Top GSL returners
Baylee Mires, Mead; Andrea Nelson, Shadle Park; Alicia Doohan, Gonzaga Prep; Molly Cole, Mt. Spokane; Sarah Craig, Mt. Spokane; Alison Keenan, LC; Madi Barnes, CV; Katie Morris, Shadle; Jamie Lambie, CV; Hannah Allen, LC; Afton McKinlay, Mt. Spokane.
Could this be Shadle Park’s year? Defending State 3A champion Nelson has three teammates running on her heels, including Kendra Weitz, Morris and newcomer Chelsea Chandler. “I’m a little nervous about how good they could be,” coach Bob Isitt said. … State third-placer Central Valley returns four runners and has added freshman Skye Sanders to the mix. At the Tracy Walters invite, coach Dennis McGuire said, “I think we ran better than we did last year. We’re going to be in the hunt.” … Mead, a just-miss team state qualifier, will be in the hunt with the league’s top runner Baylee Mires, a two-event state track champion. “This team is giving me their absolute best,” coach Dori Robertson said. … Mt. Spokane brings back three top-16 district finishers under new coach Camille Moseley. … LC has sophomore state vet Keenan among five returnees who were five points away from state, but the Tigers are nursing injuries. “If I can keep us healthy, we’ll definitely advance,” coach Mark Vandine said. … NC newcomer Katie Knight, daughter of Indians boys coach Jon, was second at the Silverwood Coaster Cross. … It’s a good year for the region to have extra team berths to Pasco.
Top GNL returners
Jess Mildes, Riverside; Jessica Duenich, Deer Park; Kaitlin Cunningham, Deer Park; Sara Taylor, Deer Park; Rachel Rubright, West Valley.
DP’s Stags finished fifth and Riverside’s Rams sixth last year at state. Their goal is to move into the trophy hunt. “Deer Park and Cheney are strong and (Riverside coach) Bill Kemp seems to come up with the magic elixir,” Colville coach Dean Fischer said.
Top NEA returners
Hailee Ramsey, Lakeside; Mackenzie DeRuyter, Freeman; Evangeline Rehwaldt, Lakeside.
Lakeside’s Eagles, fourth in state last year, return six and have added former soccer player Kenna Middleton, fifth in state at 3,200 meters last spring. “(Between boys and girls) they might possibly for the first time in Lakeside history be the better team,” Olson said.
Top Class B returners
Lisa Vandenburg, NWC; Mackee Moland, St. George’s; Jasmine Avala, Valley Christian; Jody Cassell, Republic; Laura Fowler, Asotin; Rachel Erickson, Davenport; Katie Johnson, St. George’s.
Youthful Asotin, second in state last year, St. George’s, third, and Reardan have enough returnees to contend again. Northwest Christian’s Vandenburg in three years has been first, second and third.