LANGLEY — No matter how fast Edmonds-Woodway’s Yukino Parle ran at the 3A District 1 girls cross country championships Saturday, she could count on teammates Olivia Meader Yetter and Stephanie Wroblewski being close behind.
It was like a pack mentality; wherever one went, the others followed. Only it wasn’t prey that they were chasing — it was berths to the 3A state cross country championships, which all three of them claimed by sweeping the top three places.
Parle won the 5,000-meter race at South Whidbey High School with a time of 18 minutes, 24 seconds. The fourth-year runner said their stacked finish is a rare accomplishment.
“I’m really happy we have such a good group to train with,” Parle said. “Usually you don’t see this kind of stuff until college.”
Finishing in the top three was the expectation, according to Meader Yetter. The trio finished in the top four at the Wesco cross country championships Oct. 21 and figured the odds of doing more of the same at the district meet were in their favor.
“That was kind of a plan,” said Meader Yetter, who finished second in 18 minutes, 59 seconds. “We thought we’d be able to do it. We’ve been really training hard together.”
Parle, Meader Yetter and Wroblewski helped the Warriors, the returning District 1 3A champions, secure a ticket to state on Nov. 4 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. Snohomish won the meet with 65 points; Edmonds-Woodway finished second with 70 and Shorecrest claimed third with 74. Only the top three teams and top 21 placing individuals advanced to state in 3A.
Alan Bonney, the Warriors’ head coach, said the trio’s performance wasn’t a big surprise.
“Those three are really good,” Bonney said. “They work really hard. They are physically gifted and they’re competitive as hell.”
Bonney anticipates all three have a strong shot at placing in the top 10 at state.
Parle has been there before. She placed second in the state as a sophomore, but “had a really bad race” as a junior and finished seventh. On Saturday she felt good about her race, which started off fast in the first mile, but decelerated when she reached the trails portion of the course. They are notoriously difficult.
“I died in the woods,” Parle said. “I slowed down a lot.”
Parle said she has high expectations for the state meet.
“We really want to win the state title,” Parle said. “I think it’s going to take a lot because we have some really good teams this year that we’re competing against. I’m not sure how I’m going to do individually because there’s a lot of people we haven’t raced against yet.
“We’re just hoping we have a good finish there and maybe make it to BorderClash.”
Jackson ended Glacier Peak’s nine-year streak of state berths in a second-place tiebreaker, which went to the team with the higher sixth-place finisher. Only the top two teams and 14 placing invididuals move on to the state meet.
“For the first time in Glacier Peak history, our girls are not going to state,” Glacier Peak coach Dan Parker said.
Jackson joins Lake Stevens, the winner of the 4A girls race, as the two teams headed to Pasco on Nov. 4.
Timberwolves coach Eric Hruschka credited his team’s depth and perseverance.
“It’s exciting. It’s the first time in a couple of years that we’ve made it,” Hruschka said. “And we even ended Glacier Peak’s streak.”
Lake Stevens junior Taylor Roe, a two-time state champion, won the race in 18 minutes, 32 seconds.
“Today was just all about getting qualified for state and helping my team,” Roe said.
Bellingham junior Annika Reiss won the 2A girls race with a time of 18 minutes, 24 seconds. Kristen Garcia, a senior from Sedro-Woolley, was hot on her heels and finished four seconds behind in second.
Reiss currently has the fastest time in 2A (17:35) and has won every single meet she’s competed in this season. She finished fourth in the 2016 state championships and second in 2015.
The top four teams and 28 individuals advanced to state. Bellingham won the meet, followed by Sehome, Cedarcrest and Liberty.
Northwest’s Macenna Hansen and Isa Meyers claimed the top two spots in the 1A girls race and helped their team to a first-place finish.
Hansen, a junior, won the individual title with a time of 18 minutes, 36 seconds. Meyers, a senior, finished in 18 minutes, 50 seconds.
Northwest, King’s, Meridian and South Whidbey qualified as teams for state, while the top 28 individuals also advanced.