GSL, GNL cross country preview
NC and then the rest
Expect the GSL boys race to be much like last year with North Central atop the league, chased by Mt. Spokane and most of the rest bunched up. “It will be a typical GSL. You can’t overlook anybody,” NC coach Jon Knight said. “I imagine we would be predicted pretty high.” … The Indians return their entire team that won a sixth straight 3A title with four top-20 placers, Keith Williams, Kai Wilmot, Sam Holland and Tanner Anderson. Mt. Spokane’s Wildcats were fifth, led by John Dressel, 13th as a freshman. … Mead’s Andrew Gardner second last year, is odds-on favorite to win the 4A race after sweeping the distances in track last spring. Sumner Goodwin of Lewis and Clark was seventh. …Central Valley finished fifth in state and returns four of its runners.
An era ending
The four-year GSL rivalry between Katie Knight and Kendra Weitz is coming to an end. Twice they finished second and fifth, respectively, at state, but after going 1-2 in regional, Weitz injured her Achilles tendon last year and faltered. “She’s back running with me,” Shadle Park coach Bob Isitt said … Lewis and Clark trophied in fourth place and Central Valley finished eighth in 4A. Mt. Spokane was ninth and Shadle 11th. With most of their teams back, expect them to finish among top four in some order in the GSL this year.
Back home at Shadle
The Highlander cross country meet returns Saturday to its Shadle Park roots after two years away because of construction. “We have 27 teams competing (including Rocky Mountain from Montana which will be among team favorites) and a brand new course,” Isitt said. “The best one we’ve ever had.” There are several class races, with the junior boys at 11:30 a.m., varsity girls at noon and senior boys at 12:30 p.m. … Meanwhile, the Tracy Walters race hosted by North Central goes on at Audubon Park, with varsity girls at 10:30 a.m. and boys at 11.
Deer Park takes lead
There was a time Scott Daratha expected to be Pat Tyson’s heir at Mead. “I think that was the understanding,” he said. “When I wasn’t the guy (following an administration change) it opened the door.” If disappointed with the Panthers’ slight, he’s made the most of it after being hired at Deer Park and has built the program into a top-three state placer. He said the first step was securing a commitment to year-round running. “They’ve run more miles than ever. At a time trial the other day, five guys were faster than what our No. 3 did last year,” he said. … But the GNL boys race will be no cakewalk. Cheney and East Valley were eighth and 14th, respectively, at state last year and each return four runners. West Valley is building under former U-Hi and Mt. Spokane coach Bob Barbero. And State 1A runner-up Colville is back in the league. … Runners to watch: DP’s Daniel Amann, sixth in state, Nolan Woodard and Kody Turner and Colville’s Kevin Carpenter, eighth in 1A
Behind star Sanne Holland, the Cheney Blackhawks girls finished second in state. Holland, fourth individually last year and 3,200 champion in track, returns, as do five teammates. East Valley (10th) and Pullman (14th) return most of their teams. WV’s McCall Skay finished 13th as a freshman.
NEA: Look to Lakeside
Lakeside has won three of the last four 1A boys titles. The Eagles are after three straight after beating Colville by nearly 30 points in last year’s meet. “We lost our second and third runners out of seven,” coach Steve Olson said. “We’ve got to make some improvement and tighten it up.” Last year the Eagles were 10 deep and any of three could have finished in their top five. But right now, there is too big a time gap between runners and Charles Wright Academy of Tacoma returns the second- and third-place state finishers. … Olson’s girls also won state, their first title. “The girls team is just awfully strong. Lakeside had a premier program. Last year the girls were stronger than the guys,” he said. Lindy Jacobson, Sofia Marikis and Megan Ahrendt finished in the top 16. … Second in state last year, Riverside poses a challenge with five returning runners.
Northwest Christian’s boys should be a contender, depending upon how much improvement six returnees make. Republic’s Duncan Forsman was 13th as a freshman. … Reardan’s girls were second last year, led by freshman Harley Strope who placed fifth ahead of Northwest Christian’s Anna Henry.
And the rankings say
Central Valley is picked third and Mead seventh in the initial boys 4A state rankings poll; CV girls are seventh. … NC, as expected, sits atop the 3A boys poll. Mt. Spokane and University are fourth and sixth, respectively; Shadle Park is fifth and Mt. Spokane 10th among girls. … Deer Park is ranked fourth among boys; Cheney is at the top of the girls 2A poll with Deer Park ninth. … Lakeside boys are third and the girls top the 1A poll with Riverside fifth. … Northwest Christian at No. 1 and Davenport and Republic are top six in 2B/1B boys. Reardan is second among girls.
|GSL boys, predicted finish||7. Ferris|
|1. North Central||4. University||8. Shadle Park|
|2. Mt. Spokane||5. Lewis and Clark||9. Gonzaga Prep|
|3. Central Valley||6. Mead||10. Rogers|
|GSL girls, predicted finish||7. Gonzaga Prep|
|1. Central Valley||4. Mt. Spokane||8. North Central|
|2. Shadle Park||5. Mead||9. Ferris|
|3. Lewis and Clark||6. University||10. Rogers|
|GNL boys, predicted finish||5. Colville|
|1. Deer Park||3. East Valley||6. Pullman|
|2. Cheney||4. West Valley||7. Clarkston|
|GNL girls, predicted finish||5. West Valley|
|1. Cheney||3. Pullman||6. Colville|
|2. East Valley||4. Deer Park||7. Clarkston|