Yesterday, the boys 4A cross country runners from Eisenhower High School did what no team outside of Spokane has done since Eisenhower won back in 1987. They are state champions.
Looking at the results for the last 22 years, you'll see that between Mead (14 wins), Ferris (5 wins) and University High (3 wins), Spokane has dominated. And Spokane continues to do so. On the 3A level, North Central popped up on the radar back on '03 and '04 with second place finishes at state. They have finished first ever since and, along with Mead, Ferris, and University High, have been nationally ranked.
Depth is what makes a cross country team a winner. Only the first five across the finish count for score. But if your number six and seven runners finish ahead of any of the other team's first five then they've also contributed by increasing the other team's score.
Lewis and Clark had a great season this year and finished second at state. I'm glad to see other Spokane schools in the limelight. It's a shame to see Mead's program fading. They may have a great runner in Andrew Gardner, second at state behind LC’s Kenji Bierig but like I said before, depth is what makes a cross country team a winner. Mead only had three freshman at the freshman championships a couple weeks ago. It's very hard to build a successful program if nobody turns out for it. I suppose history teaches us that dynasties come and go. Lewis and Clark loses five varsity runners at the end of the school year. I don't know who they have left but I hope it's enough to do as well next fall.
A 22-year run of Spokane state cross country championships came to an end yesterday. It was awesome. Hopefully a new run starts next year.
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14 hours ago
I didn't realize that Mead and Spokane's string of championships began in 88. That was my sophomore year in high school and I was the 7th (and occasionally 6th) man on the Ferris squad that came in 2nd at State behind Mead that year. You're absolutely right about it being a numbers game- Mead's turnout was legendary during the Pat Tyson era. I bet they made up more than a third of the total GSL turnout at that time. It's weird to contemplate Mead having only 3 freshman.
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