Rigoberto Jimenez barely let out a smile as he crossed the finish line Saturday in the 1A boys race at the state cross country championships at Sun Willows Golf Course.
The Royal junior had just won the first state title in the program\'s history, but he was waiting for his twin brother, Humberto, to arrive so they could celebrate together.
Eleven seconds after Rigoberto finished the 5-kilometer course in 16:17, Humberto crossed the line, himself having left the rest of the field in his dust. The two walked down the finish chute, and now Rigoberto owned a big grin.
\"I\'m very proud,\" said Rigoberto, who only moved to the United States five years ago from Acapulco, Mexico, and didn\'t being running competitively until ninth grade.
\"This means a lot. It was my goal. I worked all summer so I could finish strong.\"
Two other individuals and the Connell boys team also made the awards podium from the Mid-Columbia, all breaking long droughts for their respective teams.
Richland senior Tyler Noland, in his third state run, rallied in the final mile to finish 12th in the 4A boys race. His time of 16:06 was the best of any Mid-Columbia runner and allowed him to become the first Bomber in a decade to medal at state.
\"My goal today was top five, but also to just run my hardest and I definitely did that,\" Noland said. \"In this field, with all these great guys to run against, I feel honored.\"
Bickleton sophomore Danielle Raschko finished 11th in the inaugural 2B/1B girls race to become the first Pirates girl to place in 33 years.
Connell\'s boys beat out Royal for fourth place to earn their first team trophy since 1977.
The feature race of the day was the final one, the 4A boys, which featured the top two teams in the nation -- Mead and Ferris out of Spokane -- and Central Valley (Veradale), ranked No. 24.
Mead had beaten Ferris by one point last week at the 4A Eastern Regionals, but the Saxons avenged that loss with a vengeance, trouncing the Panthers by 21 points.
Leading the way was senior Cameron Quackenbush, who was sixth at regionals last week but came back to win the race in 15:44. Quackenbush took the lead at about the 2-mile mark and never looked back, beating Lake Stevens junior Joey Bywater -- the reigning 3,200 champion -- by four seconds.
Seattle Prep senior Max O\'Donoghue-McDonald posted the day\'s fastest time, blowing away the 3A field to win his second straight title in 15:32.
Also repeating as state champion was Reardan senior Brad Serdar in 2B/1B boys.