker and Laura Sauvage, Mercer Island’s Lindsay Benster, and Columbia River’s Sarah Bobbe.

2A BoysBurlington-Edison and Sehome have finished 1-2 every year since they dropped down from the 3A classification and this year they should be the top 2 once again, although the order might change. Last week, Sehome beat Burlington-Edison 37-60 at the District 1 meet, but just one week earlier it was Burlington-Edison on top at the Northwest Conference meet by a score of 30-44. Only one year removed from the 65-65 tie at state, these two teams look primed to keep it close once more. In the race for the individual title, the top competitors are Ellensburg’s Kevin Aubol, Tumwater’s Steven Acosta and Nate Duray, Elma’s Todd Jackson, Sequim’s Kenny Russell, Sehome’s Scott Carlyle, and Lakewood’s Taylor Guske.

2A Girls – Once again a battle of the District 1 powerhouses, Cedarcrest and Sehome are the favorites in the race after very impressive seasons by both. Last week, the score was 48-52 in Cedarcrest’s favor, but don’t forget that third place team Squalicum as they were very close with 58 points. If any other team is to challenge, it would be District 3 champion Sequim, after they scored 32 points against the front-heavy Kingston squad. Ruby Roberts ran the fastest time of all classes last year, and the Kingston junior just might do it again this year, but she will once again face some incredible competition in her quest. Hockinson star Shannon Porter blazed a 17:55.6 at her district meet to narrowly beat Centralia’s Torin Shriver (18:04.6) and WF West’s Caroline Austin (18:29.5). All 3 of those runners finished in the top 5 last year and look to repeat that kind of performance once more. Sequim’s Allison Cutting, Sehome’s Annie Moore, Bellingham’s Becca Friday, and Squalicum’s Sophie Curl should threaten the District 4 group, while Wapato’s Samantha Blodgett and Ruby’s little sister Marina Roberts might be among the other top competitors.

1A BoysLakeside looks to dominate the boys race with LaCenter, Charles Wright Academy and King’s being the top competition. The individual favorite is Port Townsend’s Quinton Decker, with Lakeside’s Josh Alexander, Cashmere’s Seth Pierson, Kiona Benton’s Jose Marcial, Goldendale’s Asa Israel, Royal’s Ethan Tonnemaker, Montesano’s Jared Larsen, Seattle Academy’s Alex Johnson and Charles Wright’s Max LaBerge among the other top finishers.

1A GirlsKing’s has a two year winning streak to protect, and they are favored to do so. LaCenter was runner-up last year and look very strong as well, which could leave the battle for third between Lakeside, Chelan, Onalaska and Bellevue Christian. The individual favorite is Northwest’s freshman Maddie Meyers with King’s Olivia Thomas, Fork’s Chanda Romney, and LaCenter’s Meagan Governor being among the top challengers.

B BoysNorthwest Christian-Lacey dominated their district meet, scoring an incredible 18 points against some quality individuals including White Pass junior Nathan Perry, who finished 6th at state last year. After Northwest Christian-Lacey, other top teams are Reardan and Mt. Rainier Lutheran. Individually, favorites include Valley Christian’s Jeff Pope, White Pass’ Nathan Perry, with Northwest Christian’s quartet of Micah Cushman, Justin Holden, Lucas Graham, and Alex Feero, Mt. Rainier Lutheran’s Jake Kornbau, and Seattle Lutheran’s Gordy Mueller among their top competitors.

B GirlsNorthwest Christian-Lacey is also the favorite on the girls side, with Saint George’s and White Pass battling it out for second. The individual race favorites are White Pass junior Mikel Elliott, Trout Lake/Glenwood’s Neola Putnam, Saint George’s Kate Reidy, NW Christian-Colbert’s Lisa Vandenburg, while Mt. Rainier Lutheran’s BreAnna Romerdahl, and the NW Christian-Lacey duo of Elizabeth Weber and Ashlee Giesman are some of the other top competitors.