4A BOYS STATE CHAMPIONS, 4A GIRLS STATE RUNNER-UP
Issaquah Eagles are returning home with some hardware! After an incredible season full of inspiring efforts, the “big dance” was upon us. The team raced on a tough course, coming away with 1 team title, 1 runner-up title, 7 all-state performances, and 14 powerful examples of running for something bigger than yourself!
Our girls team ran first, and ran out of their minds! Led by senior Katherine Yahn (5th, 18:43.1, All-State), who spent most of the race in third, made an incredible move into second with 1000 meters to go, really showing how incredibly tough and gritty she is as a runner. Our next runner, junior Jane Harig (8th, 18:51.2, All-State), pushed so hard to make the move into 8th with 2km to go, and fought the last portion of the race to finish with her first all-state performance. Junior Clara Tubbs (23rd, 19:37.5) moved up 8 spots over the final mile of the race, while sophomore Riley Eberhardt (46th, 20:08.6) and senior Julia Ryan (75th, 20:47.5) raced at their first state championship and did an amazing job. Our sixth and seventh runners, senior Anna Jensen (122nd, 21:46.9) and junior Giada Oliva (130th, 21:58.6) had amazing races to close the door for the team. As a team, our girls ran selflessly, all putting themselves out there to be the best they could for their teammates. When it came time to tally up team scores, both Tahoma HS and Issaquah totaled 116 points, finishing in a tie for the state championship. To break a tie in cross country, it goes to the placement of the sixth runner, where Tahoma’s #6 finished 53rd to Issaquah’s 122nd. This was an amazing cap to a monumental season, who over the course of the season built themselves into a championship-contending team, and this performance only reinforces the belief these athletes had in themselves and each other.
Onto our boy’s team, who all year has been slotted for collision with conference rival Eastlake High School for the state title. After splitting the Kingco and District titles, our plan was to come out and run the race we knew we were capable of, and boy did we ever! Led by sophomore Connor Rickey (8th, 16:16, All-State), senior Benjamin Konopka (10th, 16:22, All-State), junior Brennen Rickey (11th, 16:25, All-State), and senior Jonathan Liu (13th, 16:28, All-State) travelled as a pack throughout the race, all moving up multiple spots throughout the race. Followed closely by sophomore Elliot McIntosh (16th, 16:34, All-State) who moved up 11 spots over the last two miles. Our sixth and seventh runners, sophomores Alex Yahn (23rd, 16:41) and Henry Tait (59th, 17:09) moved up a total 9 spots in the last mile. The squad finished the race with an unheard of 5 boys on the podium and 5 boys earning All-State honors, something that only two teams in Washington state history have done. All totaled, our boy’s team put up a historic 58 points, which put us 43 points ahead of second place Eastlake, one of the largest point differentials in the state history. This is the first state championship in boy’s program history, previous best finishes as a team was runner up in both 2021 and 2002. This was an amazing end to an amazing season for this amazing team, and we are so excited to see how this young group can continue to grow and make the most of their talents!
Link to full results here. Photos by Ken Fischer are here.
Historically, only one head coach has had a boy’s and girl’s team win in the same year, so the near-perfect end to this season for head coach Liza Rickey was an incredible way to cap off an amazing year of developing these athletes. Cheers to a great 2022, we are looking forward to building the future for 2023!