It had to happen sometime. The incredible Mead boys cross country state run has ended and will likely be something never duplicated. From 1988 until this year, 21 straight seasons, the Panthers dominated like no other placing in the top four every year, winning two-thirds of those state 4A titles, including the last two, and finishing second five other times.
Mead set a standard of excellence that has been emulated in the Greater Spokane League, and them some, and envied by all. Ferris and University winning the other seven titles, North Central adding the last three 3A titles and finishing second the previous two years.
But the Panthers based on scoring minus 3A schools in Wednesday's district meet at Plantes Ferry Park, lost their chance to qualify for state when they lost the third GSL regional team berth to U-Hi, in a sixth-runner tiebreaker.
But cross country in Spokane remains alive and well. Ferris and NC tied in the district race (the Saxons getting the sixth-runner nod) and will represent the GSL in their respective meets. Shadle Park's girls continued their dominance winning district handily. And, by the way, U-Hi's three state titles came under Bob Barbero, now teaching at Mt. Spokane. The Titans have worked their way back to regional, coached by Bob's son Mike.
Great Northern League season ended with Cheney, Colville and Deer Park claiming the top three spots in the standings. Colville's boys and Cheney's girls finished unbeaten to finish ahead of the Blackhawks and Deer Park respectively. The Stag boys had a break-out season, losing close contests to the top two, and Colville girls were third as well.