King\'s Saga Continues

The Lady Knights successfully defended their 2006 State title,
and picked up their fifth State championship overall.  The girls have
now surpassed the boys for number of wins at State.  King's nine total
State cross country championships ties the school with Ferris for
fourth.  Mead (15), Edmonds-Woodway (12) and Omak (11) are the schools
ahead on the list.

As a coach, Rod Wilcox is tied for fourth place (Phil English,
Carroll/Eisenhower) in state history with his nine team titles.  Three
retirees, Pat Tyson (Shorecrest/Mead, 14), Tom Campbell
(Edmonds-Woodway, 12) and Russ Brantner (Omak, 11), each have more
championships to their credit.

The boys' failed to qualify for State for the first time since 1990,
snapping their streak at 16 years. That's the fifth longest streak
for a boys' team, behind Blanchet (30 and counting), Lakewood (23 and
counting), Mead (20 and counting) and Gig Harbor (20, 1982-2001).

Olivia Thomas won the sixth individual State title in King's history
and the first since 2002.  As a junior, she will have the opportunity
to defend her title in 2008 and become the first King's runner to win
two individual championships.

She was joined on the podium by sophomore Morgan Hamm, whose 12th
place finish made her the 28th King's harrier (15 boys/13 girls) to
earn an All-State medal.  Those 28 have won a total of 45 (24/21).
Thomas became the fourth King's runner to earn All-State status three
times.  None of the previous three have stood on the podium all four
years; barring injury, Thomas will earn that distinction.

The 2007 course showed a curious effect: it ran 0.8% faster than
average (+10 seconds) for the girls, but slowed the boys down by 1.0%
(-11 seconds).


The Lady Knights have now run a total of 86 individual State races (46
different runners).  By class those races include 25 seniors, 30
juniors, 17 sophomores and 14 freshmen.  Here's how this year's races
stack up: among those 86, by class, and by place on the team.

Olivia Thomas    # 2 overall, # 1 junior,    #2 first runner
Morgan Hamm      #27 overall, # 6 sophomore, #6 second runner
Adele Eslinger   #42 overall, # 8 sophomore, #6 third runner
Lauresa Smith    #43 overall, #12 junior,    #3 fourth runner
Megan Northey    #44 overall, #16 senior,    #2 fifth runner
Makenzie Taylor  #48 overall, # 9 sophomore, #1 sixth runner
Rebecca Thompson #64 overall, #21 senior,    #1 seventh runner

This team is King's deepest ever.  Note that Taylor was the
fastest-ever for the sixth Lady Knight and Thompson was the
fastest-ever for the seventh Lady Knight.

Thomas ran her best race of the season and won by 36 seconds, the
biggest gap of any of the ten individual champions in 2007.  The five
previous King's champions had won by a TOTAL of 41 seconds.  Her time
was faster than 122 boys, or 19% of those who ran at Pasco.

Hamm ran 48 seconds better than expected to finish as the second Lady
Knight for only the second time all season.  Smith (19 seconds faster
than expected) and Northey (15 seconds) also had outstanding races.
Taylor (5 seconds fast) and Eslinger (11 seconds slow) ran solid but
unspectacularly.  Unfortunately, Thompson closed out her high school
career with a disappointing race, 45 seconds slower than expected.

The 2007 team performance ranks as one of the top 3 of the 11 Lady
Knight teams to compete at State.  Along with the 2001 and 2004 State
meets, this year tops the list.

King's girls would have finished 14th in the 4A race, but just 11
points out of 11th.  They would have been 5th in the 3A race, 3rd in
the 2A race, and would have scored just 32 points in winning the B
race.  They would have won their own race had they lost any runner
except Thomas.


Although they didn't qualify as a team, the King's boys sent three
runners to Pasco in individual status.

The King's boys have now run a total of 147 individual State races (65
different runners).  By class, those races include 46 seniors, 47
juniors, 36 sophomores and 18 freshmen.  Here's how this year's races
stack up: among those 147 and by class.

Brandon Dean     #43 overall, #17 junior
Connor McMahon   #64 overall, #25 senior
Erik Halvorson   #87 overall, #28 junior

This is the first year since 1998 that the King's boys have not
produced at least one All-State runner.  Dean had a slightly subpar
effort (5 seconds slow) and finished 16 seconds away from an All-State
spot.  McMahon ran an excellent race, 22 seconds faster than expected,
to end his high school career on an upbeat note.  Halvorson, 17
seconds slow, will look for redemption next year.

The boys suffered from a difficult District.  The three qualifying
teams finished 3rd, 4th and 6th at State.  Had King's qualified as a
team, the Knights almost certainly would have finished 7th.


Burlington-Edison's win over Sehome marks the sixth time in State history
  that two teams have been tied for first through five runners.
The 1966 race didn't seek to break the tie, and both teams were
declared champions.

The greatest contest ever has to be the 1993 A boys race, with three
teams finishing within one point, and the deciding sixth place runners
just 6 seconds apart.

1966 Div 1 - Seattle Prep 46, Wapato 46
1986 AA boys - Edmonds 79 (sixth 31), Gig Harbor 79 (sixth 57)
1993 A boys - Omak 91 (sixth 46), Riverside 91 (sixth 50), Chewelah 92
2000 2A boys - East Valley (Yakima) 113 (sixth 69), South Whidbey 113
(sixth 87)
2004 4A girls - Bellarmine Prep 84 (sixth 57), Gig Harbor 84 (sixth 67)

Twenty-two other State championships have been decided by three
points or fewer.

1-Point Difference
1959 - Shadle Park 98, Wenatchee 99
1961 - Lewis & Clark 53, Ingraham 54
1967 AA - Franklin 144, Highline 145
1970 A - Columbia River 125, Mead 126
1973 AA girls - Shoreline girls 46, Snohomish girls 47
1979 AA girls - Centralia 97, Selah 98
1991 A girls - Lakewood 53, South Whidbey 54
1991 B boys - Pomeroy 54, Saint George's 55
1999 4A boys - University 81, Mount Spokane 82
2005 3A girls - West Valley (Yakima) 65, Squalicum 66
2005 B boys - Reardan 49, Saint George's 50

2-Point Difference
1979 A boys - Colfax 117, Montesano 119
1987 AA girls - Edmonds 101, Hanford 103
1988 AAA girls - Mead 70, Eisenhower 72
1992 B girls - Seattle Lutheran 50, Saint George's 52
1998 4A girls - Marysville-Pilchuck 127, Shadle Park 129
1999 3A boys - Lakeside (Seattle) 108, Seattle Prep 110

3-Point Difference
1984 AAA boys - Blanchet 54, Redmond 57
1991 B girls - Pomeroy 42, Seattle Lutheran 45
1994 B boys - Northwest Christian (Colbert) 34, Saint George's 37
1999 2A boys - Omak 71, East Valley (Yakima) 74
2004 3A girls - Squalicum 106, Newport (Bellevue) 109


The boys will be right back in the hunt in 2008.  My pre-season ranking:

1. Charles Wright
2. Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls)
3. King's
4. Lynden Christian
5. Nooksack Valley
6. LaCenter
7. Bellevue Christian
8. Freeman
9. Newport

Add a McGinley and Geers in there and the Knights aren't just aiming
for a trophy, they've a real shot at the title.  Charles Wright is
vulnerable; the Tarriers will return their top three, but their next
fastest underclassman would have run over 20 minutes at Pasco.

The Lady Knights will be huge favorites for their third straight title
in 2008.  Pre-season ranking:

1. King's
2. LaCenter
3. Chelan
4. Nooksack Valley
5. Bush
6. Meridian