High School Sports

Ike boys run to 4A title

PASCO -- In the season of the five-time champion, Saturday's state cross country extravaganza at Pasco's Sun Willows Golf Course will be most remembered for an interruption of a longtime title run.

After 22 years of dominance by the Greater Spokane League, the big trophy for the big-school boys will reside outside of the Lilac City, instead heading for the "Palm Springs of Washington."

Eisenhower, ranked No. 1 all season, finally wrested the title from the GSL's grasp, topping Lewis & Clark by nine points.

"It was hard to believe that we would do this," said Cadets junior Santos Vargas. "We've been No. 1 all season, had a target on us being the team to beat.

"It's great to be the team that stopped their run."

Eisenhower was the last non-GSL team to win the big-school boys title, back in 1987.

Three teams claimed their fifth straight state title, including another impressive showing by the North Central boys in the 3A race. The Indians scored just 43 points and finished 56 ahead of GSL rival University.

NC's last four titles have come by a combined margin of 238 points.

Also joining the five-timers list were the Sehome girls in the 2A race and Northwest Christian of Lacey in the 1B/2B girls race.

Eisenhower made it a clean sweep of the 4As, with the Cadets winning the girls title by a mere six points over second-place Eastlake and Tahoma, who went to a six-runner tiebreaker to decide their place on the podium.

Sehome posted the other title sweep in the 2As, with the Mariners boys topping Lindbergh by 11 points to give the Northwest League five straight state titles.

One team's bid for a fifth straight title came up short when the King's girls finished second to top-ranked Riverside by 20 points in the 1A race.

Northwest Christian of Lacey also was vying for a third straight boys title, but Tri-Cities Prep's pack attack shut that door. The Jaguars are the first team from the Tri-Cities to win a cross country title since the Richland girls in 1993.

Saturday's races also will be remembered for a state and course record that stood for 1 hour, 59 minutes and 57 seconds ... give or take.

Northwest junior Maddie Meyers, who last year posted the second fastest time of the meet in going 2-for-2 in 1A titles, demolished the field and finished in 17:34, a second below the mark of Mount Spokane's Megan O'Reilly in 2005.

Four races later, Glacier Peak sophomore Amy Eloise Neale clocked a 17:31.8 to win the 3A race.

The record was nice, Neale said, but "winning was most important to me."

* Kevin Anthony: 509-582-1403; kanthony@tricityherald.com