Boys state cross country preview

November 2, 2012 

Time: 2:30 p.m.
2011 champions: Gig Harbor; Jacob Smith, sr., Wenatchee.
Individuals to watch: Andrew Gardner, sr., Mead; Sumner Goodwin, sr., Lewis & Clark; Wolfgang Beck, jr., Gig Harbor; Drew Schreiber, jr., Eisenhower.
Local qualifiers: Sean Newcomb, sr., Walla Walla; Michael Williams, jr., Richland; Ben Wolpert, jr., Walla Walla.
Noteworthy: After Spokane’s 23-year run of 4A team champions was ended in 2010 by Eisenhower, a West-side team won the title last season for the first time since 1986. Central Valley and Lewis & Clark look to have a good shot at bringing the team title back to the Lilac City. ... After finishing runner-up the last two seasons, Gardner gets one final shot. He’s coming off a 14-second win over Goodwin at regionals. But keep an eye on Beck, who finished fifth last season. ... The 4As have not had a repeat winner since 2000 (Michael Kiter of Shadle Park). The only junior to win over the last 11 seasons is Mack Young of Redmond in 2008 (he finished sixth in 2009).

Time: 2 p.m.
2011 champions: North Central; Anthony Armstrong, sr., Kamiakin
Individuals to watch: Kai Wilmot, jr., North Central; Joe Hardy, jr., Seattle Prep; Tanner Anderson, so., North Central; John Dressel, so., Mt. Spokane; Keith Williams, sr., North Central; Andrew Foerder, jr., Nathan Hale; Spike Sievert, sr., Bellevue.
Local qualifiers: Kamiakin team (Cameron Glade, so.; Ahmed Ibrahim, jr.; Garrett Kraal, jr.; Jonathan Lafferty, so.; Keegan McCormick, jr.; Austin Oser, sr.; Christian Rodriguez, sr.; Daniel Sanchez, jr.; Andrew Synder, so.); Jeevan Philip, sr., Hanford.
Noteworthy: The standard for cross country greatness was set by Mead, with nine consecutive titles from 1988-1996. North Central is reaching that stratosphere, working on title No. 7 this year. The top-ranked Knights topped No. 3 Kamiakin 27-55 at regionals last week, that while missing Wilmot, their top runner, to illness. Fact is, any of their seven runners could turn in a top-10 performance. ... The race for second should be tight between Kamiakin and Nathan Hale, which won impressively over Seattle Prep 43-75 last week. ... Individually, look for Wilmot and Hardy, who split their matchups during the season, to let state decide their series.

Time: 1:30 p.m.
2011 champions: Lindbergh; Patrick Gibson, jr., Squalicum.
Individuals to watch: Gibson, sr.; Poli Baltazar, sr., Aberdeen; Devon Groves, jr., Lake Washington; Conner Johnson, sr., Sehome; Daniel Amann, sr., Deer Park
Local qualifiers: Bradley Buttars, sr., Prosser.
Noteworthy: No.1 Sehome beat No. 2 Squalicum by 21 points (45-66) last week at district, with No. 3 Bellingham (73) a close third. If anyone is going to horn in on the tough District 1/2 group, it likely would be Deer Park. ... Sehome has finished first or second for six straight seasons in the 2A. The year before that, the Storm topped North Central for the 3A title. ... Gibson is the returning champ and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. However, with four of the top six finishers from last year returning, repeating won’t be easy.

Time: Noon
2011 champions: Lakeside; Hap Emmons, sr., King’s.
Individuals to watch: Tom Bradley, sr., Blaine; Dillon Quintana, sr., Mt. Baker; Ruben Riordan, sr., Charles Wright; David Goldstone, sr., Charles Wright; Tyson Lovell, sr., Montesano; Ryan Coffman, jr., Lakeside; Brad Rich, sr., White Salmon
Local qualifiers: Royal team (Elias Cardenas, fr.; Christian Horta, jr.; Salvador Horta, fr.; Juan Jimenez, sr.; Riley Lefler, so.; Trevor Mianecki, sr.; Jesus Peraza, sr.; Nathan Perdue, jr.; Marcos Quiroz, jr.); Connell team (Jose Cervantes, sr.; Bergen Eskildsen, so.; Nazario Herrera, so.; Alfred Leon, sr.; Robert Orozco, jr.; Oscar Ortiz, so.; Eric Serna, sr.; Carter Syrie, fr.; Colton Wallin, sr.); Ramon Bravo, jr., Wahluke.
Noteworthy: Bradley dropped down from the 2As, where he finished 47th last year, but has to be the favorite for the title. He handed 2A champ Gibson his only loss this season and is coming off strong district wins over Goldstone and Riordan (2-3 at state last year). ... Lakeside is in the hunt for a third consecutive title, fourth in five seasons and fifth in seven. If the Eagles are challenged, it is likely to come from the very tough Distrct 1/2/3 with Charles Wright Academy, Lynden Christian and Meridian.

Time: 11:30 a.m.
2011 champions: Tri-Cities Prep; Lucas Graham, sr., Northwest Christian (Lacey)
Individuals to watch: Stephen Bottoms, sr., Onalaska; Skyler Larson, sr., Tri-Cities Prep; Seth Deal, sr., Waitsburg-Prescott; Sam Beam, jr., NW Christian (Lacey); Brandon Stickney, so., NW Christian (Lacey); Russell Melin, sr., Crosspoint Academy
Local qualifiers: Tri-Cities Prep team (Will Bryan, sr.; Phillip Geist, fr.; Joseph Ghirardo, jr.; Jorge Guajardo, so.; John Hylden, sr.; Skyler Larson, sr.; Sam Leon, so.; Isaac Nelson, so.; Kelly Smith, jr.); Waitsburg-Prescott team (Corey Braxton, so.; Seth Deal, sr.; Jacob Dingfield, fr.; Trent Hafen, so.; Kevin Kamel, fr.; Tewedros, fr.; E.J. Meserve, jr.).
Noteworthy: TC Prep is working on a third consecutive title, hoping to break the jinx of previous two-time champs Reardan (2004-05), St. George’s (2006-07) and NW Christian (Lacey) (2008-09). Prep twice has beaten previously top-ranked NW Christian (Colbert) in an invite and at district. ... Bottoms is the odds-on favorite to finish on top after placing fourth in the 1A race last year (his 16.05 topped the winning time in the Bs). From there, keep an eye on Larson, coming off an impressive district win over Deal.

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