The Timberlake girls are seeking a third straight 3A State cross country championship Saturday when all the classifications meet at Eagle Island State Park near Boise.
Timberlake, ranked No. 1 in the final 3A poll this week, is favored by the slimmest of margins over Sugar-Salem.
“They will push us and we’ll have to have a good day,” Timberlake coach Shawn Lawler said. “We’re evenly matched.”
Timberlake and Sugar-Salem faced each other five weeks ago at the Bob Firman Invitational, held on the state course, and Timberlake won.
“We’ve had a season that’s prepared us well,” Lawler said. “They’ve competed well when it counts. Sugar-Salem has had some kids improve and we’ve had some kids improve. It’s going to be interesting.”
Timberlake junior Ashly George, state runner-up a year ago, will challenge for an individual state title.
Bonners Ferry’s boys, meanwhile, are ranked third and will challenge for a trophy. The Badgers are led by Micah Krmpotich, who is ranked second, and Jacob Callister, who is ranked fifth.
The top four teams in each race earn trophies and the top 20 individuals earn medals.
Here’s a look at the other classifications:
5A: The Coeur d’Alene boys and girls were perfect at regionals with 1-2-3-4-5 finishes. But things will be much tougher at state.
CdA’s boys were ranked second and the girls third in the final poll.
Freshman Josie Brown is ranked second and Cody Curtis is ranked seventh. Both the boys and girls have tight packs.
“We’re going to give it our best shot for a state title,” Curtis said.
4A: No area teams are ranked, but a couple of individuals could fare well.
Sandpoint’s Sam Levora is ranked seventh and Lakeland’s Bekah Kastning is rated 21st. Both won regional titles last week.
Runners are at regionals this weekend, including two in Spokane.
The Greater Spokane and Columbia Basin leagues meet at Wandermere Golf Course on Saturday for four races, beginning at 1:30. The small schools have six races at Plantes Ferry Park starting at 11 a.m.
Three of the four races at Wandermere feature defending state team champions, plus Shadle Park’s Nathan Weitz, who won the 3A boys race. North Central has won five straight 3A boys titles while Eisenhower won both the 4A boys and girls last year at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, the long-standing site of the state meet.
NC will be pressed by Kamiakin, which is led by Anthony Armstrong, who was third in the state meet last year and won the two distance races at the state track meet in the spring. Mt. Spokane should be a contender for the third berth at state. For girls, Mt. Spokane and Shadle should both be in contention to advance.
Lewis and Clark and Central Valley girls have a strong chance to advance to state with Eisenhower, but the 4A boys race is wide open behind Ike.
• The Great Northern and Central Washington 2A leagues have five state berths for boys and girls. The 1A race, with the Northeast A and Caribou Trail facing off, has four berths – as well as a pair of defending state champions in the Lakeside boys and Riverside girls. The 2B/1B boys race, at which the Bi-County and Panorama leagues match up, advances three teams. The District 7 and 9 girls race in Clarkston.