Jackson’s Roe wins 4A boys state cross country title

PASC0 — Coming into Saturday’s state cross country championships, Jackson senior Aaron Roe had never finished better than sixth place and had just the 10th-best time in the state among 4A boys runners this season.

Now, he’s a state champion.

Roe won the 4A boys state title with a time of 15:15.20, outlasting Bothell’s Charlie Barringer (15:22.26) and Central Valley’s Briton Demars (15:24.38).

“It’s pretty darn exciting,” Jackson cross country coach Eric Hruschka said shortly before Roe stood atop the podium. “What a dream come true to watch him go out and execute and have things fall into place.”

Roe admitted he didn’t expect to win, but credited all of his hard work and training through the years for making his achievement possible.

“I didn’t get up in the mornings and go out late at nights for two runs a day not to be state champion,” Roe said. “This is what everyone wants to do and this is what everyone has their eye on. I’ve been dreaming about this ever since I was a little kid.

“This is one of the greatest days of my life.”

The race had to be restarted after a collision took down several of the competitors shortly after it began. When Hruschka got a look at the damage, he saw that several of those impacted by the fall were his runners, but Roe was safe.

“Unfortunately for the rest of the guys, we were pretty banged up after that and didn’t run our best race today, but Aaron got a clean race in and took advantage of the opportunity,” Hruschka said.

Jackson placed 12th as a team.

Knowing his teammates had been affected by fall, Roe managed to stay mentally strong for the restart and not change his race plan.

“I knew that if I let it rattle me then I was going to run poorly,” Roe said. “A lot of times when those kind of things happen, you want to make excuses for why you’re not going to run well. Running is such a painful sport that your body automatically wants to make those excuses. I just immediately realized that this is my senior year and I could not rationalize and I had to put my nose to the grindstone and keep pushing.”

Roe might not have been the favorite coming into the race, but Saturday’s championship moment was something that had been in the back of his and his coaches’ minds all season.

“All year we’ve been saying that we wanted him to run his best race ever and we wanted him to have his best state finish ever,” Hruschka said. “The best he’s been is sixth. So were saying, fifth or better. Let’s show improvement and if things open up and it works to our race plan and it works for him, then he has a chance to finish top three and maybe steal it and win it.”

When the race was over, Roe had won by just more than seven seconds, but not knowing where his competition was, he still leaned over the finish line.

“I didn’t even know I had a gap on anyone, I was just pushing as hard as I could to get across that finish line.”

Arlington earns fourth place

Four years after placing dead-last at the bi-district tournament, Arlington High School’s boys cross country team took the podium after the 3A state meet with a fourth-place finish.

“It gives me goose bumps,” Arlington head coach Mike Shierk said. “This is a time that I’ve been working towards for 17 years of coaching this sport. I brought on some of the finest coaches in Wesco, and the state for that fact, and we’ve just been able to produce a wonderful results.

“In the span of four years, we’ve been able to get these guys to believe and put in the work. The results are the confidence and how well they ran. It’s a very satisfying thing.”

Arlington junior Nathan Beamer was the Eagles’ highest finisher, coming in eighth place.

“He’s been our lights out, No. 1 guy all year long and he dreams big,” Shierk said. “He goes out and gets it done for us every time. Even though he’s our No. 1 guy and he’s got all these accolades, it’s always been about our team. He unites the clan.”

Oak Harbor’s John Rodeheffer placed fourth and Edmonds-Woodway’s Miler Haller was right behind in fifth place.

Shierk hopes to use Saturday’s finish as a building block to even greater things next season.

“We want to use this as a stepping stone to possibly go win a state championship next year,” Shierk said. “I won’t be shy about that. Our boys are graduating one guy and we’ve got a deep, deep group of guys coming back.”

Lakewood’s Davis takes fourth

Lakewood senior Douglas Davis had the best 2A boys time in the state this season coming into Saturday’s state meet, but managed just a fourth-place finish.

“I thought it was a good day,” Davis said. “I knew that time was on a really fast course and that I wasn’t any better than the guys with me. We were all respectable runners and we were contenders, I went out and raced and I thought I put out what of my best efforts of the season, so I can’t really be disappointed with not winning it.”

The leaders attacked the first mile hard and Davis elected to run with the lead group early in the race.

“I definitely felt that first mile for the rest of the race because it’s not really my style to go out hard like that,” Davis said.

Davis finished 17th at last year’s state meet and fourth is the highest he has finished in his high-school career.

Boys Results

(Team scores and local finishers)

Class 4A

1. Gig Harbor 122, 2. Eisenhower 126, 3. Tahoma 127, 4. Skyview 138, 5. Central Valley 168, 6. Camas 178, 7. University 180, 8. Bellarmine Prep 208, 9. Redmond 220, 10. Eastlake 230, 11. Olympia 232, 12. Jackson 252, 13. Wenatchee 261, 14. Bothell 272, 15. Puyallup 386, 16. Emerald Ridge 401.

Jackson—1. Aaron Roe 15:15.20, 51. Matthew Watkins 16:24.05, 100. Nathanael Ramos 16:59.82, 110. Brandon Yee 17:11.63, 111. Danny Scott 17:11.88, 115. Efren Chavez 17:16.50, 129. Jack Thompson 17:26.99.

Snohomish—6. Brad Hodkinson 15:32.56.

Kamiak—38. Cullen McEachern 16:13.04.

Lake Stevens—56. Trevor Allen 16:28.26, 91. Noah Wallace 16:52.93.

Cascade—81. Luca Strand 16:44.09.

Class 3A

1. North Central 41, 2. Kamiakin 55, 3. Bishop Blanchet 164, 4. Arlington 179, 5. Central Kitsap 202, 6. Mercer Island 209, 7. Nathan Hale 214, 8. Ingraham 220, 9. Interlake 222, 10. Ballard 228, 11. Edmonds-Woodway 234, 12. Glacier Peak 257, 13. Columbia River 302, 14. Peninsula 317, 15. Hazen 330, 16. Bonney Lake 344.

Oak Harbor—4. John Rodeheffer 15:05.39.

Edmonds-Woodway—5. Miler Haller 15:13.44, 64. Grady Okeson 16:37.31, Sam McCloughan 16:42.27, 87. Benjamin Yang 16:53.70, 112. Noushyar Eslami 17:08.42, 129. Kyle Aitken 17:25.85, 131. Biniam Tesfaghaber 17:29.98.

Arlington—8. Nathan Beamer 15:27.64, 56. Michael Barene 16:29.16, 63. Matthew Taylor 16:36.61, 69. Zachary Cushman 16:43.50, 75. Pieter Andrews 16:46.59, 132. Eric Acero-Rosas 17:30.83, 138. Caleb Smith 17:49.29.

Shorewood—28. Andrew Christianson 16:04.04.

Glacier Peak—36. Garren Arnold 16:11.27, 76. James Horne 16:47.11, 81. Chris Bianchini 16:50.34, 84. Nick Stringer 16:52.43, Sawyer Carter 16:55.88, 116. Jeffrey Gill 17:11.70.

Everett—Jordan Erickson 16:53.11.

Class 2A

1. Sehome 52, 2. Sequim 82, 3. Liberty-Issaquah 154, 4. East Valley-Spokane 163, 5. Lindbergh 166, 6. Ellensburg 211, 7. Mark Morris 237, 8. Franklin Pierce 240, 9. Pullman 245, 10, Lakewood 265, 11. Renton 266, 12. Cedarcrest 282, 13. Sammamish 299, 14. Tumwater 313, 15. Anacortes 320, 16. Hockinson 373.

Lakewood—4. Douglas Davis 15:30.65, 80. James Hafner 17:15.10, 81. Brandon Shepard 17:18.18, 101. Alex Cooper 17:38.50, 104. Anthony Meza 17:45.89, 122. George Eustice 18:10.82, 133. Sage Williamson 18:35.55.

Cedarcrest—43. Ian Fay 16:32.90, 54. Cameron Hammontree 16:50.66, 93. Vincent Dams 17:29.37, 103. Gunnar Schultz 17:45.39, 107. Chase Bolin 17:50.02, 109. Isaac Harper 17:53.14, 114. Simon Fraser 17:58.02.

Class 1A

1. Medical Lake 53, 2. King’s 80, 3. Riverside 82, 4. Northwest 108, 5. Meridian 166, 6. Cascade-Leavenworth 169, 7. Royal 203, 8. Port Townsend 207, 9. South Whidbey 248, 10. Seattle Christian 267, 11. White Salmon 297, Eatonville 312, Montesano 337, La Center 351, Columbia-Burbank 358, 16. Connell 448.

King’s—3. Andrew Ayers 15:33.56, 13. Matt Jackson 16:36.32, 24. Tyler Ward 16:50.31, 36. Josh Frohardt 17:05.12, 41. Daniel Bolliger 17:09.56, 42. Nate Richards 17:10.62.

South Whidbey—35. Cole Zink 17:04.84, 59. Anders Bergquist 17:25.80, 78. Will Simms 17:49.75, 94. Truman Hood 18:09.71, 105. Cory Ackerman 18:25.42, 130. Kohl Hunter 19:07.30, 137. Collin Burns 20:07.19.

Sultan—77. McCrea Black 17:48.74.

Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at alommers@heraldnet.com.

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