Top GSL returners
Adam Thorne, Ferris; Allan Schroeder, Mt. Spokane; Nathan Weitz, Shadle Park; Ben Johnston, NC; Alexander Avila, NC; Casey Adams, NC; Kenji Bierig, LC.
The Ferris Saxons are the team to beat. “We’ve still got work to do, but the work ethic has improved 100 percent,” coach Mike Hadway said. … NC’s Indians have the best returning depth while Mt. Spokane’s Wildcats, whose Schroeder is one of the top runners in state, and the Lewis and Clark Tigers are both veteran teams. … LC is bolstered by Derek Alcorn, who took a year off to focus on skiing. “We’ve got a pretty good group back and just missed getting to regionals,” coach Michael Lee said. … For the first time in memory Mead won’t be mentioned among the contenders, having graduated six of seven from last year’s State 4A champs. “I seriously don’t know,” coach Steve Kiesel said when asked about his chances. “Even though we’re very inexperienced, I’m not going to count us out.” Cory Foss returns for Mead. … Shadle’s Weitz is a state track placer. … Former Cheney standout Kieran Mahoney takes over as coach at CV. … Getting at least four teams to state (two in 4A, two in 3A) and two state team champions is a realistic assumption.
Top GNL returners
Corbin Williamson, Riverside; Colton Hastings, Colville; Ned Fischer, Colville; Jacob Morrison, Medical Lake; Nash Springberry, Cheney; Greg Fenno, Colville.
Colville’s Indians missed a state berth by two points last year and have six varsity veterans, so they should move to the head of the class. “As far as talent and willing to work, they’re right there with our state-qualifying teams,” coach Dean Fischer said.… The league gets three berths this year and four teams will chase the other two.
Top NEA returners
Colton Berry, Lakeside; Ryan Rojeski, Lakeside; Craig Besel, Lakeside.
Lakeside’s Eagles are defending state champions, but they graduated their top three finishers. With Berry, 18th in state overall, they have a start. “We probably had one of our biggest hits through graduation,” coach Steve Olson said. “Right now there’s a larger gap between one, two and three than in the six years I’ve coached.”
Top Class B returners
Jon Bennet, Republic, Grey Peone, Reardan, Nik Michel, Republic, Jay Williams, Northwest Christian, Grant Schultz, Reardan, Kyle Croft, Valley Christian, Nolan Wright, Northwest Christian.
Third in state last year, Republic brings back its entire team for a title challenge. St. John-Endicott and St. George’s, seventh and eighth in state last year, have solid rosters. Reardan must replace all but two from its runner-up team.