Snohomish sophomore Paige Gerrard (left) and Stanwood senior Leia Jones are among the top local runners to watch in Saturday’s state cross country championships. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Snohomish sophomore Paige Gerrard (left) and Stanwood senior Leia Jones are among the top local runners to watch in Saturday’s state cross country championships. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

State cross country preview: Top local runners, teams to watch

A look at some of the top local runners and teams heading to Pasco for Saturday’s state championships.

Here’s a preview of Saturday’s high school state cross country championships, including some of the many local runners and teams to watch:

When: Saturday

Where: Sun Willows Golf Course (Pasco)

Race schedule: 2B/1B girls, 10 a.m.; 1A girls, 10:30 a.m.; 2A girls, 11 a.m.; 2B/1B boys, 11:30 a.m.; 1A boys, noon; 2A boys, 12:30 p.m.; 3A girls, 1 p.m.; 4A girls, 1:30 p.m.; ambulatory, 2 p.m.; 3A boys, 2:30 p.m.; 4A boys, 3 p.m.

Qualifying: Individual qualification for state was determined by placing in last week’s district meets. Team qualification was determined by placing in the district meet team standings. Qualifying teams send seven runners to the state meet, with their top five state finishers counting toward their team score.

Notes: This is the first state meet since 2019. There was no state meet last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. All times and rankings are according to Athletic.net.

LOCAL BOYS TO WATCH

Aiden Emerson, sr., Arlingon. Emerson has the seventh-fastest 3A boys time in the state this season (15:22.6) and the 13th-fastest regardless of classification. His top time is 29.9 seconds behind that of 3A top-ranked Bishop Blanchet junior William Schneider, who owns the 27th-fastest high school boys time in the nation. Emerson, a three-time state participant, placed 26th in the 2019 3A state meet as a sophomore. He is coming off a third-place finish in last week’s 3A District 1 championships.

Luke Schmidt, jr., Shorecrest. Schmidt has the eighth-fastest 3A boys time in the state (15:26.3) and the 14th-fastest regardless of classification. This is the first state appearance for Schmidt, who placed second in last week’s 3A District 1 championships.

Brandon Moore, sr., Arlington. Moore owns the 11th-fastest 3A boys time in the state (15:36.8), which he ran during a first-place finish in last week’s 3A District 1 championships. This is the second state appearance for Moore, who placed 33rd in the 2019 3A state meet as a sophomore.

Jackson Hammons, sr., Kamiak. Hammons has the eighth-fastest 4A boys time in the state (15:47.8). His top time is more than a minute behind that of 4A top-ranked Olympia senior Ethan Coleman, who owns the ninth-fastest high school boys time in the nation. This is the second state appearance for Hammons, who placed third in last week’s 4A District 1/2 championships.

LOCAL GIRLS TO WATCH

Paige Gerrard, soph., Snohomish. Gerrard has the eighth-fastest 3A girls time in the state (18:20.1) and the 20th-fastest regardless of classification. Her top time is more than a minute behind that of 3A top-ranked Kennewick senior Macy Marquardt, who owns the 21st-fastest high school girls time in the nation. Gerrard took first place in last week’s 3A District 1 championships by 15 seconds.

Emma Arceo, sr., Kamiak. Arceo is tied for the 14th-fastest 4A girls time in the state (18:40.7). Her top time is nearly two minutes behind that of 4A top-ranked Bellarmine Prep senior and 2018 state champion Ella Borsheim, who has the sixth-fastest high school girls time in the nation. Arceo placed seventh in the 4A state meet as a freshman in 2018 and 15th as a sophomore in 2019.

Leia Jones, sr., Stanwood. Jones owns the 20th-fastest 3A time in the state (18:50.4). As a former volleyball player, she didn’t start running cross country until this past spring’s abbreviated season. She placed third in last week’s 3A District 1 championships.

Jemma Willcox, sr., Edmonds-Woodway. Willcox has the 22nd-fastest 3A time in the state (18:51.1), which she ran during a second-place finish in last week’s 3A District 1 championships. Willcox, who will be making her third state appearance, finished 19th in the 2019 3A state meet as a sophomore.

LOCAL TEAMS TO WATCH

Arlington boys. Led by Emerson and Moore, the Eagles have four runners ranked in the top 40 of 3A. Arlington cruised to the 3A District 1 team title last week, finishing 100 points ahead of the next-closest team and placing four runners in the top five. The Eagles have earned a top-four team trophy in four of the past six 3A state meets, including a fourth-place finish in 2019.

Edmonds-Woodway girls. Led by Willcox and senior Sharon Gutierrez, the Warriors have four runners ranked in the top 70 of 3A. Edmonds-Woodway cruised to the 3A District 1 team title last week, finishing 50 points ahead of the next-closest team and placing four runners in the top nine. The Warriors have earned five consecutive top-eight team finishes at the 3A state meet, including three straight second-place trophies from 2015 through 2017.

Kamiak boys. The Knights were the lone Wesco 4A boys team to qualify for state out of last week’s 4A District 1/2 championships, which were dominated by KingCo 4A. Kamiak finished fifth in the bi-district team standings, earning the final state berth by just four points. Led by Hammons, the Knights have three runners ranked in the top 85 of 4A.

Lake Stevens girls. The Vikings were the lone Wesco 4A girls team to advance to state out of last week’s 4A District 1/2 championships. Lake Stevens finished fifth in the bi-district team standings to earn the final state berth. Led by junior Alexis Buhman and senior Ashley Reeck, the Vikings have four runners ranked in the top 65 of 4A.

LIST OF LOCAL QUALIFYING TEAMS

Below is a complete list of local teams that qualified for state.

4A boys: Kamiak

4A girls: Lake Stevens

3A boys: Arlington, Snohomish, Meadowdale

3A girls: Edmonds-Woodway, Stanwood, Arlington, Snohomish, Shorewood

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