Arlington boys win 3A District 1 cross country title

LANGLEY — Four years ago, the Arlington High School boys cross country team finished last out of the 16 teams at the district tournament.

The story was quite different for the Eagles on Saturday.

Arlington completed a worst-to-first transformation, just hanging on to defeat Glacier Peak 55-58 in the team scores to take the 3A District 1 title at District 1/2/3 1B, 2B, 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon at South Whidbey High School.

“This has been a long time coming,” Arlington head coach Mike Shierk said. “Four years ago we took 16th out of 16 teams here at this very race. We just kept working away at it. This is awesome. This is the first boys team to qualify for state from Arlington since, I believe, 1977. So it’s been a huge dry spell. It’s like the Kansas City Royals getting in the postseason.”

The team scores were almost as close as they could be. Arlington got boosts from Nathan Beamer and Pieter Andrews, who finished third and fourth, respectively. But Glacier Peak countered with Garren Arnold, Sawyer Carter and Nick Stringer finishing eighth through 10th. Isaac Ripley (17th) and Chris Bianchini (18th) also finished in the top 20 for the Grizzlies.

However, Eagles juniors Zachary Cushman and Matthew Taylor finished together in 14th and 15th place, and Michael Barene rounded out the scoring for Arlington, finishing 19th overall.

It all added up to an incredibly close final tally.

“It was close, we weren’t sure,” Shierk said of the end of the race. “We had to check. My buddy had some video and I was nervously watching.”

“I warned my boys about them,” Glacier Peak coach Dan Parker said. “I laid it out. I said, ‘If we put it all together they’re only six points behind us. They’re coming. Unless you guys do something they’re going to get you.’”

Arlington did just that, clinching its first district title with Shierk, who is in his 17th season with the Eagles.

“This feels really good,” Shierk said. “I was telling a couple of the coaches today that Glacier Peak is kind of a measuring stick. Ever since I’ve been coaching they’ve always been the top, top teams. This was the goal. We said at the beginning of the season that we wanted to be district champs and we knew that that was going to go through Glacier Peak.”

The victory meant a lot to the Arlington seniors, who were early in their cross country careers four years ago.

“I was really confident that we would be able to pull off what we had to do,” said Caleb Smith, who finished 31st overall. “We all knew our job. We knew what we had to do. I’ve trusted these guys all season. I knew we were going to do it. … We’ve been ready all season for it. We’re a team. We don’t run as individuals. That’s the big thing. We race as a pack.”

The Arlington girls finished third in the girls’ race, clinching a berth for them in the state meet as well. Shierk was thrilled that his team gets to spend one more week together as it prepares for the state championship in Pasco next weekend.

“The team camaraderie is such a powerful thing,” Shierk said. “And it gives everybody another week to train together and compete together. “With the girls making it, too — that’s just a big deal as far as the depth of the program. We try to emphasize the team aspect of it. We had a lot of individuals step up today, but to have each team make it is huge.”

Now, Shierk hopes the Eagles can keep up their winning ways for years to come, and stay in the top half of the team standings instead of the bottom half.

“What we’ve been telling the kids is they just established a legacy and that we’re going to try to just keep it rolling,” Shierk said. “And next year it’s that group’s opportunity, and kind of responsibility, to keep the tradition going.”

Edmonds-Woodway finished third behind Arlington and Glacier Peak with 85 points. Senior Miler Haller led the Warriors, finishing second overall with a time of 15:44. Sam McCloughan (17:00) and Grady Okeson (17:02) also finished in the top 15 for Edmonds-Woodway.

Oak Harbor’s John Rodeheffer won the race in 15:37. Shorewood’s Andrew Christianson (fifth) and Jordan Erickson (seventh) of Everett also qualified individually for the 3A state meet.

4A

Jackson’s Aaron Roe will be returning to the 4A state meet — along with his teammates — for the fourth consecutive season.

The Timberwolves senior says there are high expectations for the Jackson team, although they’re not quite as high as the goals Roe has for himself.

“I’ve never trained this hard before,” said Roe, who won the 4A District 1 tournament with a time of 15:56. “I know my training is just going to culminate at state at the right time. I’m trying to just stay healthy this next week. I’ll wash my hands, use a lot of Purell, just get some easy miles in and head off to state. My goal is no less than top three.”

Roe knows some aspects of the state tournament are out of his control.

“It’s all about luck, really, at the state meet,” Roe said. “Year-after-year it’s just whoever has the best day, goes out and wins it. I just have to make sure I feel the best I can feel at the starting line.”

Along with Roe and his Jackson teammates,including Matthew Watkins, Jack Thompson, Efren Chavez and Brandon Yee qualified for the state tournament. So, did Snohomish’s Brad Hodkinson, who placed second overall.

Lake Stevens runners Noah Wallace (11th) and Trevor Allen (15th) qualified for the state meet, as did Cullen McEachern (Kamiak) and Cascade’s Luca Strand.

2A

Lakewood senior Douglas Davis won the 2A district race and helped his team clinch a spot at the 2A state tournament. Davis finished first overall in 16:24, just three seconds ahead of Anacortes runner Dylan Holland.

Alex Cooper also had a top five finish to help Lakewood (88 points), which finished second in the team standings, well behind team champion Sehome (38).

Cedarcrest will be joining Lakewood at the state meet. The Red Wolves took the fourth and final team state berth from the district. Cameron Hammontree (17:14) and Ian Fay (17:18) finished 10th and 12th respectively to lead Cedarcrest.

1A

Led by a district championship run by Andrew Ayers, King’s was able to secure a team title and advance to next week’s 1A state meet.

Ayers, who finished the course with a time of 16:36, led the way for King’s, which also got top 17 finishes from Matt Jackson, Tyler Ward, Arthur Emmons and Nate Richards, giving the Knights a 32-point victory over second-place Meridian.

South Whidbey, host of the district meet, also qualified its team for state. Cole Zink (17:18) finished sixth to lead the Falcons. Anders Bergquist, Will Simms, Cory Ackerman and Truman Hood will also head to the state meet to represent the Falcons.

Individually, Ryan Abdallah (Cedar Park Christian-Bothell) and Sultan’s McCrea Black each placed in the top 20 to advance to state.

BOYS AGATE

4A boys

Top four teams, 20 individuals to state

Team scores: 1. Eastlake 104, 2. Redmond 119, 3. Jackson 123, 4. Bothell 134, 5. Issaquah 144, 6. Snohomish 151, 7. Lake Stevens 162, 8. Inglemoor 184, 9. Skyline 236, 10. Woodinville 241, 11. Kamiak 244, 12. Cascade 245, 13. Mt. Si 357, 14. Mount Vernon 381, 15. Newport (Bellevue) 395, 16. Monroe 403, 17. Mariner 537.

Jackson–1. Aaron Roe 15:56, 9. Matthew Watkins 16:27, 25. Jack Thompson 17:02, 41. Efren Chavez 17:31, Brandon Yee 17:38.

Other state qualifiers–2. Brad Hodkinson (Sno) 15:59, 7. Cullen McEachern (K) 16:21, 11. Noah Wallace (LS) 16:33, 15. Trevor Allen (LS) 16:38, 18. Luca Strand (C) 16:50.

3A boys

Top three teams, 15 individuals to state

Team scores: 1. Arlington 55, 2. Glacier Peak 58, 3. Edmonds-Woodway 85, 4. Shorewood 87, 5. Oak Harbor 182, 6. Marysville Getchell 202, 7. Everett 206, 8. Mountlake Terrace 218, 9. Stanwood 236, 10. Meadowdale 266, 11. Ferndale 285, 12. Lynnwood 292, 13. Marysville Pilchuck 338.

Arlington–3. Nathan Beamer 16:04, 4. Pieter Andrews 16:33, 14. Zachary Cushman 17:03, 15. Matthew Taylor 17:05, 19. Michael Barene 17:09.

Glacier Peak–8. Garren Arnold 16:57, 9. Sawyer Carter 16:58, 10. Nick Stringer 16:58, 13. Isaac Ripley 17:03, 18. Chris Bianchini 17:08.

Edmonds-Woodway–2. Miler Haller 15:44, 11. Sam McCloughan 17:00, 12. Grady Okeson 17:02, 27. Benjamin Yang 17:39, 33. Kyle Aitken 17:50.

Other state qualifiers–1. John Rodeheffer (OH) 15:37, 5. Andrew Christianson (Sh) 16:34, 7. Jordan Erickson (E) 16:56.

2A boys

Top four teams, 20 individuals to state

Team scores: 1. Sehome 38, 2. Lakewood 88, 3. Anacortes 103, 4. Cedarcrest 124, 5. Bellingham 130, 6. Shorecrest 139, 7. Burlington-Edison 140, 8. Squalicum 185, 9. Sedro-Woolley 278, 10. Archbishop Murphy 295, 11. Granite Falls 305, 12. Blaine 308, 13. Lynden 325.

Lakewood–1. Douglas Davis 16:24, 5. Alex Cooper 16:56, 19. James Hafner 17:46, 20. Brandon Shepard 17:47, 43. George Eustice 18:32.

Cedarcrest–10. Cameron Hammontree 17:14, 12. Ian Fay 17:18, 32. Gunnar Schultz 18:10, 34. Simon Fraser 18:15, 36. Chase Bolin 18:19.

Other state qualifiers–none.

1A boys

Top four teams, 20 individuals to state

Team scores: 1. King’s 53, 2. Meridian 85, 3. Northwest 86, 4. South Whidbey 124, 5. Overlake 133, 6. Lynden Christian 157, 7. Bush 172, 8. Cedar Park Christian–Bothell 229, 9. Mt. Baker 230, 10. Nooksack Valley 236, 11. Bear Creek 273, 12. University Prep.

King’s–1. Andrew Ayers 16:36, 9. Matt Jackson 17:31, 12. Tyler Ward 17:47, 14. Arthur Emmons 17:50, 17. Nate Richards 17:52.

South Whidbey–6. Cole Zink 17:18, 22. Anders Bergquist 17:56, 28. Will Simms 18:21, 38. Cory Ackerman 18:42, 41. Truman Hood 18:48.

Other state qualifiers–15. Ryan Abdallah (CPC) 17:51, 18. McCrea Black (Sultan) 17:52.

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