Snohomish junior Paige Gerrard is coming off a spectacular season last fall, capped by a sixth-place medal at the Class 3A state meet. (TJ Mullinax/for The Herald)

Snohomish junior Paige Gerrard is coming off a spectacular season last fall, capped by a sixth-place medal at the Class 3A state meet. (TJ Mullinax/for The Herald)

Prep cross country season preview: Runners and teams to watch

A look at the area’s top high school boys and girls cross country runners and teams this fall.

With the high school boys and girls cross country seasons underway, here’s a look at some of the top local runners and teams to watch this fall.

All times listed below are for 5,000-meter races and are according to Athletic.net, as of Thursday afternoon.

BOYS RUNNERS TO WATCH

Shorecrest senior Luke Schmidt posted the 16th-fastest time in the state last season, running a personal-best 15:26.3. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shorecrest senior Luke Schmidt posted the 16th-fastest time in the state last season, running a personal-best 15:26.3. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jakob Broadbent, sr., Lake Stevens

Broadbent is coming off a 27th-place finish in last year’s Class 4A state meet. He broke the 16:30 mark three times last season, including a personal-best 16:09.8.

Jaedyn Chase, sr., Kamiak

Chase competed in each of the past two 4A state meets, including a 54th-place finish last year. He ran three sub-16:30 times last season, including a personal-best 16:17.1.

Gavin Darrah, sr., Lakewood

Darrah, a returning 2A state qualifier, has already shattered his top time from last year by nearly 30 seconds. He ran a personal-best 16:14.1 in last weekend’s Oregon City XC Invitational, which is the state’s fourth-best 2A time of this young season.

London Haley, sr., Cedarcrest

Haley took 17th place in last year’s 2A state meet. He posted a winning time of 16:37.6 in last weekend’s South Whidbey Carl Westling Invite, which is within five seconds of his personal best from last season.

Levi Nichols, sr., Glacier Peak

Nichols placed 78th in last year’s 4A state meet. He posted three sub-16:35 times last season, including a personal-best 16:26.4.

Luke Schmidt, sr., Shorecrest

Schmidt, the area’s top returning boys runner, placed 18th in last year’s 3A state meet. He broke the 16-minute mark five times last season, including a scorching 15:26.3 to win the prestigious Hole in the Wall Invitational. That was the 16th-fastest time in the state last year, regardless of classification. He also placed eighth in the 3,200 meters at this past spring’s 3A state track meet.

BOYS TEAMS TO WATCH

Arlington

The Eagles have developed into one of the state’s premier 3A boys programs, earning seven consecutive top-10 state team finishes. They graduated their top three finishers from last year’s seventh-place state team, including a pair of top-10 placers in current Washington State University runners Brandon Moore and Aiden Emerson. But led by senior Kellen Langford, there’s still plenty of talent in the fold. Arlington, which topped Lake Stevens to claim the team title at last weekend’s South Whidbey Carl Westling Invite, already has five runners with sub-17:40 times this fall.

Kamiak

The Knights graduated standout Jackson Hammons, who placed ninth in last year’s 4A state meet and is now running at the University of Nevada. But they returned four of their seven runners from last season’s state qualifying team, led by senior two-time state competitor Jaedyn Chase. Kamiak is seeking its third consecutive state trip as a team.

Lake Stevens

The Vikings returned all three of their 4A state qualifiers from last season in seniors Jakob Broadbent, Ammon Wagner and Laird Marlatt. And junior Anthony Long has made a big jump this fall, shattering his personal best from last year. Lake Stevens already has five runners who’ve broken the 17:40 mark, including a pair of sub-17-minute times by Long and Broadbent. The Vikings are looking to qualify for state as a team for the first time since 2015.

Lakewood

The Cougars already have a trio of runners with sub-17:15 times this season in senior Gavin Darrah, senior Matthew Hatch and junior Gabe Seagraves. Darrah, a returning 2A state qualifier, ran an impressive 16:14.1 last weekend. Hatch also is a returning state qualifier and Seagraves has already shattered his top time from last year by well over a minute. Qualifying for state as a team is an arduous task in the ultra-tough 2A District 1, but Lakewood looks like it has the pieces to contend for its first state team berth since 2014.

GIRLS RUNNERS TO WATCH

Snohomish junior Paige Gerrard ran a personal-best 18:20.1 last season and placed sixth in the 3A state meet. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Snohomish junior Paige Gerrard ran a personal-best 18:20.1 last season and placed sixth in the 3A state meet. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Alexis Buhman, sr., Lake Stevens

Buhman placed 39th in last year’s 4A state meet, leading the Vikings to a ninth-place team finish. She broke the 19:10 mark twice last season, including a top time of 19:08.2.

Alexis Canovali-McKenzie, sr., Monroe

Canovali-McKenzie reached the 3A state podium last year with a 16th-place finish. She ran four sub-19:30 times last season and broke the 19-minute mark with a personal-best 18:57.2.

Hallie Carroll, soph., Lake Stevens

Carroll placed 51st in the 4A state meet last year as a freshman. Her top time last season was 19:24.8. She also was a 4A state track qualifier in the 800 meters this past spring.

Ella Edens, sr., Lake Stevens

Edens competed in each of the past two 4A state meets, placing 65th last year and 86th as a freshman in 2019. She ran a personal-best 19:33.6 last season and won the South Whidbey Carl Westling Invite’s upper-division race last weekend.

Paige Gerrard, jr., Snohomish

Gerrard, the top girls runner in the area last season, is coming off a spectacular sophomore year. She claimed a sixth-place medal at the 3A state meet. She won the 3A District 1 title by 15 seconds. She broke the 19-minute mark five times and the 18:40 mark four times, including a personal-best 18:20.1. And this past spring, she qualified for the 3A state track meet in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

Bella Hasan, jr., Kamiak

Hasan placed 48th in last year’s 4A state meet and ran a personal-best 19:28.9 last season. This past year, the standout three-sport athlete also earned second-team All-Area honors in basketball and a 10th-place finish in the 4A state long jump.

Martina Landa, jr., Edmonds-Woodway

Landa placed 55th in the 3A state meet last season. She broke the 19:45 mark three times last year, including a personal-best 19:36.5.

GIRLS TEAMS TO WATCH

Edmonds-Woodway

The Warriors graduated three of their top four runners from last year’s team, which cruised to the 3A District 1 crown and took eighth place in the 3A state meet. But they returned their other four state runners, led by junior Martina Landa. Edmonds-Woodway looks to continue a run of success that includes six consecutive top-eight state team finishes.

Lake Stevens

The Vikings returned five of their seven runners from last year’s 4A state team, including their top three placers in senior Alexis Buhman, sophomore Hallie Carroll and senior Ella Edens. Those three runners each placed in the top 65 at state last season, leading Lake Stevens to a ninth-place team finish. It was the program’s third top-10 team finish in the past four state meets.

Snohomish

The Panthers returned five of their top six runners from last year’s 3A state qualifying team. They’re led by one of the state’s top runners in junior Paige Gerrard, who earned a sixth-place state medal last fall.

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