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State cross country glance

Location: Saturday, Sun Willows Golf Course, Pasco

4A boys (2:30 p.m.)

Central Valley’s first state team title a year ago was a group effort. If the Bears are to repeat the same will hold true Saturday. Still the fact remains: Despite breezing through district behind state veterans Corey Hunter, Briton Demars and Spencer Jensen. CV is not favored in Pasco. … Top-ranked Gig Harbor’s district times were comparable to CV’s, but with two newcomers, GH had four runners, including last year’s state runner-up Wolfgang Beck, finish in a virtual dead heat. Second in state last year, Eisenhower’s district times were faster than CV’s. …“Our strength is racing together,” coach Kieran Mahoney said. “We may not have a couple fast kids up front, but when it comes to a meet like this we race really well.”

4A girls (1 p.m.)

Central Valley coach Dennis McGuire said he is anxious to see how his young team compares to the third-place Bears finisher in 2008 after their easy district win last Saturday. … This year’s CV version is ranked third in the arbitrary state coaches poll behind Bellarmine Prep and Tahoma. All but Sarah White (a junior) are sophomores or freshmen, including No. 1 runner Briegan Bester. LC’s Gracie Ledwith is the GSL’s top individual threat. … Top six finishers last year were underclass.

3A boys (2 p.m.)

North Central, with seven consecutive state titles has a target on its back as last week’s narrow win over Kamiakin attests. Coach Jon Knight was not surprised.

“It was 50-50,” he said of the district race. “They ran really well down in the Sunfair. We’d done the math and knew it would be a point or two. We thought we’d lost.” … Having strength up front can be an advantage at state. It wouldn’t surprise if the GSL had the race’s top four of the top five Saturday. Mt. Spokane’s John Dressel, NC’s Tanner Anderson and Kai Wilmot and Shadle Park’s Nick Hauger are chasing defending champion Joe Hardy from Seattle Prep. Mt. Spokane has a good chance at a team trophy as well.

3A girls (12:30 p.m.)

The Mid-Columbia Conference took the top two team berths Mt. Spokane the third. The Shadle Park trio of Lauren Dunnell, Gabi Gomez-Wint and Ashley Hauger were the GSL’s top finishers, followed by Mt. Spokane’s Hannah Pomante and NC’s Reanna Risinger. Glacier and Kamiakin are favored.

2A boys (1:30 p.m.)

None of the Great Northern League boys teams are among the favorites, but East Valley could make some noise after winning district behind the one-two punch of Scott Kopczynski and Chad Stevens. Kopczynski finished 12th in state last year. Colville’s Kevin Carpenter was 14th. Skyler Ovnicek, third in district from West Valley, finished 19th and Cheney’s Kyle Lerch placed 24th – one of four Blackhawks who helped their team place fifth in state.

2A girls (11 a.m.)

Both Deer Park and Cheney return to state, the Stags with four returnees bolstered by new No. l runner Moriah Duenich, a freshman. The Blackhawks return three. Brittany Aquino, third in state for EV, and WV’s McCall Skay, sixth will contend individually. Sehome is favored once again in both races.

1A boys (noon)

In all his years coaching, Medical Lake’s Gene Blankenship noted prior to the season that his California teams won numerous state titles, but never in Washington. Third last year at state behind Lakeside, this could be the year. The Cardinals are ranked No. 1. They won easily over the Eagles and Riverside in district, led by Micah Dingfield who was 10th in state last year as a sophomore.

1A girls (10:30 a.m.)

A year ago Riverside defeated Lakeside 70-78 for the state title. Last weekend Lakeside beat Riverside for the district title. This year? Anybody’s guess. They’re ranked one-two again and Lakeside had five of the first 10 finishers at district, behind the Rams one-two punch of Rebecca Mildes and Mikala Schuler. Lakeside’s Lindy Jacobson was fourth in state last year.

1B/2B boys (11:30 a.m.)

Second-place Northwest Christian, led by Alex Wallat – sixth in state last year – nipped defending champion Tri Cities Prep by four points in last week’s district meet. Individual winner Chandler Teigen of Asotin was second in state.

1B/2B girls (10:00 a.m.)

Asotin beat state second-place St. John-Endicott in district. Freshman Madison Ward of St. George’s was individual winner over state veteran Jordan Porubeck, one of three SJE returners.